Aiming for a Better World with a Multicultural School - Immigration in Portugal 2FORAVE - Escola Profissional Tecnológica do Vale do Ave
Emigrant Tradition Emigration from Portugal dates from the 15th century, the beginning of Portugal's period of overseas exploration. From the middle of the 19th century to the late 1950s, nearly two million Portuguese left to live in Brazil and the United States.
The 50 s In the late 1950s, Portuguese emigration increased and followed labour market demands toward destinations in the expanding economies of Northern and Central Europe, particularly France. In the next 15 years, up until 1974, more than 1.5 million Portuguese emigrated to take up jobs in low-wage, low- productivity sectors. Emigrants carrying a mala de cartão
From Emigration to Immigration On the second half of the 1960s, Portugal registered the first arrival of African workers from its colonies who were recruited for construction and manufacturing jobs. Joining the European Union in 1986 made Portugal a more attractive destination for non-EU citizens. The result was a continuous increase in the number of foreign residents, dominated by Africans and, to a lesser extent, Brazilians.
The end of the 1990s was marked by the arrival of thousands of mostly undocumented immigrants from Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine, Russia, Moldavia, and Romania. In five years, Ukrainians have become the third-largest group of foreigners, immediately after Cape Verdeans and Brazilians.
Romanians, Moldovans and Chinese also have chosen Portugal as destination. A number of EU citizens from the United Kingdom, Spain and other EU member states, also have chosen Portugal as destination, with a major part of the British, Dutch, German, and Scandinavian communities being mostly composed of persons looking for quality of life, including an increasing number of pensioners.
In recent decades, the number of foreigners living in Portugal has grown substantially: it´s about 449 194. It is estimated that, in 2004, foreigners represented some 5.5% of the working population and 4.3% of the total population.
From those 5.5% the biggest communities are the African citizens, in particular those from the countries having Portuguese as their official language (PALOP), the East European immigrants (having an average higher educational attainment levels than others, but likewise working in less-skilled occupations) and those from Brazil.
Ethnic minorities in Portugal Besides all the people from different nationalities who migrated to Portugal, there is a small minority of Gypsies (Ciganos) of about 40,000 people. Most gypsies live apart, and primarily in the south. They can often be found at rural markets selling clothing and handicrafts.
Only the Gipsies can be considered as a minority in Portugal. They live apart from the rest of the population and have traditions and laws of their own. The Portuguese people doesn´t trust them and many times they are discriminated at school, employment and society.
However, several programes are in operation to integrate cultural minorities, like: - measures to combat social exclusion using the media and the schools to put an end at prejudices and stereotypes; - promotion of family reunification; - employment and occupational training; - help with learning Portuguese in schools. - …
Difficulties Language barrier ClimateReligion People/Habits Finding a jobCultureFood Difficulties Immigrants Face
In order to have a real opinion about immigrants in Portugal, we interviewed Tetiana, a student from Ukraine, and her mother.
What´s your name? Where are you from? Cataryna, I´m from Ukraine. Why did you immigrate? To improve my living conditions, life is so difficult in my homeland that I decided to try to live a better life with my daughter abroad. Why did you choose Portugal? Because when I came, 2 years ago, some members of my family where living here and said they could help me to find a job. What was your job in Ukraine? Do you have a degree? What is your job now? I have a university degree, I was a teacher of Mother Tongue in Ukraine. Now, I work in the warehouse of a textile company. Were you well received in Portugal? Are you a victim of discrimination or racism? Yes, we were. Everybody was really nice and understanding. We never felt we were discriminated. What is your opinion on the Portuguese people? Do you think they welcome immigrants? Yes, I think so, they are a warm and welcoming people. I have felt at ease since I arrived here.
Hello Tetiana, how was your integration in the Portuguese school? Did your teachers and colleagues received you well since the very first day? Yes, everything was quite ok. Do you think the teaching methods are different? In what way? Yes, everything is different. I have some school subjects that I have never had before and the relationship between teachers and students is also different. Portuguese teachers are more close to the students. And I think everything is easier here and students don´t have to study at home. Do you think you´re discriminated? No, never. What do you think about Portugal? Do you want to stay here forever or do you intend to return to your country? Why? I think Portugal is a beautiful country with nice people. They don´t treat us as different, but I want to return to my country because I miss my family and I want to spend the rest of my life there.