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Portugees there, Calafonas here Mário Moura Associação dos Emigrantes Açorianos E Câmara Municipal da Ribeira Grande

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Presentation on theme: "Portugees there, Calafonas here Mário Moura Associação dos Emigrantes Açorianos E Câmara Municipal da Ribeira Grande"— Presentation transcript:

1 Portugees there, Calafonas here Mário Moura Associação dos Emigrantes Açorianos E Câmara Municipal da Ribeira Grande

2 My point of view After we leave our homeland, we are Known by Portugee in America and Calafona in the Azores, but, truly, we are not one or the other, we are something quite different...After we leave our homeland, we are Known by Portugee in America and Calafona in the Azores, but, truly, we are not one or the other, we are something quite different...

3 Between two acting poles: leaving and returning. Domingos Rebelo’s ‘Emigrantes’ Tomás Borba Vieiras, The returnees’

4 Bipolarity Two interacting poles: one does not function without the other. The sending country (homeland), beeing one, and the receiving country (host country), beeing another.

5 Main question Beyond economic success, is emigration viewed as good or bad? From the point of view of the azorians, the answer is not simple. Among other differences, it seems to depend on age, status and sex.

6 Warning This presentation is not the result of a deliberate scientific research. It derives from the questions asked during last years’s campaing for (Azorian Emigrants Association) implementation. It deals with words not with figures.

7 Sources ( ; ) 1- Experience as a paper delievery boy in the USA (O Jornal) 2- As a factory worker in: Bristol, Fall River and Cranston. 3- As a student and a teacher’s aide in RIC.(Rhode Island College) 4- Working in grocery stores in predominantly american areas; 4 – As an installing member of the AEA (in Azores). 5- FB interacting (in Azores).

8 Fair picture? I had the chance to get in touch with both sides (americans and Azoreans); And with young, middle age and old people. They were mostly first and second generation people.

9 Portugee and Calafona? Azoreans who went out to the USA or Canada are/were known (among certain american classes) in the host country by Portugees and in the homeland (also among certain classes) by Calafonas

10 Portugee and Calafona Definitions As far as I know, there is no known scientific definition. If it is the case, as it seems to be, let us try to find out a reasonable working definition.

11 Portugee Portugee derives from the word portuguese. It is clearly mispelled. Out of purpose? Not out of purpose? In any case, It is/was not seen either by azoreans nor by americans (fellow factory workers) as a compliment. i.e: As spic for italians…

12 Greenhorns Furthermore, the newcomers are/were called greenhorns Azoreans came from rural areas, even those who came from the 3 cities (very small and rural at the time), and had to cope rapidly with the most industrialized urban society in the world. And, for the vast majority, they did it successfully. I am talking about New England.

13 How are Azoreans seen by their fellow american workers? Depends mostly on the state of the economy. Mixed feelings Trust/mistrust; envy/admiration But in all cases: they come to be accepted as americans

14 How are fellow american workers seen by azoreans? Mixed feelings: Big spenders; Not family oriented; They feel gratitude towards America and americans.

15 Calafona Looking at first, it seems to be only a mispelled word: calafona instead of californian. And it is the word differently pronounced. In a first moment, but it came out later to be associated with all azoreans who went to USA and Canada. In the past they were called Brasileiros. It is not a compliment.

16 How are Azoreans who left Azores seen in Azores? Mostly were/are seen by many as calafonas: People who boasts their economic success. Who dressed in an exotic manner. Who speaks portuguese with strong accent.

17 How calafonas see Azoreans in Azores? Most: unthankful; envy (because of them they had to leave the Azores behind. There weren’t enough for everybody), lucky lot. Don’t work as hard as they do.

18 How Calafonas see themselves? Hard working; Lucky (having things) and unlucky (loosing Azores); Sense of loss; Good americans and good azoreans: they use three flags/ American/Azorean and Portuguese

19 How do first generation azoreans live e thew country? First generation, coming from rural areas, feels it like a cultural clash. To surive: An island surrounded by an ocean of americans: Thus they live in the 10th island: little azores eveywhere. They reproduce the homeland; na invented homeland rather than a real one.

20 The azoreans who came back (a minority): different categories. 1- The returnees. Those who went out the Azores to work and came back later on to the Azores (a minority): a) either retired (the vast majority) B) or still working.

21 Depending on much time they were out, at the surface they may look like a regular Azorean, they love our religious feasts, but underneath they are different. They brought along other religious celebrations from the host country like Thanksgiving or Pot Luck. National day. Not only they speak with accent but they speak differently. Language reveals a different culture. They owe allegiance to their homelands and to the host countries. If you drive through the islands you will often see three flags in same house: Portugal, Azores and USA or Canada. Those who came back often bring along kids who were born in the host country. Those kids are then educated here and are integrated in society.

22 2 – Returnees - Those who went out to study and came back to work to the Azores. At the surface they look like a regular Azorean but they are different. They are much concealed because they speak Portuguese with no accent. But underneath they are different. Life standards, work etc…We brought with us our cultural values (students) but brought back some new values. Some are completely different. They are so well integrated that they are hardly noticed by the ones who never went out.

23 3- The deportees – (one suspects that their numbers, as compared to the returnees, are quite high) Those who went to the host country very young and having committed a minor or a major offense there because they are not naturalized were forced to return to their homeland. Mostly, they look like different and they are different. Some does not even speak our language well. But some are well integrated. They can not go back to America or Canada.

24 Differences? Punctuality: beeing on time; Distaste of bureaucracy; A more democratic way of treating each other; Relaxed way of dressing and behaving.

25 Resemblances Is our history the direct result of our geography as Vitorino Nemésio once said? I think that there is more to it: climate, earthquakes, volcanoes and our contacts with all people who come here. The azoreans are a melting pot.

26 All these, gives us different sense of time and space and patience. Between two earthquakes we don’t wait for the next, we live. We do have a different attachment to our homeland: almost na obsession.

27 Two conclusions One: The underlying thesis advanced here was very basic: the moment we leave our homeland we risk to become potential emigrantes/regressantes. Even though we never return to the Azores.

28 Two conclusions Two: The lusolandês emigrant, does not really leave the Azores, leaves his village on an island somewhere in the Azores. The parish and the island are his standard measure with wich he measures the world around him.


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