“You are the future,” President Marcelo Rebelo de Souza told a three-year-old girl dressed in traditional Portuguese clothing who came out to greet him on the podium where he spoke at Artesia Portuguese Salon. The city, located on the outskirts of Los Angeles, has not hosted the President of the Portuguese Republic since 1989. This weekend, he did it with pomp and the setting of an ornate Portuguese-American community bursting with pride.
“We have never lost the honor and responsibility of being representatives of this beautiful flag,” said Jimmy Enes, a member of Artesia DES, a Portuguese descendant, in a welcoming speech delivered in perfect Portuguese. “When we are asked who we are, we always answer”i am portuguese“and not”Portuguese-American“or ‘Portuguese American’,” he said. “That’s why we’re trying step by step to protect our heritage on the outskirts of Los Angeles, one of the greatest cities in the world.”
Artesia was one of the stops during President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s visit to California, which was the largest head of state trip since Mario Soares welcomed West Coast communities 33 years ago.
The hall received the President during the Festa dos Santos Populares, which he organizes every year in September and this time also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Banda Filarmónica de Artesia. Dozens of musicians and dancers marched through the atrium, singing songs in Portuguese, as residents alternated between clapping their hands and tasting sardines. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa exchanged words and took pictures with the Portuguese Americans. “It’s unusual, the president is always with the people,” Steve Miranda, president of the board of Artesia DES, told DN. “I think it touched everyone’s hearts.”
Zeto Carvalho, adviser to the Azores diaspora and head of SATA Air Açores, stressed the same. “This event is important and of great importance, because the emigrants feel welcome when the president comes here and demonstrates what he has shown here, this affection,” he told DN.
The president promised a visit in 2018 and is doing so this week, at a time when ties between California and Portugal are stronger than ever.
“The Portuguese presence in California, on the one hand, combines exemplary integration, and on the other hand, the spirit of association and connection with Portugal, which is in full view,” said Consul General of Portugal in San Francisco Pedro Pinto. . “Today Portugal is here.”
Located about thirty kilometers from downtown Los Angeles, Artesia has a Portuguese community of several thousand, mostly from the Azores. Surnames such as Rodriguez or Silva are often seen on the shutters of the villas around the hall, and the nearby church of Sagrada Familia still holds a weekly Mass in Portuguese led by Father Luis Proenza.
“Divino Espírito Santo de Artesia, in existence for nearly 100 years, continues to be a model community in the state with the largest Portuguese presence in the US,” said Jimmy Enes. California is, in fact, the state where the most Portuguese – 347 thousand. Accompanied by deputies Eurico Brillante Diaz (PS), Joao Moura (PSD), Rui Paulo Sousa (Enough) and Pedro Filipe Soares (BE), this delegation visits several of these communities, from San Diego and Artesia to San Jose, San Francisco, Gustin and Turlock.
The geographic dispersion in the giant state and the considerable distance to Portugal, with a single direct 10-hour TAP flight between San Francisco and Lisbon, makes maintaining connections difficult. Therefore, the president especially noted the work of the Portuguese salons in California, including Artesia.
“I am happy because you are a great example. So far away from Portugal, you are Portugal,” the President said in a speech almost entirely in English. “We want you to be Portuguese living in the United States, as Americans, never forget that you are Portuguese,” he continued. “I am so proud of you and this association. What you do here year after year.”
The head of state highlighted the number of young people in the Philharmonic Orchestra and in the hall, as attracting new generations of Portuguese descendants is one of the issues that most concern the communities. And he talked about the importance of learning the language, “the fifth most spoken in the world,” which is a constant demand of community leaders.
“We have to improve our Portuguese language skills,” he stressed, pointing to the work being done with the new superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Portuguese Alberto Carvalho, who was present at the event.
The Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, Paulo Cafofo, who encouraged associations to apply for new support for associativism, also mentioned this aspect. “The Portuguese government is actively promoting the Portuguese language,” he assured.
For Paula Rocha Diaz, a Portuguese translator who emigrated to Oceanside for 14 years, this is a key moment. “I would like to strengthen the teaching of Portuguese so that the children who grow up here do not lose the language, as happened to my daughter,” he told DN. “Today, for the first time, she said that she was a Portuguese-American,” she said, demonstrating her emotion at being able to sing the Portuguese anthem with her compatriots. “I liked that the president reminded us that we are all part of the Portuguese pride and even though we are far away, Portugal is still in our hearts.”
According to Steve Miranda, with an estimated turnout of 500 to 700 people, the party at Artesia “was a huge success”. Necessary: ”We need to create this enthusiasm so that the younger ones continue to engage in our culture.”
The President understood the task, giving out hugs and listening to the numerous stories of emigrants. “Where the Portuguese is, there is Portugal,” he said. “Wherever we go, we take our soul, our traditions with us.”
Gratitude. It seems that the attacker Cristiano Ronaldo shared his social media with Portuguese fans after a clash with Czech goalkeeper Vaclik. In the auction, the assailant received a cut on his face and needed a bandage to stop the bleeding.
“Great game, important team win! We remain focused on our goal. Thanks to the Portuguese public for the fantastic support,” the striker wrote on his Instagram account.
The match was marked by a great performance Portugal national team, who beat the Czech Republic 4-0 to take the lead in Nations League Group 2 with ten points with one matchday to go in the group stage of the tournament. Cristiano Ronaldo ended up losing to his team.
After the match, the leader of the Portuguese national team appreciated the result achieved on the road. “It was a very important victory and all teammates should be congratulated on the result,” commented the 37-year-old striker.
With three wins, one draw and one defeat, the Portuguese team has the best attack in their group with eleven goals scored and a net difference of nine. The team is one draw away from qualifying for the tournament series. The next match against Spain is next Tuesday in the city of Braga.
Thomas Gouveia solidified his status as the best Portuguese in the Swiss Challenge this Saturday by finishing the penultimate day of the second European round robin in a group of 31st placed golfers.
Thomas Gouveia hit the card with 73 shots, one over par on the course, after two birdies (one under par hole) and three bogeys (one over), after making 71 shots in the previous two days for a total of 215.
Thomas Bessa needed 75 hits, three over par and tied for scarecrows, he finished 48th with 218 total, five short of Vitor Lopez, 60th with 223, after today needs 78, with just one bird . to fit five scarecrows and a double scarecrow.
The Swiss Challenge, which concludes on Sunday in Folgensburg, France, is still led by France’s Chung Veon Ko with a total of 206 shots, one short of Denmark’s Martin Simonsen in second place.