The Portuguese-American community in the United States is celebrating June ‘Month of Portugal’ to honor 900 years of Portuguese history and the friendship between Portugal and the United States.
Organized by the Embassy of Portugal in Washington and the many Portuguese Consulates in the United States, in partnership with many Portuguese community based organizations, the celebrations will feature cultural, artistic, economic and scientific events taking place across the country, coast to coast, in 60 cities in 12 states.
This year, by decision of the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the traditional ‘Day of Portugal’ will be incorporated in the celebrations of June ‘Month of Portugal’ in the United States. Professor Onésimo Teotónio de Almeida was designated by the President of Portugal to preside over the celebrations.
Accordingly, the traditional ‘Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities’ will be concurrently observed on June 10 in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, and Boston Massachusetts with an additional event in Providence Rhode Island. Both events will be president by the President of Portugal travelling to the United States to complete the official program in Boston.
In Boston, for the special one-day festivities, the President of Portugal will be accompanied by Prime Minister António Costa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos and Vasco Cordeiro the President of the Government of the Azores.
In a prepared statement for the occasion, the President of Portugal remarked:
Portugal was the first neutral country to recognize the independence of the United States of America. From that moment on a close alliance between the two countries was forged. Today and tomorrow – like it was in the past – the relations with the USA are and will continue to be a priority axis of the Portuguese Foreign Policy. We are linked geographically by the Atlantic, with the Azores being the first European port in the North Atlantic. We are also connected by the values that shape the transatlantic space. But most of all what brings us closer is the human dimension of a partnership built day by day by the one and half million American citizens who identify themselves as being of Portuguese origin. The activities of June – Month of Portugal in the USA are meant for them. It is a way of expressing how proud Portugal is of them and how thankful we are for their work in turning this alliance unbreakable and unshakable.
As part of the commemorations of the Day of Portugal, the School Ship NRP Sagres will visit the Atlantic East Coast, between May 28 and June 14, on a mission dedicated to young Americans and Canadians of Portuguese heritage who will be allowed to board the vessel.
The Day of Portugal is a national holiday celebrated by the Portuguese nation every year on June 10. Officially designated ‘Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities’ [Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas], the date also celebrates the life of Luís de Camões, Portugal national poet.
For the Portuguese people living abroad, Portugal day is the time to display their heritage and ethnic pride. It is estimated that over 5 million Portuguese nationals live abroad, about 1.4 million living in the United States, with a large percentage coming from the Azores. Presently, there are sizable Portuguese American communities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, California, and Hawaii. The total resident population of Portugal is estimated at 10,560,000.
PAJ.Carolina Matos.Editor. Story developing and being updated.
Full program for ‘Portugal Month’ @ Portugal-US Chamber of Commerce.