What is Portuguese?

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: November 2003 Archive: What is Portuguese?
By Calculuscrazy (Calculuscrazy) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 10:58 pm: Edit

I am curious. I have Portuguese heritage. And I don't know what to call myself. My ancestors came from the Azores Islands which really are not part of Europe. They do not even call themselves Europeans. They call themselves Azorean. The thing is, in the Azores there is a people who are really a mix of African/Hispanic/White. They say that in a Portuguese person, all the races are reflected, because the Portuguese have never been racial. There have been records of biracial marriages for centuries, especially in the Azores. What should I do? These biracial marriages for so long make it difficult to tell whether I have African heritage or not. My grandfather certainly looks like he could have some. Should I mark other and say "Azorean"? Any advice?

By Sidestoner (Sidestoner) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:04 pm: Edit

If you Portuguese can be considered the same as your Iberian cousins, the Spanish, then your race is white/caucasian and you have hispanic(or portueguese?) ethnicity. Does that help? I wouldn't mark other and say "Azorean." To the uninformed it might sound like you've spent too much time playing nerdy RPG's.

By Metz (Metz) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:07 pm: Edit

Hispanic is not a reference to Spain (that would still be white), but to the countries south of the US. You're considered black if you are ONE HALF black. Unless you know you're 1/2 black, don't say so.

By Calculuscrazy (Calculuscrazy) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:09 pm: Edit

Yes, that does help, and that is what I was thinking. I am just curious, since there are black Azoreans out there. Would they claim that their race was white/caucasian? My only point is that the Azores really are just a Portuguese colony. Somewhat like the islands in the Caribeean were to the French or English. Whatever. I will probably just mark white/caucasian anyways. Thanks!!! :-D Any other opinions on this?

By Calculuscrazy (Calculuscrazy) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:10 pm: Edit

okay. that helps :-D thanks!!!

By Sidestoner (Sidestoner) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:20 pm: Edit

Don't feel compelled to get too detailed. I, for example, will simply chech White/Caucasian. I will not check "other" and write in: 3/8 Irish, 1/8 German, 1/4 English, and 1/4 Norwegian.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:38 am: Edit

Sorry Metz but that is quite incorrect:

As far as the Hispanic, I can understand your confusion.

1. The definition of the word "Hispanic" as used by the White House, clearly shows that the Portuguese are not to be considered Hispanic. It defines "Hispanic" as "a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race."

2. The Census Bureau also advised that the Portuguese should not choose "Hispanic" in the census. Therefore, when filling out the Census, the Portuguese should pick "not of Hispanic origin" in the ethnicity question just like all other non-Hispanics, and "white" in the race question, since "white" people are to be defined as people "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East."

3. However, not all departments of the government seem to agree with the White House on how to classify the Portuguese culture. In the Library of Congress for example, Portuguese culture is located under the "Hispanic Division." Portuguese-American Congressman Tony Coelho was listed under the "Hispanic-Americans in Congress" section.

4. There is no difference anymore between terms like Latinos and Hispanics. The definitions are ridiculous. Are the 150 millions Brazilians NOT latinos?

5. Websters’ used to define the word Hispanic as meaning "relating to or derived from the speech or culture of Spain or of Spain and Portugal."

6. For every expert claiming Portugal is not Hispanic since they do not speak Spanish, you'll find another claiming the opposite since both Spain and Portugal form the Iberic Peninsula and were part of Hispania.

My conclusion on this ... if you have portguese heritage -that is your call - you could mark the OTHER hispanic box without hesitation! If the Library of Congress can assimilate the two cultures and races, so can YOU. And you have plenty of history to support your claim

PS In case you had some doubts

Anthony Coelho was born on June 15, 1942 in Los Baños, Merced County, California. His grandparents were Portuguese immigrants. He attended public schools in Dos Palos, California and in 1964 earned a B.A. degree from Loyola University in Los Angeles.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus by Congress

99th Congress 1985-1986
Bill Richardson (D-NM) - Chairman January- September 1985
Matthew G. Martinez (D-CA) - Chairman September 1985- September 1986
Esteban E. Torres (D-CA) - began Chairmanship September 1986
Ben Blaz (R-Guam)- (begin in 1986)
Albert G. Bustamante (D-TX)
Tony Coelho (D-CA)- (begin in 1986)
E. (Kika) de la Garza (D-TX)
Ron de Lugo (D-VI)
Jaime B. Fuster (D-PR)
Robert Garcia (D-NY)-
Henry B. Gonzalez (D-TX)
Manuel Lujan, Jr. (R-NM)
Solomon P. Ortiz (D-TX)
Edward R. Roybal (D-CA)

100th Congress 1987-1988
Esteban E. Torres (D-CA) - Chairman January- September 1987
Albert G. Bustamante (D-TX) - Chairman September 1987- September 1988
Jaime B. Fuster (D-PR) - began Chairmanship in September 1988
Ben Blaz (R-Guam)
Tony Coelho (D-CA)
E. (Kika) de la Garza (D-TX)
Ron de Lugo (D-VI)
Robert Garcia (D-NY)
Manuel Lujan, Jr. (R-NM)
Matthew G. Martinez (D-CA)
Solomon P. Ortiz (D-TX)
Bill Richardson (D-NM)
Edward R. Roybal (D-CA)

By Metz (Metz) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:52 am: Edit

From Dictionary.com:
1. Of or relating to Spain or Spanish-speaking Latin America.
2. Of or relating to a Spanish-speaking people or culture.
3. A Spanish-speaking person.
4. A U.S. citizen or resident of Latin-American or Spanish descent.

There seem to be TWO different concepts of Hispanics:
1. Someone of Spanish decent
2. Someone of Latin American Spanish decent

Either way, this doesn't include Portugal. It's one thing to include the Portuegese of Brazil, but I don't see how you can consider people from Portugal hispanic when filling out a college app. Don't you think it would be strange that there are randomly TWO European countries (Spain & Portugal but none others) that count as AA candidates? Especially when quite a lot of college apps use ther term "Latino" or "Hispanic/Latino." I personally think it's evident that they are referring to Latin Americans not people from the Iberian Peninsula.

By Metz (Metz) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:54 am: Edit

BTW, if there is a "multicultural" checkbox, just check that one. That would probably be the most accurate.

By Calculuscrazy (Calculuscrazy) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 01:56 am: Edit

My ancestors are not from the Iberian Peninsula....they are from the Azores....that is far in the middle of Atlantic....and is not connected to Europe save that Portugal rules it.....oh well.......thanks for your help! I'm still deciding what I should do. :-)

By Metz (Metz) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 02:42 am: Edit

Ahhhh...I just looked up where it is...That's a tough one. It's a random island in the middle of no where. Maybe you should just put other or multicultural, and explain the situation.

By Lvdad (Lvdad) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 05:47 am: Edit

Calculuscrazy, My family is also from the Azores Islands (the island of Sao Miguel to be exact)and my wife is from the the continent. You probably didn't think there were many of us out there did you? Where are you from? Your question is an interesting one, but keep in mind, though there are many Azoreans who will respond that they are from the Azores rather than Portugal, the Azores are considered part of Portugal, even though its government enjoys some elements of autonomy that other parts of Portugal do not. My daughter is in the process of college applications, and has checked into this. We have been told that Portuguese, includng the Azores, are not considered Hispanic. Having said all that, I would think that you should feel free to elaborate on your cultural background where possible as part of your applications. I know firsthand that there are many unique cultural attributes to the Azores that set them apart from other parts of Portugal. Hope this helps. Good luck!

By Goin2college04 (Goin2college04) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:33 pm: Edit

my friend had the same problem too. She called the admissions board and they said that people from Spain and Portugal do count as Hispanics

By Got2go (Got2go) on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 03:07 pm: Edit

Why shouldn't they count as Hispanics?

Italians should also be counted as Latinos, being the original Latins.

...and since Belgium and part of Holland were Spanish territories in the 16th century, just like Central America, Dutch and Belgians should also be allowed to be classified as Hispanic.

...as well as anyone living in California, Texas, Florida, etc, etc.

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