Portuguese celebrations just distract from real concerns
I write this today hurt and upset over what continues to seem like distractions to what actually matters to children of immigrants in Bermuda.
While I see many happy to see an Azores team come to Bermuda and a Portuguese holiday in November, I remain with my opinion that this means nothing.
My sister, my brother and I were all born in Bermuda to Portuguese parents who came here in 1987. Yet only one of us is Bermudian, only one of us has a right to vote — my brother and I do not and we are not Bermudian.
We are treated as second-rate citizens in a country that we were born and raised in. I use my example but there are hundreds who struggled for many years to remain on an island that they were born in.
This is all we know. I don’t know Azores, yet I can buy a house there tomorrow. I have more rights in a country I have never lived in than I do in Bermuda. Yet I am supposed to support this Portuguese holiday; I am supposed to be happy.
While I see people I went to high school with have to leave because their parents came two weeks too late or the parents couldn’t pass on their permanent resident’s certificate papers, lives completely changed and sometimes were destroyed. I for one, still live in Bermuda.
My brother, however, did not want to wait one year for the immigration department in Bermuda to say you can remain in the country that you were born in.
He left. He now lives in Europe and happily has rights in places he wasn’t born in. And while it hurts me and I dearly miss my brother, who I believe will never come back to Bermuda, I am happy for him.
I, on the other hand, got married to an American who now has been waiting almost one year for a spousal letter and who cannot work because she married a PRC holder, not a Bermudian. I feel the stress, I feel the pain, I see her hurt. I feel stupid when people say: “Well, how are you not Bermudian when you were born here?”
Well, this is the Bermuda we live in; where you can be born here but can easily be sent to a country you don’t know.
So, me as a person who was born here, but absolutely loves his Portuguese culture and family, I will not support football games, holidays or smiling faces from any government that continues to fail this country in more ways than one.