Hi. I am Brazilian-American. Born to a part Native North American mother and Brazilian father.
I grew up thinking that I was Indian, due to my family's influence. Until, that is, that I learned that in the U.S., one must have legal documents that designate one as native American.
My brother and I carry 'enough' indigenous blood to qualify for this legal definition. But, what REALLY allows one to confidently to say that one is native (U.S.) American is to have a tribal culture. Several generations back, my family broke away from the tribal logbook.
So, according to Anglo-American litigious parlance, I am not 'legally' an Indian, although I could, with some effort, reclaim this "legal" title to the word. My father is Brazilian. I grew up in brazil. I am a citizen of both the US and Brazil. I live here in a North American anglicized culture in which one must find a label to define myself, if one is not white. I am mestizo, and have never identified myself as 'white' although an anthropologist may disagree. As a teenager, I began to notice the term 'Hispanic' as one of those categories one can check off on forms, and I looked up the word in the dictionary.
This was about 12 years ago. It said something to the effect of : reference to Hispania, Roman name of Iberian Peninsula; person of Spanish and/or Portuguese ancestry YES. THAT IS IT. So, for another chunk of time I reveled in my re-claimed identity which acknowledges the great possible mix of indigenous American, black, white, and ? heritage with ancestry in at least AMERICA and HISPANIA (A.K.A. the Iberian Peninsula). I do acknowledge the limitations of the term HISPANIC (i.e.. Mexicans of primarily indigenous descent prefer not to be principally defined by the colonizing power (as I also preferably do not)). I acknowledge that increasingly, the term HISPANIC is associated with SPANISH/America; and this is reflected in current dictionaries, which tend to now leave out the Portuguese aspects of the history of the term HISPANIA. I acknowledge that some prefer the term LATINO, as more inclusive.
I presume that this term refers to the Latin American peoples of Central America (and Mexico) and South America. But LATINO is a problematic term, as Italians and French and Romanians should also be able to use the term LATINO as it implies Latin heritage (although they generally do not, as there is a tacit understanding that LATINO is a truncated form of LATINO AMERICANO).
THUS, To date, I find the term HISPANIC most useful to define the people of "LATIN AMERICA". With few exceptions, these countries were colonized by the 2 countries of the Iberian Peninsula (previously known as HISPANIA), Portugal and Spain. I acknowledge that Brazilians have historically espoused a "we're different" attitude. I acknowledge that HISPANIC is a categorical term developed in the U.S. (thus many non-U.S. associated Latin Americans have never even heard of the work Hispanic!!!) I suggest that there are many, many, categories of "HISPANICS" (Cubans, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans...).
I am comfortable with considering LUSOPHONES to be one of the many flavors/categories of the Hispanic culture. Latin America has great economic potential for growth in the future.
This greatness may be realized through an economic union not unlike that of the European Union.
The economic market unity of Latin America would be expedited if it's member countries' citizens could celebrate their own cultural differences and more importantly, recognize a key unifying historical thread that runs throughout the geographic region-it's historical association with the Iberian Peninsula.
This is why, as a Brazilian-American, I choose to be comfortable with being a Lusophone HISPANIC.
Maria Pontes Ferreira, MS, RD Smith College, Picker Engineering Program, 51 College Lane Northampton, MA 01063.
I was intrigued by the comments posted regarding the question are we Hispanic or Portuguese? I am a Brazilian National who resides in the U.S., I have always been confused by the Hispanic term and have at times categorized myself as Hispanic due to misunderstanding; however after doing some research on the census website I came up with the following web sites:-- http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/CodeList/SSAll/2000/Hispanic.htm
--I would like to share the following passage, which was obtained at this site: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/ahs/appa.html
The classification "Hispanic" refers to the origin of the householder occupying the housing unit. Hispanic origin was determined on the basis of a question that asked for self-identification of persons living in the unit who were Hispanic or Spanish American. There is no intent to include people of Brazilian or Portuguese ancestry. Hispanic persons may be of any race. Most identify themselves as white or black, as shown in table 2-1. Data on Hispanic households shown in AHS reports are collected in the 50 States and the District of Columbia, and therefore do not include households living in Puerto Rico.
I hope it helps! Abraços, Marcelo Liborio dos Santos
As many have already referred, Hispania is another name for the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, it's an older name, and in a way more accurate (Hispania comes from, if I'm not mistaken, Phoenician, and describes the peninsula itself). Iberia comes from the Greek and simply refers to a people that lived in the south of the peninsula). Spaniard is someone from the peninsula. Spain takes its name from the peninsula. A Hispanic is, in its true significance, an Iberian. *Unfortunately, it seems that Hispanic, in the US, stands for someone who not only comes from South America, but that has a certain skin color. In current times, Latin countries are those that speak languages derived from Latin. That's primarily Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and France. Naturally, former colonies of Portugal and Spain, using Portuguese or Spanish as their languages. Brazil and Peru, for instance, are Latin countries. So is Angola and Mozambique. The "race" associated with "Hispanics," in the significance it's given in the US, refers to a "race" that is essentially Native American (like, say, the descendents of the Aztecs); mixed with white and in some cases black populations. In Portugal and Spain one can say that there are two essential blood lines: the White bloodline and the not-so-white bloodline of the Moors. But the Arabic bloodline is now greatly assimilated, as is the Jewish bloodline. The Portuguese and Spanish languages are greatly similar. In fact, there's a language in Spain, Gallegos, which is considered to be a Portuguese dialect. Portuguese is not a Castilian dialect. Portugal is not a Spanish province or region. Portuguese are Hispanic, Latin and White. Their not, however, Hispanic as is the racial and geographical definitions of this word in the US. Portuguese and Spanish share, to a great degree, the same origins. If we're picky, we can make the following division: In Galicia and Northern Portugal, the pre-roman Celtic heritage is stronger. After the fall of the Roman Empire. While the rest of the peninsula was invaded by the Visigoths, what is, roughly, today�s Galicia and Northern Portugal was invaded by the Suevi. Later, the Suevi's kingdom was dominated and ruled by the Iberian Visigoths, but there wasn't a mix between the two races and cultures. Bottom line is: Portuguese are Latin because their language and culture derive from the Roman language and culture. If you're born in continental Portugal, you're Hispanic because you were born in the Hispanic Peninsula. You're Iberian because you were born in the Iberian Peninsula. You can say you're a Lusitanian. If you're white, you're white. If you're not white, you're not white. Skin colors don't care about nationality.-- email@example.com-