Here some more "wood"' for the discussion. Hispanic and latino is not the same definition. Fernando Portugal adopted the word "Lusitanic", or "Lusitanian" to refer to its culture and people, in reference to the Lusitanians, one of the first Indo-European tribes to settle in Europe. From this tribe's name had derived the name of the Roman province of Lusitania, which was a part of Roman province of Hispania, and Lusitania remains Portugal's name in Latin. The expansion of the Spanish Empire between 1492 and 1898 brought thousands of Spanish migrants to the conquered lands, creating a large settlement that stretches all over the world and producing several multiracial populations. The term Hispanic is sometimes applied to the populations of these places. This is not necessarily so for people of Portuguese ancestry. For instance, Portuguese Americans are not considered "Hispanic" by the United States Census Bureau. Definitions in the United States The terms Hispanic and Latino tend to be used interchangeably in the United States for people with origins in Spanish–speaking countries. Latino, from American Spanish, is used in some cases as an abbreviation for latinoamericano, "Latin American". In some Hispanophone countries, Hispanic and Latino are not commonly used. The 1970 Census was the first time that a "Hispanic" identifier was used and data collected with the question. The definition of "Hispanic" has been modified in each successive census. The 2000 Census asked if the person was "Spanish/Hispanic/Latino". The U.S. Office of Management and Budget currently defines "Hispanic or Latino" as "a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race". This definition excludes people of Portuguese origins, such as Portuguese Americans and Brazilian Americans. However, they are included in some government agencies' definitions. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation defines Hispanic to include, "persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central or South American, or others Spanish or Portuguese culture or origin, regardless of race." This definition has been adopted by the Small Business Administration as well as many federal, state, and municipal agencies for the purposes of awarding government contracts to minority owned businesses. Still other government agencies adopt definitions that exclude people from Spain. Some others include people from Brazil, but not Spain or Portugal. Further information: Racial demographics of the United States and Race and ethnicity in the United States Census and History of Latinos and Hispanics in the United States.
Fernando G. Rosa
I would like if I may, to add my voice to this forum. Please notice I wrote voice and not opinion as my statement is based on fact. Portuguese people are simply Lusitanians! Lusitania and Portucalense are the original names of areas known today as Portugal. Hispania was the name given to our neighbor, known today as Spain. FYI-Galicia and Portucalense were once part of the Kingdom of Leon, which was primarily made up of Visigoths and Osgoths (Germanic tribes) mixed with Celtics (CeltIberians) and some Roman aka Latin. Todays' borders of Portugal and Spain do not reflect old Iberia's different races and cultures. The South of Iberia (today's south of Portugal and south of Spain) was highly influenced and mixed with moors, south of Spain especially more so as it took the Kings of Castille an additional 400 years to free their south from the Moors. After reading the postings in this forum, it is easy to realize where the confusion of Hispanic and Lusitanian begins. Notice that every person who was born in Portugal or is 100% Portuguese descendant, has vehemently and correctly stated they are not Hispanic or Latino. They are of course, well aware of their history and true culture and thus rightly so want to defend them. I read somewhere, that Portuguese are a people who are both proud of their history and very knowledgeable about it when compared to people of other nationalities and their knowledge of their respective nations' history. We come from a small country who is constantantly having to fight not be erased from the "history map" in spite of all its contributions to the world (and those of us who know our history know that that fight started with our first hero, the Celtic Viriato fighting the Romans). We now have to fight not be confused not only with another country, but with people from another continent! The people who claim Portuguese lineage and argue that Portuguese are Hispanic, such as Denis Medeiros, may have Portuguese genetics in them, but those who know and live the Portuguese culture can rightly tell this gentleman he has no right to force his opinion on a Portuguese as to how a Portuguese should consider himself or herself to be. Culturally, Mr. Medeiros you are not Portuguese. You probably like many Portuguese grew up in a community that benefited from close contact with a culture that has some similar aspects to ours, including religion, which provided a sense of relief when exposed to a culture very different from the Portuguese. As it requires less adjustments for a Portuguese to assimilate the Hispanic culture than the American, with the passing of time, it is easier to focus on the points that are similar between the Portuguese and the Hispanic (the same happens if living next to the French in Quebec, or next to American Italians). The cultural differences are forgotten. Thus, those who became "Hispanified" and have lost their Portuguese identity can in all honesty state they feel Hispanic. That's fine with me, go ahead and check Hispanic in your government forms, but please do not mention anywhere you are Portuguese, because you are not so culturally. Don't get me wrong, technically you are still not Hispanic,unless you have lineage from one of the countries that were once Spanish colonies. You as a person, your family perhaps, adopted another culture. So you feel Hispanic. However, you are still not descendant from Hispanic if your lineage is completely Portuguese and you should technically check European. Other Portuguese eventually just adopt the American culture and simply become Americans whose ancestry is European. So the answer is very clear, those who feel Portuguese, should check European as Portugal is a country in Western Europe. Those who are American, with Portuguese ancestry will need to check European, your family was the one who moved, not Portugal. Portugal stayed in Europe. If your family is mixed and Portuguese is in your lineage as well, you have a perfect right to check one of your races as European as well. If your family also came from Spain and not Latin America you should also check Europe and not Hispanic. As Hispanic refers to people descendant of or related to Spaniards or Spanish people it is proper to be used only for those people who are a result of the mixing of Spanish and the people from the Spanish colonies. The term Hispanic was coined in the US to refer to people from countries which were colonized by the Spanish. To deny these facts will not change their veracity. Last, the color of the Portuguese is reflected in every nation in Europe, some may have higher numbers of one or another, but it is spread throughout the whole continent. Europe was a melting pot at one time that melted and now is melting again :) as recently we have had a great influx of people from other continents. Just know that the Portuguese come in every Shape, Size and Shade. US is still in the first melting pot stages thus still feels the need to identify the different cultures coming together. It will become a more difficult process as times goes by and as the majority of people will become unable to identify their particular ancestry or will have too many to list. Thus the practice will disappear making this sort of conversation totally amusing to our grandchildren in the US who will only shake their heads and wonder what the fuss was about and to our Portuguese grandchildren it will make them proud that we stated and acknowledged the truth.
Muito obrigada, Maria Eugenia