What does MURICA think of Portugal and their people? I am movin to Houston soon. Thanks guys

I live in Massachusetts.

We have a saying here:

Q: What's the longest bridge in the world?
A: The one that goes from Fall River, Massachusetts to the Azores.

Everyone in Bristol County is named Antionio Silva, or Alfonso Silva, or something. We have fresh salted cod, chouriço and linguiça made every day in our meat markets. Gaspar's is the biggest one, they will mail stuff to you in Texas if you want it. We have the best amateur soccer players in America. We've got great fishing. Most people are Catholic but don't give a shit, even if they're not Portuguese (we're French, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Dominican, Polish, you name it).

And even the palest of us know the difference between Portuguese and Guatamalan and Puerto Rican and Mexican...although many probably don't have the ear to tell you from a Brazilian.

Super Bock and Sagres are easy to find around here. Everyone gets sweet bread from Christmas and folar for Easter. Hell, I don't have a drop of Portuguese blood in me, but my Aunt and three of my cousins married Portuguese guys on my side, and wife's Uncle and cousin married Portuguese women. It's all good.

Plus our little neighboring state to the south, Rhode Island, is something like 10% Portuguese.

If they give you trouble down in Houston, I promise we'll welcome you with open arms up here. We'll even help you find work and connect you with people. We take care of our own.

I'm a son of Catholic immigrants to the US myself. There are almost no Catholics in the 'old south' part of the United States. It's a little weird being down there for us in general. No network. But it's not the end of the world.

Houston is a big town, and there should be enough Mexicans and African-Americans to keep it from being 100% conservative/protestant/pale.

It'd be a lot easier up here. Even in New York where there aren't so many Portuguese, there are a ton of southern Italians and people from everywhere else and nobody would assume anything about you. You'll have to see how it goes in Texas. Most people are English-Americans or German-Americans there. I'd bet most of them have never even heard the Portuguese language.

See, the thing is that in America, things change neighborhood to neighborhood and to some extent ethnic groups based on their country of origin stick together in one spot and work together as a team. That's why we do that thing that pisses Europeans off where Irish-Americans call themselves "Irish" and Italian-Americans call themselves "Italian," even though they only speak English and were born here.

And maybe today in America, "Irish" or "Italian" only means your food is a little different and you celebrate different holidays and you keep small cultural traits, like the Irish-American weariness of conspicuous consumption.

But it was a history of lifting each other up and making neighborhoods "your own" that attached people so strongly to their heritage. You don't simply call yourself "American" for the most part, because you see yourself as a member of one of several competing subgroups that make up America.

I find that many Europeans don't quite understand this until they spend some time here. Over in Europe, Germans are Germans, Brits are Brits, etc. It's hard to fathom why Americans don't generally just call themselves "American" to each other. But it's because we're all a nation of immigrants, except the Native Americans.

You'd have to explain to a German that it's like your grandparents were basically Turks. Or tell a Frenchman that your parents were basically Algerians. Or tell a Brit that your grandparents were basically Indians. Then maybe they'll get the idea.

It's not a perfect analogy. But it's a better one than thinking that in our day to day lives we're all some united thing called "Americans."

Unless we're threatened from the outside. Then, we'll band together and put most of that behind us and kick ass. This is 'Murica after all. Fuck yeah!

But when the war's over and we come home, it's back to competition.

Don't look at Americans as a sold block of people. Look at them as a more loosely-bound patchwork of competing ethnic groups. You'll understand what we're up to and our history a lot better that way.

Houston, Texas is not where your team lives. That's not the end of the world. But it doesn't make things any easier. If you were in the Northeast of the US, the Holy Ghost Society would run scholarships and fundraisers for medical bills and celebrate holidays and do all these things that make life work more easily for Portuguese-Americans. You won't have that down South.

That said, you're not going to be ostracized. It's just going to be a little different, with less of a safety net and community built in, and fewer people who know anything whatsoever about your people and culture.

If there's anything I can help out with, PM me. I'll do what I can.

/r/MURICA Thread