Two weeks ago we received in the mail the questionnaire for the census. It's better than last time, when race and ethnic ancestry were somewhat a blurry territory. Now the census bureaucracy recognizes that you can be of Latino origin but of any race: White, Asian, American-Indian, Black, or mixed race.
After giving it some thought, I decided that I was Latino. Of course I am Latino, being of Portuguese origin. All the people who speak Latin-derived languages, such as French, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Catalan and Portuguese are Latinos, right? That's why all those countries down South are called Latin America.
"Not so", says the census. Today a friend send me an e-mail with news. Brazilian-Americans are not seen by the census as Latinos. The word "Latino" and the word "Hispanic" are used as synonyms; because we don't speak Spanish, we are non-Hispanic -- thus we are not Latinos!
"As employed by the Census Bureau, Hispanic or Latino does not include Brazilian Americans, and specifically refers to "Spanish culture or origin"; Brazilian Americans appear as a separate ancestry group. The twenty-eight Hispanic or Latino American groups in the Census Bureau's reports are the following: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican Republic; Central American: Costa Rican, Guatemalan, Honduran, Nicaraguan, Panamanian, Salvadoran, Other Central American; South American: Argentinian, Bolivian, Chilean, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Paraguayan, Peruvian, Uruguayan, Venezuelan, Other South American; Other Hispanic or Latino: Spaniard, Spanish, Spanish American, All other Hispanic. "
O gênio sem ventura e o amor sem brilho!
Olavo Bilac - Poesias -1888
The last flower of Lazio, uncultivated and beautiful,
you are, at the same time, splendor and sepulcher:
native gold, that in impure minerals
the brute mine amid gravel hides...
I love you like this, unknown and obscure.
Tube of high resonance, simple lyre,
You have the rumble and the hiss of the storm,
the longing and tenderness of a lullaby!
I love your rustic vigor and your fragance
of virgin woods and large ocean!
I love you, oh rude and painful language,
from which I heard of maternal voice "my son!"
from which Camões cried, in bitter exile,
the genius without fortune and the love without brilliance!
1 - Portuguese is referred to in the poem as the last flower of Lazio, the region of Italy where Latin language and civilization originated, thus the place from which all the romance languages came from.
2 -is Portugal's equivalent of Shakespeare, who wrote in the 16th century.
3 - The translation of the poem was by me.
More info about Brazilian Portuguese: