Mes Amigo 2015 UK - 7 Septiembre / Octubre 12
Day of Independence of Brazil and starting point of the Amigo Month
On 7 of September of 1822 Pedro I declared the independence of Brazil. He was a member of the family of Catarina de Braganza, the Portuguese born Queen of Britain who popularised the tea and the forks in the UK.
When Napoleon conquered Iberia in 1807 he captured the Spanish king but all the Portuguese royal Braganza family escaped to Brazil.
While Hispanic America entered into a process of constant rebellions which ultimately led to the establishment of almost 20 new republics, Brazil remained a strong totalitarian European monarchy.
Brazil achieved its independence as a new Empire. From 1822 until 1889 Brazil was an absolute monarchy which had more African slaves than any other nation in the world’s history. Slavery was only abolished in Brazil 8 decades after the British Empire did so.
Bolívar and all the Hispanic American independence leader were very suspicious of Brazil, an Empire that in its first century conquered lands from almost all its ten neighbours.
While the English, Spanish, French and Dutch American colonises became divided, the former Portuguese American colonies are still united in one single country: Brazil.
Today Brazil comprises half of the South American territory and population. South America is the only continent where Portuguese is the most spoken native tongue. Portuguese is now the most spoken native language amongst people of Black African roots and also in the Southern Hemisphere.
Brazil is no longer the champion of slavery, wars and imperial expansions as it was during its monarchy. It is now the Western hemisphere’s second most populated democracy.
Albeit Brazil is geographically part of Latin America, most Brazilians, like Jamaicans, Haitians and Anglo-speaking Caribbean peoples don’t have a strong Latino identity as the Hispanic Americans.
Brazilians have strong cultural and linguistic links with Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, East Timor, Cape Verde and Sao Tome. Furthermore, there are more people with Angolan descent living in Brazil than in Angola, and Angolans watch more TV programs from Brazil than from any other neighbouring country.
Brazil is now the leading force in the MERCOSUR and the South American Union (UNASUR) that unites 9 Hispanic American countries with English-speaking Guyana and Dutch-speaking Surinam. It is part of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which unites all the 33 independent Latin-speaking and Germanic-speaking countries south of the USA, the Iberian Community of Nations and the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries (CPLP).
Brazil is part of Latin American and the Portuguese-speaking world. The Spanish/Portuguese speaking world is known as Ibero America.
In the UK the 7 of September is the starting date of the Amigo Month.
It is time to remember that the British drink tea and eat with forks thanks of the same family that founded independent Portugal and independent Brazil.