I have learned about their food. I have learned about their work, their feasts and festivals, their space (Fall River), and their motivations for coming to this country. I have learned about their culture. I also think that in the process, as least a little bit, I have learned about the way the Portuguese think, their internal logic.
There is a term, saudade, that the Portuguese say resides in their blood. The word is roughly analogous to “longing” and comes from deep within the heart. I think this term has a lot to do with what is going on in the Portuguese mind, of the minds of those in Fall River. The first immigrants longed for a better life and left their beloved homeland in search of this. They arrived and established their own space in Fall River, a new home. Though they did not forget their native land. These new immigrants sought to establish new lives in Fall River incorporating Portuguese tradition. They brought with them their food, festivals, agrarian roots, and work ethic.