What winning the Euro 2016 really means to Portugal
I need to let this out, even if I should not be allowed to speak anything else but Portuguese right now. My beautiful language is “only” the 6th most widely spoken worldwide and I need to shout beyond that!
To be Portuguese is to long for something that we achieved in the past; something (at least seen as) great, and in a past turned into nostalgia. Our nation lives in the memory of sea heroes which we stubbornly think we may never become again.
We’ve been a Republic for over a century. We had four decades of dictatorship, ended with a peaceful revolution. We had a colonial war and I grew up with my father’s stories from two years in Mozambique. Thousands of people across generations left Portugal and settled in other countries, mainly France. The 10th of June is Portugal Day, when much of this is remembered.