Between fado and cloves, the quiet (but changing) integration of the Portuguese into Switzerland

Between fado and cloves, the quiet (but changing) integration of the Portuguese into Switzerland
Read also: For the Portuguese in Switzerland, the clove heritage is in danger

Advanced migration

“With the Portuguese, Switzerland won the lottery,” a migration researcher said sarcastically a few years ago. Our country found itself faced with an influx of workers who were considered serious and hardworking, and who did not even dream of a passport with a white cross or a permanent settlement. Whatever pleases you, from left to right. Their integration took place without major clashes, as happened with the Swiss carnations, and with a calmness that reflects the gentleness that brought democracy to Portugal.

This diaspora, which relied on the local community and was keen on folklore, is no longer what it was. It is less homogeneous, and even full of contradictions. The fruit of the revolution, Vote From Here for the Portuguese elections, has remained cohesive, known to belong to the left, and fuels the trade unions. This is no longer true. Children and grandchildren have chosen to return to the Tagus and the modern Portuguese economy. The balance of migration has been negative since 2017. These communities here today reflect the differences of opinion in Portugal, to the point of seeing a large portion of Lusitanians in Switzerland voting, for example, for the extremists of the Chiga party. We can think what we want, but it is also possible to see it as a sign of integration that has managed to continue to reflect Portuguese developments. Sort of a Fado version of “If you don't go to Europe, Europe will come to you.”

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About the Author: Germano Álvares

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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