Ceremony in Coventry in honor of the Portuguese holiday | Coventry Courier – Low Calorie Diets Tips

COVENTRY – A green and red flag flies outside Coventry Town Hall in celebration of Portuguese culture and traditions and the heritage shared by many in the Pawtuxet Valley.

“It is an honor and a privilege to stand here and raise the flag in the city where I live,” Ana Isabel dos Reis-Couto, president of the RI Day of Portugal Committee 2022, told a small crowd on Wednesday , who had gathered on the lawn of City Hall for a flag-raising ceremony.

Dos Reis-Couto, who was born in Portugal and immigrated to the United States around the age of 15, is proud to be part of the local Portuguese community, she added.

“We are doctors, we are lawyers, we are landscapers, we are farmers, we are nurses,” she continued. “We are part of the fabric of Rhode Island and the cities and communities in which we live.”

Portugal Day, held annually on June 10th, commemorates the death in 1580 of the poet Luís Vaz de Camões, best known for his epic poem Os Lusíadas, widely considered the most important work of Portuguese literature . The holiday is recognized worldwide, both in Portugal and in the diaspora.

In Rhode Island, Portugal Day has been celebrated for four and a half decades with flag-raising ceremonies and various other events, including a day-long festival.

Providence comes alive this weekend, beginning Friday at 6:00 p.m. with a Day of Portugal opening ceremony at the Statehouse, followed by a torchlight procession. The festival kicks off on Saturday with all sorts of traditional entertainment, dancing and food, and on Sunday the Portugal Day parade begins at 3pm

Local ceremonies are held annually in both Coventry and West Warwick, where a Portuguese flag was raised near the roundabout in front of the Royal Mills on Wednesday morning.

At Wednesday’s event in Coventry, a number of people gathered outside City Hall including Rep. Tom Noret; Chief Frederick J. Heise and Det. Pedro Vieira of Coventry Police Department; and Br. Victor Silva of St. Anthony’s Church.

During the ceremony, Noret spoke briefly about the importance, especially in difficult times, of supporting cultural diversity and preserving traditions for future generations.

“Portuguese culture and traditions are strong in District 25,” Noret said of the Rhode Island district he represents, “and I’m proud to be a part of that culture and traditions.”

Dos Reis-Couto echoed Noret’s sentiments about “being inclusive, being kind, being open, accepting and tolerant of everyone who is different and unique.”

Raising the Portuguese or American flag is an emotional experience for dos Reis-Couto.

“If you lift those [American flag], I feel a connection to the country I live in – the country that brought us together, accepted us and allowed us to shape our lives for a better future,” she said. “And when we hoist the Portuguese flag, it connects me to my homeland.”

The flag is a bridge, she added, between the country she now calls home and what she and her family left behind.

“To be here honoring these two flags is truly indescribable,” she said as both flags fly high overhead, the Portuguese slightly lower than the American.

Also present from Coventry City Council on Wednesday was Council President Ann Dickson and Councilor Hillary Lima.

Dickson said she’s always impressed by the passion dos Reis-Couto and other members of the RI Day of Portugal Committee have for their heritage, adding that the council is happy to support the flag ceremony.

Lima, whose grandfather was from the Azores, said she too was proud to be celebrating culture in Coventry.

Coventry City Manager Benjamin Marchant was previously unaware of any connection to Portugal, adding that he had recently learned through researching his own family history that he also had ancestors from the country.

“To me, that’s a message that it’s so important to embrace our diversity and our cultures,” Marchant said. “We are all citizens of one planet, one world, and we have to love and embrace that because we don’t even know it — we may have connections, and if we embrace that culture, we can embrace our own.”

kgravelle@ricentral.com

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