Becoming Portuguese-Hawaiian

Immigrants assimilated into Hawaiian Society

To further their assimilation, the Portuguese set aside the language and culture of Portugal.

Year:  1878

Few returned to the Portuguese islands, and to the disappointment of the planters, very few renewed their contracts. While the planters were impressed and pleased with the Portuguese immigrant workers, the owners had established policies that precluded the promotion of Portuguese workers to levels higher than a first level supervisor. This lasted for many years, so workers left to pursue better opportunities.

Where available, some workers rented land or obtained homesteads sometimes to cultivate sugar cane to be sold to the mills. Others established ranches and dairies. Some found jobs on the islands where they had worked, many moved to Honolulu to find jobs, and many others moved to California, thought to be the new "Terra Nova" where better jobs were plentiful.

The Portuguese churches, Holy Ghost brotherhoods, and benevolent societies maintained the culture and traditions of their homeland such as Lusitania, San Antonio and Court Camões. The Holy Ghost societies conducted annual festivals that encouraged people to help the poor; the benevolent societies provided insurance coverage for illness, disability, and death while promoting social interaction.

To further their assimilation in Hawaii, the Portuguese set aside the language and culture of Portugal. With advanced education, the generations that followed the immigrants prospered in a wide range of professions and jobs. Many entered politics. The movement of Portuguese and other ethnic groups to California has continued due to the greater potential of university degrees and job opportunities.

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