Cape Verde: Where the Frig is That?

November 30, 2007 at 6:18 pm | Posted in Immigration, Life in the US, The Bucket | 3 Comments

Cape Verde is a nation made of up ten islands, located 400 miles off the coast of Senegal.  Colonized in the fifteenth century by Portugal, the country didn’t become independent until 1975. 

Why am I interested in Cape Verde?  Well, I learned from Wikipedia that there are more Cape Verdeans living outside the country than within. 

The largest populations of Cape Verdeans can be found in (in descending order):

  • Cape Verde
  • Brockton, Massachusetts
  • Pawtucket, Rhode Island (a.k.a. The Bucket)

In Woodlawn, the neighborhood that I work in, you can hear people speak Spanish, Wolof, Haitian Creole, Arabic, and English.  But more often than not, you’ll hear Cape Verdean Creole, which sounds slightly familiar to my ears, yet mostly foreign. Their Creole is a mixture of Portuguese and West African dialects. 

One thing I love about The Bucket is the amazing cultural diversity.  And Cape Verdeans add a rich history and fascinating dialect (or set of dialects, actually) to the mix.  Now that I’m here full time, I will be sure to bug people with all my questions about what they’re all about!

For a more articulate (I’m so whipped, but wanted to get something down before I collapsed) intro to Cape Verdeans in Pawtucket, check out the beginning of this article from National Geographic.

My favorite part (just before they cut the article and ask you to subscribe) is about the triste alegria (sad happiness) that Cape Verdeans feel–nostalgia for the place they left, but an understanding of being here for more opportunities–something that most immigrants feel.



RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. There’s a GREAT singer from Cape Verde, her name is Cesaria Evora. She’s better than great. Look for her if you get a chance. She’s recorded with Putamayo and has lots of her own albums.

  2. I LOVE Putamayo albums…always so interesting, and great cocktail party music (if I were the type of person who had cocktail parties!).

    I’ve heard that name, but don’t think I’ve actually listened to her music. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. […] after a brief argument in which three kids yelled about what continent Cape Verde was on which ended in a “fuck you, you don’t know what you’re talking […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: