The Patriotic Portu‘geezers’
This week, blogger Desperate Dad comes over all patriotic on us, urging us to celebrate St George’s Day – especially if you’re foreign...
St George’s Day used to be a bit of an event when I was younger.
I’m sure I remember dressing up as dragons or slayers (or both) and charging around the playground without a care in the world of a weekday lunchtime.
Nowadays, it seems to be a bit of a hushed affair, an unspoken celebration in case someone gets the wrong end of the lance somewhere down the line.
It feels like a real shame to me, especially as all the other Patron Saints always get a jolly good toasting on their special days throughout the year.
What’s not to like about celebrating being English? If that’s what you are shouldn’t you be able to shout about and be proud of it? Mark the occasion with a fry-up and a grin?
I guess our family is a little bit different and used to embracing all kinds of cultures - but at the end of the ‘quest’ we have no real choice after all.
With a fiercely passionate Portuguese woman of war for a mummy, my dynamic duo are well versed at bucking the norm.
Being half foreign has lots of benefits of course, guaranteed sunshine holidays, a choice of international football teams to support, and always being arm’s length away from the mother-in-law. But more of the dragon later.
Having such a culturally diverse background from day one has been a godsend for all of us and so probably ‘allows’ us to be even more patriotic than most.
These days I feel as Portuguese as I do English, or British I suppose I should say, if we’re being totally PC.
And although I can still only barely order a half-hearted ‘cerveja’ and mutter wrongly accented please and thank yous, I’ve always been welcomed with open arms into my foreign family.
We feel privileged to be party to our Porto compatriots and wouldn’t have it any other way.
All this European eulogising only adds to our own English enthusiasm of course - as however much we enjoy our Portuguese prances, there’s never, ‘no place quite like home’ is there?
England’s green and pleasant land will always draw us back again and even the Mrs agrees that we’re not a bad bunch most of the time.
If you’re proud of your heritage and as long as you respect that of others, I see nothing wrong with slaying the odd dragon now and then.
As my boys grow older and their horizons inevitably broaden, I hope they’ll take this valuable lesson with them.
And as the years unfold and our young warriors make their own ways in the world, let’s all hope that bigotry, hatred, prejudice and discrimination are the true monsters to be put to the sword.
I’m pretty sure we’d all rather face a horrifying dragon-like mother-in-law than have to battle against any of those true evils in the near future.
Barry Wood is an ex journalist now working for the NHS in Lincolnshire. A father of two boys and husband to one Portuguese wife, he blogs regularly as Desperate Dad. Read more adventures: www.barrylwood.wordpress.com
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