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Gravataí, Brazil ,  December 04, 2018

Azoreans around the world must unite and become aware they are a "unique people," says Rui Bettencourt

The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations called all Azoreans to unite, becoming aware of their uniqueness as a People and their strength in the world.
"It is time for us to recognise as Azoreans those who were born in the Azores and those who were not born in the Azores but who live there, as well as those who were neither born in the Azores nor live there, but who take pride in their roots," said Rui Bettencourt. The government official spoke at the opening session of the 21st General Assembly of the World Council of Houses of the Azores in Gravataí, Brazil, noting the "sense of belonging to a culture and an identity" that all Azoreans share.
For the Secretary for External Relations, "we do not stop being Azorean if we do not inhabit the archipelago," it rather "acquires a new dimension and gives a new force to what we are."
"Look at what the Azores may become if all these People around the World, with their strength, take action for the benefit of the Azores and become involved in the choices that put the Azores in a project of progress," said the government official.
In his speech, Rui Bettencourt mentioned the need to involve Azoreans in the development of the Region, "starting with young people," emphasising the importance of coordinating "a strong participation in the construction of the Azores' future" with 600 years of archipelago history.
"This is a comprehensive, inclusive and dynamic action among different generations, with special emphasis on young people. By reconciling tradition with modern times, we will be able to give meaning to what the Azores mean: nine islands and various tenth islands around the world, always with a reality based on our history and our geography of the archipelago," said the Regional Secretary.
Rui Bettencourt challenged young people to "do more and better" by being always proud of their roots, shaping the diaspora and "acknowledging the heritage left by all those who preceded them." In this regard, he noted the importance of community association "as a space of participation for young people" so that the diaspora may endure in the future.
The government official also acknowledged the "meritorious work" carried out by the Houses of the Azores towards the promotion of the Azores and the recognition of the Azorean People. According to him, the meeting taking place in Rio Grande do Sul, located 9,000 kilometres from the Azores, is "an act of legitimate and responsible affirmation of the Azorean People."
"The Houses of the Azores are fundamental because they contribute to strengthening relations between emigrant Azorean communities and the islands where they are rooted. They are the driving force in the promotion of the Azorean identity spread throughout the world," said Rui Bettencourt.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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