Today’s post continues with the theme of how others around the world promote and maintain their culture. This time it is Confederate descendants living in Brazil.
The Os Confederados are the descendants of Southerners who left the military occupation of their homeland to seek a new life in Brazil. While they have, over the years, been largely absorbed into the Brazilian culture and people, they still preserve some of their Southern ancestry. In April 2009, I sent an email to the SCV camp in Brazil asking about the Os Confederados and wondering if it might be possible to duplicate what they have in Brazil over here in The South. Here is his response:
For one thing, it will be very difficult to replicate the Confederate Experience in Brazil elsewhere. For one thing, there are family bonds that are difficult to happen in the US. The community was tightly knit in the past for three reasons: their Confederate heritage, their language, and their religion. However, the main reason seems to be they had a common meeting place, which was also where they buried their dead relatives. It is hard to explain that it survived to this date for other reasons. And it also seems that they (we) are loosing the bonds for the following reasons:
1. There is very little left of the Confederate Heritage. They know very little about the War, and most do not know their lineage to their Confederate Veteran Ancestors.
2. No one speaks English any more due to their ancestors. I am one of the few last surviving descendants that learned English at home. This prevented our SCV Camp of having many members.
3. The religion has also turned into a majority of Catholics. There are still Protestant services, but to a less extent and with nearly no connection with the local Methodist, Baptist, and Presbiterian churches.
So, all that is left is a common place to meet. It has turned into a community group with the major objective of maintaining the Cemetery to avoid that it is taken over by the local city authorities and turned into a public cemetery.
I am sorry to state things so crudely, but they are the facts, and you are welcome to visit us and see for yourself.
My website is part of an attempt we engaged in with a group of SCV officials to revive the Confederate Heritage in the community, but the results fell very short from out expectations.
So, if you intend to use us as a benchmark, please be sure to make sure that you should adapt to your local conditions.
Here are some more resources on the Os Confederados: