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A holiday bash at JCSU, with Cape Verde style and culture
Party brings together natives, community
 
Published Saturday, December 1, 2018 9:15 am
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

PHOTO | TERZA LIMA-NEVES
Sao Pedro Beach on Sao Vicente Island in Cape Verde. The island nation off Africa's West Coast gained independence in 1975 from Portugal and has a population of 500,000. An estimated 1 million natives live in other countries, including a sizeable number in the United States.

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Terza Lima-Neves is sharing her African homeland and heritage for the holidays.


Lima-Neves, a political science professor at Johnson C. Smith University and native of the Republic of Cabo Verde, an island nation off Africa’s west coast, is spearheading the fifth annual holiday bash sponsored by Cape Verdeans of the Carolinas. The Dec. 8 party at JCSU’s Duke Hall Community Room is opportunity to share history and customs of Cape Verde with the larger Charlotte area as well as bring the islands’ immigrants together.


“It keeps us connected and grounded to home,” Lima-Neves said. “We always have cultural foods. We have raffles of cultural items from home that always bring that notion of nostalgia. It also gives us the opportunity to showcase our culture and tell our story – our African story – to the local Charlotte and Carolinas community.”


Another aspect of the bash is community service. Lima-Neves’ husband, Luis, is spearheading donations of smart pads and athletic gear for children on the home islands.
“We’re very engaged in working with local communities,” she said.


Cabo Verde, also known as Cape Verde, is a former colony of Portugal that declared independence in 1975. It has a population of about 500,000, but twice as many natives live across the diaspora.


“There are more people living outside the country than living in the country, so we are a country of migration,” she said.


The first Cabo Verdeans arrived in the U.S. in the early 1800s through the whaling industry and settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts. They put down roots across New England, particularly Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, which is where Lima-Neves and her family settled. In recent years, more are migrating south. The most famous of Cabo Verdean immigrants has a Charlotte connection: House of Prayer founder C.M. “Daddy” Grace.


“We don’t have an exact number [of southern migrants] because we are so spread out,” Lima-Neves said. “There are people we know who are part of our Facebook page but they have not made it to our event. We know every day people are moving down to the Carolinas.”


As winter settles in on America, Lima-Neves appreciates returning to her homeland for the tropical climate. She’s already looking forward to her next trip, which coincides with the start of JCSU’s spring semester.


“We’re known as Hawaii in Africa,” Lima-Neves said. “It’s an island nation, so there’s 10 islands, nine inhabited, and it’s always nice. Right now, the coldest it’s going to get is in the 70s, but …it’s always appropriate to go for a swim. I plan to bring some students in January for a project and I know we’re going to be laying on the beach catching a tan.”

Comments

Good morning...my mother, grandmother & grandfather are from Nova Sinatra, Brava..I have a documentary photo exhibit of Cabo Verde..approximately 60...would you like (free) a dvd of what the exhibition is about..not selling anything..my grandfather was Captain Luiz DeOliveira..I?ve been to C.V. twice..born in Sacramento in 1943,,.my father was German..My mom came when she was 16..as you know back then 1926 most all landed back east and then migrated west..English is my second language..so blessed to have been raised speaking my lanaguage...I am a member of the Cape Verdean West Association..long story..just having a saudade moment
Posted on December 3, 2018
 

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