Joining Their Son in Rugby, From Portugal

The Crossing Borders group tried several art techniques to explore ideas about identity and migration including making their own migratory bird. In this image, Jaswinder shows off the work in progress to museum staff.
Image courtesy of Heritage & Culture Warwickshire and Matthew Cox
Oral history of Maria, for Crossing Borders project


M: My name is Maria. I come from Portugal. I am Portuguese I come in England because my son work in this country .I …come…I work in the warehouse 10 years. I am very happy because this country is funny, is good and because I work, not have a problem. I speak a little bit… the [not clear]…help me for improve my English then I’m very happy. No problem about this country …I live this time 12 years. Twelve years in England. I live in [Rugby]. Rugby is a nice [city], is calm, not…is calm for me very well.

I: Was your son working in England?

M: My son work in the warehouse. My son …I …live in England 15 years…15 years [laughs]

I: And what do you miss about Portugal?

M: Portugal…Portugal is beautiful country …touristic …but now is…[not more jobs] …people come from …because there’s not [more jobs]…but I think so in other times is good…another time I think about my family, how far they live in Lisbon…when a week take…in August take 15 days…I visit my family. The weather is good this time. August. July is good. In difference, this country is different. This country the weather. okay.

I: And how old was your son when he came here?

M: My son came here?

I: Yes, how old was he?

M: Ah…now this my son now is 49 years old…he work in this country…I work in the …warehouse [talks to her husband. The conversation is not clear but they seem to talk about the name of the company she works for. It sounds like ‘Warbrook’ near ‘Hobis’.]

I: And how old was your son when he came to England?

M: England…15 years ago….

I: So about 30?

M: Ya, yes, yes…my country… my country… is beautiful, interesting [laughs]…

I: And you go back every year? [Repeats]

M: Every year…every year. I take…I take time for…I visit my family, my grandsons, my friends, my sisters [I: grandsons?] …yes, my grandson…23 years old…I finish visit last week. Last year I work in Portugal [?]. But it’s okay.

I: And your son in England, does he have children?

M: No…at the moment, no. Portugal, because the wife is working Portugal. The government it is [strict?]…another time come and visit or my son visit wife. Yes.

I: Thank you.

Crossing Borders was an arts project  made possible by funding from the West Midlands Museum Development Small Grant Scheme 2017.  Find out more about the project here.

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