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Dia dos Irmãos is the book by José Ribeiro E Castro: Brothers and Sisters Day

Siblings Day is a holiday recognized annually in some parts of the United States on April 10, and as Brothers and Sisters Day on May 31st in Europe, honoring the relationships of siblings.

Dia dos Irmãos is the book by José Ribeiro E Castro: Brothers and Sisters Day
Dia dos Irmãos.
Dia dos Irmãos.

Dia dos Irmãos. Amigos para a Vida, is the book by José Ribeiro E Castro which marked, in 2018, the holiday honouring the bonds and relationships of siblings – Brothers and Sisters Day –, celebrated in several European countries, such as Portugal, on May 31, since 2015.

The book is the collection of twenty-four testimonies, and one can say about it, as Eça de Queiroz did on his book Correspondência, is that “its beauty lies not in being almost a «book», a printed thing, but a great living reality, in which nothing is of paper and everything of living substance”.

It’s a series of texts, written in the first person, in which each of the authors “gives a different testimony, looking at the theme from different angles, in a very diverse and very rich set, which will captivate the siblings who read it and won’t leave those who are only children, indifferent”.

The idea of the fraternal bond as being something intense and perennial, runs through this book. This bond is inextinguishable, not only by the simple, and yet rich, fact that “brothers and sister are the ones who normally accompany us throughout our lives”, but mainly because, as Margarida Gonçalves Neto, one of the live testimonies which make up the book, puts it, “what happens between siblings is unique, unrepeatable, shapes our life forever”.

The book is also a tribute to the author’s brother, Fernando Ribeiro e Castro, founder and first President of the Portuguese Large Families Association (APFN) General Assembly and of the European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC), in Portugal, who bequeathed us the thought: “If you want to make a child happy, give them a sibling. If you want to make a child very happy, give them lots of siblings.” He used this phrase as a motto to raise awareness of the importance of large families.

The same way the grace of a child brings happiness and gives flavour to life, the author also expects that the reading of this book “inspires” [the reader] to make any grace to his/her sisters or brothers, and to remember his/her stories and bear witness to/tell them in his/her personal and family space, and in the society we live in”.

An idea of hope which exalts and gives relevance to brotherly love as a unique and valuable sentiment, which, to some, inclusively, can be felt and lived beyond the bonds of consanguinity that connect the biological siblings, goes past every testimony that make up the book.

One example is the case of Roberto Carneiro, when he states with delight: “Providence has abundantly given me real brothers, not of blood, but of bonds that are even stronger and unbreakable, throughout life”. @mundiario