The Portuguese Language and Culture Day of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) was celebrated – for the first time in the Chinese capital, Beijing – on May 5. The diplomatic representatives of Portuguese-speaking Countries promoted the initiative, which received great support from the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), also known as Forum Macao. Approximately 500 guests took part in the reception, including diplomatic representatives from Portuguese-speaking Countries, business people from Macao and Mainland China, academics and students from Portuguese-speaking Countries, and officials and business and banking representatives from China.
This first celebration in Beijing was aimed at improving knowledge in China regarding the culture of each Portuguese-speaking Country and of the Portuguese language, while advancing the role of the Macao SAR in promoting economic, trade and cultural co-operation ties between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. Macao has nurtured relations with Portuguese-speaking Countries due to its history, being in the privileged position of acting as a bridge between China and those nations.
Brazil is currently holding the presidency of the CPLP, an office that rotates among the members. Brazil’s Ambassador to China, Mr Marcos Caramuru de Paiva, inaugurated the ceremony in Beijing. He delivered an important speech on the relevance of the Portuguese Language, while thanking the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao for the great support given to the initiative. It is hoped the event could be held annually in Beijing on May 5, with the joint support of Portuguese-speaking Countries’ diplomatic representatives.
Following the speech of Portugal’s Ambassador to China, a ceremony was held to deliver the “2017 Tomás Pereira” awards. They aim to recognise the best Chinese students learning the Portuguese language in one of the 25 universities in China in which the subject is taught.
Mr Ding Tian, Deputy Secretary General of Forum Macao, reiterated the importance of the Portuguese Language and Culture Day in the promotion of exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. He said it helped enhance friendly relations between peoples, while offering solid ground to enhancing economic and trade co-operation between all parties involved. He also highlighted the commitment of Forum Macao in continuing to promote exchanges and linguistic and cultural co-operation.
The event included various artistic performances from cultural groups from Angola, Cape Verde and East Timor, as well as gastronomy from Portuguese-speaking Countries. Guests were given an opportunity to witness some of the cultures of Portuguese-speaking Countries.
The Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao installed a stand there, as well as billboards aimed at showcasing products from the Portuguese-speaking Countries Food Products Exhibition Centre.
A book titled “Projecto Libolo,” by Mr Carlos Figueiredo, was also presented at the event. The book resulted from research on Angola conducted at the University of Macau.
Portugal’s Finance Minister Mário Centeno also took part in the event, as he was on an official visit to Beijing. He met with representatives from the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao and learned about the latest developments of its work. A delegation from the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao will visit Portugal soon.
The support provided by the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao to CPLP’s Portuguese Language and Culture Day demonstrates China and Macao SAR’ commitment in strengthening co-operation ties with Portuguese-speaking Countries, by making use of Macao as an economic, trade and cultural services Platform.