“International Day of the Portuguese Language”

This year for the first time ever the celebrations of the International Day of the Portuguese Language joined three Embassies of Portuguese Speaking countries represented in Indonesia: Brazil, Mozambique and Portugal. The celebrations took place at Universitas Indonesia, Monday the 9th May in Auditorium Gedung IV.

The International Day of the Portuguese Language is celebrated every year by the member countries of CPLP. The CPLP or Community of Portuguese Language Countries is the intergovernmental organization for friendship and cooperation among lusophone nations, where Portuguese is an official language: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and East-Timor.

The Vice Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Bapak Manneke Budiman, welcomed all the participants: ambassadors and their staff, teachers and students. Bapak Budiman used his word to talk about the importance of this event as a way of promoting good relationships between the Portuguese speaking countries and Indonesia. He also made a remark on the growing importance of the teaching of Portuguese language in the Faculty and addressed the students congratulating them.

Bapak Danny Susanto, the Head of the French Department, also stretched the idea of the growing number of students of Portuguese Language in the Faculty – around two hundred per semester. He explained the academic offer in the Faculty currently consists of Portuguese Language Dasar A, B, C and D, Kebudayaan Portugis and History of the relationships Portugal/Indonesia. Bapak Susanto thanked the presence of the Ambassadors of the three countries and also underlined the importance of furthering the relationships between the Portuguese speaking countries and Indonesia.

The Ambassador of Portugal, Bapak Joaquim Moreira de Lemos recognized the effort of the three participating countries in making this event possible and mentioned how important it was to have Brazil and Mozambique represented, since the two countries together have 250 million Portuguese speakers. Bapak Lemos thanked the Faculty of Humanities for the availability to support the event and addressed the students a word of appreciation for their involvement in learning Portuguese language, a growing language in the world.

The Ambassador of Brasil, Bapak Rubem Corrêa Barbosa and the Ambassadress of Mozambique, Ibu Maria Gustava gave a speech telling about the importance of this initiative and stretched the idea of the importance of the Portuguese language as a growing language, nowadays the 4th most spoken language in the world.

All the three Ambassadors referred to the great significance of having the first comprehensive Dictionary of Portuguese-Indonesian/Indonesian-Portuguese published. They consider it a very important tool for students and public in general to study both languages, bringing Indonesia and the Portuguese speaking countries together. The Dictionary was presented by publisher Gramedia. The editor, Ibu Widya Kirana and the author, Bapak Yohanes Manhitu had the honour of presenting the Dicionary.

The objective of this event was to celebrate the Portuguese language and showcase the culture of the participating countries. The participants had the opportunity to watch promotional videos about Brazil, Mozambique and Portugal. They also had the opportunity to listen to poetry and taste food from the three countries. Students, teachers and visitors to UI can also appreciate the exhibition “History of Fado”, about the Portuguese national song, being shown in Gedung II up to the 18th of May.

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