May 5 marks UN day for World Portuguese Language Day
A number of embassies in Qatar came together to mark the UN’s World Portuguese Language Day at Katara Cultural Village in the Qatari capital on Saturday.
Organised by the embassy of Portugal, the event saw other missions from countries that share the language – Angola, Brazil, Guinea- Bissau and Mozambique – come together to celebrate the occasion with authentic music, films, and food.
“Yesterday the May 5th was the World Portuguese Language Day. So it’s a celebration of the Portuguese language, which is the fifth most spoken language in the world,” Jose Gilberto Filho, the Charge D’Affaires of the Embassy of Brazil told Doha News.
“It’s spoken as a primary or native language by around 260 million people. So the idea here is to show Qatar, to the Qatari people, the importance of this language, the beauty of the Portuguese language and to incentivise them to study and learn Portuguese,” the official added.
The event began with a touch of Brazil as the big screen aired a 2010 British-Brazilian documentary film directed by Lucy Walker called “Waste Land”. Utilising repurposed materials, contemporary artist Vik Muniz collaborated with the so-called catadores—those who sort through the trash to create art. It is centred around Rio de Janeiro, Jardim Gramacho, Brazil, which is the world’s largest garbage landfill.
Various documentaries and short clips from different parts of the world that predominantly speak the Portuguese language were screened throughout the day-long event, exposing the audience to different culture and backgrounds that are connected by the same thread.
Children were heavily involved in the activities and were given a platform to recite poetry, entertain through acting and performing music. The performances proved to be a hit with the audience as laughter rang through the hall.
Now, embassies are looking at art and education to help promote this goal in a bid to cultivate the Portuguese language and further tailor it within the makeup of the community in Qatar.
“The idea is to have more movies and films released at the Brazilian Embassy and the other Portuguese speaking embassies,” Filho told Doha News.
“We are trying to have some scholarships for Qatari and other nationality students to go to Brazil to study any subject including the Portuguese language,” he shared.
The event concluded with a stunning performance from Angolan artist Gelson Castro who serenaded the audience as he sang various Portuguese songs to unite an audience of various cultures.