ELTE Celebrates Portuguese Language Day

In its annual Portuguese Language Day, organizers and presenters at the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University will focus on promoting Portuguese language as well as the literatures, the rich cultural heritages, and the visual and performing arts of Portuguese-speaking countries.

Organized in collaboration with the Embassies of Portugal, Brazil and Angola, the Faculty of Humanities will proudly present a series of cultural and musical programs on May 8, 2012 (Tuesday) at ELTE BTK campus (1088 Budapest, Múzeum krt. 4/A), starting at 10 a.m. in the Faculty Council Hall. The event will be attended by high-ranking diplomats from the Embassies of Portugal, Brazil and Angola.
The Portuguese Language Day will bring countries across the world together to reforge the ties of their shared heritage. On the occasion of the Portuguese Language Day, the Portuguese-African book entitled Caçadores de Sonho (Dream Hunters) will be presented to the general public, while in the afternoon, festivities will include capoeira and Brazilian dance performances and an exhibition, introducing guests to daily life in Mozambique, where Portuguese is spoken as the country’s official language. The opening speeches at the event will be delivered by Dr Lizeth Satumbo Pena, Ambassador of Angola, Dr. Sérgio Eduardo Moreira Lima, Ambassador of Brazil, and Dr António Jorge Mendes, Ambassador of Portugal.

On the Portuguese Language Day programs, participants will have the opportunity to attend lectures and gain insight into the long and rich history of capoeira and acquaint themselves with Lusophone literatures. In the early afternoon, capoeira – the famous Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music – and Brazilian samba performances will entertain those who visit the campus of the Faculty of Humanities. The monumental dancing show will be followed by an exhibition the photographs by Mozambican artist Ismael Miquidade. Afternoon programs will end with Brazilian and Portuguese poetry reading, accompanied by the music played by the prominent pianist Thiago Bertoldi. The Portuguese Language Day will end with a concert in deference to the memory of Carlos Seixas and Carlos Paredes (in Fészek Klub at 8 p.m.) with the contribution of classical guitarist Sándor Mester.

Professor Ferenc Pál, Head of the Portuguese Department at ELTE Faculty of Humanities and Vice-Dean for International Affairs has pointed out that “central to the Portuguese Language Day will be a number of academic and cultural events, which will seek to bring – from every possible perspective – Hungary even closer to Portugal, Brazil, Angola and the remainder of Lusophone Africa by stressing the role that the Portuguese language has come to occupy as of late. It is essential for us to recognize that there has been a steady growth of interest toward the Portuguese-speaking world by Hungarians students and scholars alike in recent years. I am pleased to acknowledge that an increasing number of students have opted for Portuguese as their university major. In this way, students of Portuguese at ELTE BTK will be able to enthusiastically promote educational and academic understanding between Hungary and the countries of their academic interest and otherwise. It is also important that these active individuals should not only foster in-depth academic discourse, as it were, but also the economic, diplomatic and tourism-related ties ought to be strengthened. The Portuguese Department at the Faculty of Humanities has been most intensely cooperating with the embassies that will participate on this illustrious cultural event of the year.”

Founded in 1635, the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University is Hungary’s best known, oldest and largest institution of higher education, where more than 60 foreign languages and their related cultures are taught. While Portuguese language has been taught at the Faculty since the 1960s, it was only in 1983 that an independent Portuguese Department was established, specialized in disseminating knowledge about the literature and culture of Portugal, Brazil and other Lusophone countries.

Rudolf Sárdi

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