H.E. ALEXANDRE VASSALO – Portuguese Ambassador to Romania
This year is a special one for Portugal as well, since on the 5th of October, the country celebrates 100 years from the Proclamation of the Republic, an event which occasions a very rich cultural and historical offer.
130 years ago Portugal was recognizing, along with other states, the independence and sovereignty of Romania. It was the formal and official beginning of the relationship between the two countries, which, after more than a century later, have preserved and developed the connection between them, at an economical and cultural level.
The commercial vessels transporting goods, back then, from one country to the other, were one of the main arguments for urging of the establishment of diplomatic legacies. Nowadays, the increasing import and export between Romania and Portugal, as well as the Portuguese investors already implemented in the local market are proof of a well kept relationship and well guided interests.
The 130 years of bilateral cooperation will be marked this year by two events. First, on the 30th of June, there will be the launch of a series of special commemorative stamps, issued at the same time by Romfilatelia and CTT Correios de Portugal (the Portuguese Post Office). The chosen theme for representing a common characteristic, symbol of the durability, of the cultural tradition and sensitivity of the two nations, is the traditional painted tile – azulejo in Portuguese and cahle in Romanian. The second event meant to celebrate more than one century of harmonious collaboration is the paper contest A Romanian View on Portugal/ A Portuguese View on Romania, organized by the Portuguese Embassy together with the Centro de Língua Portuguesa/Instituto Camões of Bucharest and the support of the Romanian Diplomatic Institute. The contest addresses both Romanian and Portuguese citizens, who are invited to discover and explore in their papers relevant aspects of the bilateral relationship, whether related to history, literature or social subjects.
The National Day of Portugal, the 10th of June, will be one of the days in which the Portuguese Embassy and the Camões Institute will be represented for the first time at Bookfest, at the invitation of the organizers. It is a great and a new opportunity to promote the Portuguese culture, and emphasize the presence of the Portuguese authors translated to Romanian – who are becoming more and more numerous.
The National Day of Portugal celebrated in Romania is a perfect occasion for reflecting on the ongoing projects and the new approaches for realizing them, and for contemplating the progress of the bilateral collaboration at all levels.
The 130 years of State to State relationship are reminders of all the years of interaction as nations willing to share their heritage and their experiences.