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‘The Portuguese are closely associated with the celebrations of the national day’

Interview with Ricardo Pracana, Charge d’affaires a.i. with the Embassay of Portugal in Bucharest

What is the significance of Portugal’s national day and how is it celebrated in your country?
Our national day is officially called the Day of Portugal, of Camões and the Portuguese Communities. It refers to the date of the death of Luis de Camões, our national poet, whose epic poem the Lusiads, published in 1572, symbolises Portuguese history, stressing its seafaring spirit and, its universalism. It is therefore, adequate that the Portuguese who are abroad are closely associated with the celebrations of the national day that take place in Lisbon and main Portuguese towns and are relayed by our Embassies, Consulates and Portuguese Associations.
What special events will take place in Romania this year, with the occasion of Portugal’s national day?
Besides the Official reception, the Portuguese Embassy and National Village Museum “Dimitrie Gusti” will organize a “ Portuguese Cultural Week “ that  will include several activities related to Portuguese culture,  language, literature and music. There also handicraft exhibitions and we will promote Portuguese gastronomy and tourism resources. It will be concluded by a concert of Portuguese Folk Music.

How would you describe the bilateral relations between Romania and Portugal and what do you think it can be improved in this respect?
They are excellent. In spite of a certain geographical distance, we share a common cultural heritage. The accession of Romania to European Union and NATO stressed our common beliefs on democracy, Rule of Law, Human Rights and our commitment to a fair and sustainable development for all the peoples of our continent. Between our two countries exists therefore a wide consensus on most European and international issues.
Having said that, I have to acknowledge that there are things to do. We have to foster our commercial exchanges and all the possibilities of economic cooperation. In this context, I would like to salute Romanians that are in Portugal and the Portuguese business community in Romania, who are very well placed to promote an even better mutual knowledge between the two countries.
Let me also have a word for those Portuguese and Romanian who teach Portuguese language and culture, in which the Romanians are very interested.  I hope that “Zilele culturii Portugheze” that were planned in a spirit of dialogue between the two cultures, will foster this interest of Romanian for the Portuguese reality.

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