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June 25, 2022

Rosa MORO DE ANDRÉS, Director of the Instituto Cervantes in Bucharest: Instituto Cervantes-25 years promoting a thriving language

2016 has a very special meaning for the Instituto Cervantes as it marks, on one hand, the celebration of 25 years since its creation, in March 1991, and, on the other hand, it commemorates 400 years since the death of its symbolic patron, the famous and most influencing Spanish writer of all times, Miguel de Cervantes.

25 years ago the Instituto Cervantes, the official Spanish Government Language and Cultural Centre, was founded as the only public institution that promotes Spanish language teaching and knowledge of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world, offering a comprehensive programme of cultural and arts activities showcasing the best in film, music, literature, dance, theatre, visual arts, gastronomy and critical thinking from Spain and Latin America. Since then, in its central head office located in Madrid and Alcalá de Henares (Madrid), birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, as well as in its network of 90 centres in 43 countries worldwide, the Instituto Cervantes has been promoting international co-operation by organising and collaborating in a variety of events to present historic and contemporary Spanish and Latin American culture. The Cervantes Institute works in close association with a network of international, Spanish and Latin American institutions and in partnership with other worldwide institutions.

During its 25 years of promoting Spanish language and Spanish culture as well as Latin American cultures, the Instituto Cervantes has turned into a reference abroad. More than 500 cultural events were designed in 2016 in order to commemorate the author of Don Quixote and his undeniable influence on modern universal literature as we know it. The common link of all these events is, of course, the Spanish language, shared by more than 560 million users worldwide, but also the Hispanic culture, that has turned into an essential global reference in the 21st century.

In Bucharest, the Instituto Cervantes offers Spanish courses for all levels, from complete beginners to proficiency, aimed at developing the students’ ability to understand, speak, read and write in Spanish. Our native teachers are university qualified and have trained specifically to teach Spanish as a foreign language using the most up-to-date teaching methods. In addition to our general Spanish courses, we offer a wide range of more specific ones such as Spanish online courses, courses to prepare for the DELE Spanish official exams, general business Spanish, conversation courses, Spanish for children, and teacher training courses.

Given the double significance that 2016 has for us, the Instituto Cervantes in Bucharest organized in the last year an important number of conferences, round tables, concerts, movie screenings, workshops, exhibitions and even other varied formats related to Science and History whose main purpose was to pay a tribute and emphasize Miguel de Cervantes’ life and achievements, to offer new perspectives about his literary work, from Don Quixote to his theatrical writings.

That is why we have organised, both in 2015 and 2016, around the 23rd of April that marks World Book Day, the Week of Cervantes, including a public reading of fragments of Don Quixote, film screenings and a round table about Don Quixote’s melancholy whose protagonists were two historians of Medicine, one of them being the prestigious Professor Octavian Buda. Our exhibition hall hosted the exhibition of illustrations and comics “Miguel en Cervantes: El retablo de las maravillas”, signed by two of the most prestigious Spanish illustrators: Miguelantxo Prado and David Rubin. We celebrated together with Humanitas Publishing House the translation by Sorin Marculescu of an abbreviated version of Don Quixote, adapted by Antonio Pérez- Reverte, well-known writer and a member of the Royal Spanish Academy. All these activities were extremely well received by all those who share the passion for Spanish, its culture, its traditions and its historical heritage or for those who, year after year, are getting closer to Hispanic culture.

As for the last quarter of 2016, we will continue with our activities. We will welcome jazz singers Carmen París and Antonio Serrano, cooperate with Animest Festival and host the Sephardic Culture Days. Finally, we will organise a concert celebrating the centenary of the death of composer Enrique Granados, to be performed by pianist Ilinca Dumitrescu.

Complementing the academic and cultural activities, a third and equally important department is our Library. The “Luis Rosales Library” was officially opened in 1995. It has access to more than 25,000 items with clearly differentiated sections: a resource centre for learning Spanish, sections for DVDs, CDs, History, biographies, Spanish and Latin American Literature, a children’s corner, etc. Users can connect their laptops to our WI-FI or use our computer and tablets to access the online catalogue (OPAC) and search for information on specific topics, do research or simply use it for entertainment. We invite you to visit and explore our library, browse through our shelves, search through our online catalogue and enjoy all the materials and online resources we have to offer, including e-books, audio-books and multi-disciplinary content databases.

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