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Brazil celebrates Independence Day and Brazil Day

BRAZIL

At Lotte Hotel and HUFS Seoul Campus

Brazil celebrates Independence Day

and Brazil Day

Ambassador and Mrs. Edmundo Sussumu Fujita of the Republic of Brazil in Seoul hosted a dinner reception at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Sept. 6, 2013 to celebrate the Independence Day of Brazil. It was also in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Korean emigration to Brazil, which Koreans remember as a very important turn of history as it marked the beginning of Korean entry into other parts of the American Continent, especially the United States, and various countries of the world.

Left photo shows Speaker Kang Chang-hee of National Assembly, Ambassador Fujita of Brazil and Chairperson Hyun Jeong-Eun of Hyundai Business Group (second, fourth and fifth from left at front table, respectively).

In a related development, Ambassador Fujita also hosted a Brazil Day at the Seoul Campus of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul on the following day.

Attending the Independence Day reception from the Korean society were Speaker Kang Chang-hee of the National Assembly, First Vice Minister Kim Kyou-hyun, Assemblywoman Jasmine Lee and Chairperson Hyun Jeong-Eun of Hyundai Business Group.

From the Seoul Diplomatic Corps and other segments of international community in Korea came many ambassadors and other senior members. They included Ambassadors Hocine Sahraoui of Algeria, Md. Enamul Kabir of Bangladesh, Dato Haji Harun Ismail of Brunei Darussalam, Hernan Brantes Glavic of Chile, Hector Gonzalez Urrutia of El Salvador, Bakisher Dulat of Kazakhstan, Krzysztof Majka of Poland and Slobodan Marinkovic of Serbia.

There also were many charge d’affaires (CDAs) and deputy heads of mission (DHMs). They included CDA Bakhtier N. Ibragimov of Uzbekistan and DHMs Kanat Tursunklov of Kyrgyzstan and Vitalii Chepelui of Ukraine.

Another distinction of the party was the conspicuous absence of the statistics of economic achievements and trade relations between the two countries from the speech of Ambassador Fujita, which never fail to secure a large space in the National Day speeches of other countries.

Instead, Ambassador Fujita used much of his time in introducing the harmonious interchanges among the different peoples in the country entering the country from various parts of the world.

Brazil Day at
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

Ambassador Edmundo Sussumu Fujita of the Republic of Brazil in Seoul visited Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and opened with President Park Chul of HUFS the Brazil Day at the Minerva Complex International Conference Room and the open ground of the University on Sept. 7, 2013. It was hosted jointly by the Brazilian Embassy, the Korean-Brazilian Culture Exchange Association and HUFS.

The host and guest dance to the exciting music of Brazil

There were traditional Brazilian Batucada cultural performances and exhibition of photographs and a variety of the traditional costumes of Brazilian carnival.

In advance of the Brazil Day celebrations, Ambassador Fujita of Brazil and President Park of HUFS had discussions for the promotion of exchange between the Brazilian Language Department and the Portuguese Language Department of HUFS. This meeting was also attended by Vice President Lee Sung-Ha of HUFS, Director Chang Tae-Yup of the International Cooperation, Dean Lee Seung-Yong of Portuguese Language Department and Professor Cho Hee-Moon of Graduate School of Law of HUFS.

Prior to the opening of the Brazil Day celebrations, there also was a scholarship orientation meeting at the Legal Studies Hall for the Brazilian Science Without Border Program

▲Ambassador Edmundo Fujita of Brazil in Seoul (left) with President Park Chul of HUFS

Excerpts from National Day speech:
When D. Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil proclaimed our independence on September 7, 1822, it marked the official birth of a nation open and friendly to all countries. As a matter of fact, already in 1808, when the Prince Regent of Portugal, D. Joao VI transferred his court to Brazil to escape from the troops of Napoleon, his first act was to open the Brazilian ports to all friendly nations and to establish the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs. Since then, Brazil has been conducting its external relations through a maximum use of diplomacy and a minimum recourse to defense, emphasizing its peaceful and consensus oriented vocation. And this openness and friendliness have also been demonstrated in the character of our society by receiving immigrant peoples from diverse quarters of the globe with open arms and without prejudice.

Today, Brazil is a dynamic multicultural nation, formed by the original population of Amerindians, Africans and Portuguese, which subsequently amalgamated harmoniously with peoples from Europe, Middle East and Asia coming to build new lives in a new homeland. Nowadays it is difficult to identify how many people from each different origin and their descendants live in Brazil, because they are all so well integrated that intermarriages have made a single former national origin virtually unlikely.

Brazil Day celebration at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul

Suffice it to say that many of Brazil’s better known international images come from the contributions of the qualities of different ethnic groups blended in a unique Brazilian formula. In soccer, we combined the European technical discipline with the African swinging abilities and the Latin smartness, which resulted in the so-called Art-football that Brazil is well known for. In music, we mixed the Mediterranean romantic musicality with African beat and Latino swing, which gave origin to Samba music. Also the Bossa Nova wave has its roots in the seamless fusion of samba with American Jazz. In painting we have outstanding names like Candido Portinar, who painted the War and Peace Mural displayed at the United Nations; Manabu Mabe and Tomie Ohtake, two internationally acclaimed Japanese-Brazilian painters. In architecture, Oscar Niemeyer and his disciple Ruy Ohtake. And in politics, the very popular President Juscelino Kubitschek, founder of Brasilia. Moreover, as a proof of the openness of our political process, we had President Lula, a former trade union worker, succeeded by President Dilma Rousseff, our first female president.

Amb. Torbjorn Holthe of Norway (left) and Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post. Lee told Amb. Holthe that Korea envied Norway as she enjoys the highest international transparency rating and a top per-capita GNI in the world in contrast with Korea.

Our gastronomy, as my wife says, is a delicious encounter of cultures, “fed”, so to speak, by different influences from Native Indians, Portugal, Africa, Italy, Arab, France, Germany, Japan and others. In this regard, it is normal to see, for instance, a family of Brazilians of African descent enjoying sushi and sashimi in the same food hall where a family of Brazilians of Japanese ancestry is devouring the traditional Feijoada, our National dish, or of an Italian family ordering kibbeh and tabouleh for snacks. We enjoy pasta and pizza as much as sauerkraut and stroganoff, and love Chilean and Argentinean wine as much as French cheese. And even bulgogi and kimchi are already making their presence in Brazilian restaurants in Sao Paulo!

The harmony among different cultures and ethnic groups is so valued in Brazil that the Constitution declares explicitly that racism is a crime that never prescribes and is subject to prison without bail. Therefore, any attempt to transfer to our country foreign rivalries or make hate speeches is immediately punished. That is also the reason why Brazil abhors prejudicial ideas such as “War or clash of Civilizations” and other xenophobic conceptions. In fact, Brazil is proud of being a place for the meeting of civilizations and promotion of dialogue of cultures. We do not classify people by their color. We estimate people by their heart. k

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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