National Day of Portugal
H.E. Mr. Joao-Bernardo Weinstein
Portuguese Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand
On the occasion of the National Day of Portugal, I thought it would be interesting to share with all our friends some information about this special date for all the Portuguese nationals, and all those feeling Portuguese, around the World.
Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities
The National Day in Portugal has been celebrated for about 150 years on June 10, the date of Luís de Camões death, in 1580.
Overcoming regimes and political orientations, the name of the iconic character of Renaissance national culture has become the symbol and reason of the commemoration of Portugal, highlighting the meanings of nation, history, language, and people.
Camões, poet, and playwright personified through his inspiration, art and life the glorious period of the Portuguese journey – original formula to which many came to consider an example of world first globalization.
Passionate, adventurous, and audacious, he wrote The Lusíadas. Following the Greco-Latin references, he introduces and crosses in his huge work all foreigner civilizations he met along his periplus from Europe, Africa, and Asia.
In epic form it relates the history of Portugal, focusing as main subject the sea journey of Vasco da Gama from Lisbon to India. Characters and mythological gods oppose and help the steps along the odyssey in a growing hymn to the courage, travel, and dialogue of the Portuguese with people from other parts of the world.
The meeting of cultures in an exchange of exoticism, the dissemination of the Portuguese language – the 3rd most spoken European language in the world, used not only as a mother tongue, but as an instrument of work, economic and knowledge, and finally the diaspora, breaking the borders of a small country, emphasizes the importance of the National Day.
In this sense, the date gains a major force in the 70’s of the twentieth century, being designated as Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities, and celebrated with multiple official ceremonies and cultural events not only internally but also with Portuguese or Luso-descendants integrated and cohesive all around the World.
Credit by : Message by HE Mr. Joao-Bernardo Weinstein Ambassador of Portugal to the Kingdom of Thailand, Kathleen Pokrud (Honorary Columnist)