The Portuguese language is one of the most widespread languages in the world, with over 265 million speakers on all continents, as well as the most widely spoken language in the Southern hemisphere.
1. World Portuguese Language Day
The date of 5 May was officially established in 2009 by the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP) – an intergovernmental organization that has been in official partnership with UNESCO since 2000, and which brings peoples with the Portuguese language as one of the foundations of their specific identity together to celebrate the Portuguese language and Lusophone cultures. In 2019, UNESCO proclaimed 5 May of each year as World Portuguese Language Day.
Being shared and constructed by populations on all continents and marked by diversity, Portuguese is a language that promotes understanding and conciliation.António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
“Language is often the refuge and hope of the most vulnerable — the hope of being heard, that their voices count, of not being left behind. In a global context marked by multiple and interconnected crises, languages of global communication are an indispensable vehicle of understanding and hope. They are also a place of resistance against those who intend to spread hatred, exclusion, violence, extremism, misogyny and discrimination”, UN Secretray-General António Guterres said ahead of the World Portuguese Language Day 2023.
2. Bridging cultures and promoting tourism
On the occasion of the World Portuguese Language Day 2023, the Belgian-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (CCBP) and the Embassy of the Republic of Angola to the Kingdom of Belgium, as acting President of CPLP, organised an event in Brussels, bringing together representatives of CPLP members to share how their common use of the Portuguese language fosters international exchanges and helps promote tourism.
We know our identity is very close to Portugal in terms of heritage, religion, history and traditions. And the Portuguese language is a great influence on our country and has a positive impact on tourism.Professor Manuel Florêncio da Canossa Vong, former Minister of Tourism of East-Timor
“The main objective of this event is to create and stimulate a network of Portuguese-speaking commercial and cultural agents in Brussels and the region, and to promote and strengthen the importance of the Portuguese language on the international scene”, said Rui Faria da Cunha, CCBP’s President. “As in previous years, the event aims to address concrete examples of the role that the Portuguese language can play as a catalyst for business, the theme for this year being tourism in Portuguese.”
All of the members attending the conference revealed the Portuguese language is an essential part of their culture and heritage, thus an essential part of their tourism offer. “The Portuguese language is at the cornerstone of our culture and part of our heritage”, said Leandro Alves da Silva, Head of Commercial Sector at the Embassy of Brazil to the Kingdom of Belgium. Moreover, it has allowed them to work within the CPLP “like a family”, according to Bruno de Castro, Tourism and Investment Promotion Officer, Embassy of East-Timor in Belgium, facilitating exchanges and learning best practices from each other.