The interest in the Portuguese language anchors on both political, economic and cultural reasons, and a growing interest not only in Macau, but in other Portuguese-speaking countries to actively participate and explore the development of places, and its people, having in mind its essential Portuguese-related matrix and shared history.
In Macau, it seems therefore appropriate, and important, to also consider investing and promoting Portuguese as a language for specific purposes – namely by creating courses oriented to legal language, administration, business or entrepreneurship, or by producing textbooks and vocabulary collections aiming directly at pragmatic use in every-day life. The exchange of talents, specialized know-how’s and good practices amongst Portuguese-speaking countries is therefore an important initiative to pursue, both in the cultural and academic fields. The creation of the GEG Cultural & Academic Fund, in collaboration with the Portuguese Institute in the East (or Instituto Português do Oriente), will hopefully spur initiatives towards this goal.
Instituto Português do Oriente Portuguese Institute in the East
The establishment of a “GEG Cultural & Academic Fund” is being conceived from which resources are to be deployed on projects anchored in three main public goals:
“Letras & Companhia” - Pés na Terra e Cabeça no Ar “Alphabets & Friends” – Feet on Earth and Head in the Air
“Letras & Companhia”, or “Alphabets & Friends”, presents itself as the first edition of a literary, civic and cultural festival, to be held 2-25 April 2021, aims to promote a set of initiatives that articulate, in complements to each other, two dynamics: activities to be carried out in schools in Macau in cooperation with the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, and activities that are open to the Macau community.
The implementation of these programs include:
The series of programmes can be found in the following promotional pamphlets, which can also be viewed on IPOR’s website at www.IPOR.mo.
“Letras & Companhia” - Pés na Terra e Cabeça no Ar “Alphabets & Friends” – Feet on Earth and Head in the Air April 2-25, 2021
“Letras & Companhia”, or “Alphabets & Friends”, was the first campaign directed by the Portuguese Institute of the Orient as part of the GEG Cultural & Academic Fund. The literary and cultural festival, covering various cultural, arts and environmental protection activities, was successfully concluded in April 2021, receiving strong support and feedback from the participants.
The literary and cultural festival hosted activities such as puppet theatre shows, shadow show, exhibitions, cinema sessions, presentations of books, and thematic workshops. Through these activities, the festival attracted more than 5,000 participants, promoted the Portuguese language, culture and literature to children and people of all age groups, and helped promote the integration of Macau’s Chinese and Portuguese communities.
One of the many events of the festival was “Read, Write and Tell”, a storytelling session conducted by a Chinese writer and a Portuguese writer, and a shadow show featuring the bilingual picture book “Na Rua”. Both activities encouraged reading habits in young children while also introducing Portuguese authors and literature to the Macau community. Moreover, with the support of the Education and Youth Development Bureau of the Macau SAR Government, the literary and cultural festival joined hands with local schools and held related activities on 5 campuses.
In addition, one of the activities, the "Living Among What's Left Behind" exhibition was open to the public for free at the gallery of the Municipal Affairs Bureau of the Macau SAR Government. The award-winning works of Portuguese photographer Mário Cruz were displayed with introductions in 3 languages including Chinese, English and Portuguese. A sharing session of the exhibition was also held to discuss the integration of environmental protection in the education of young people in Macau, attracting many citizens to participate.
With the success of the first year festival, the Portuguese Institute of the Orient hopes to make it an annual event and to introduce it to a wider community in Macau. It is also the Foundation’s wish to promote Portuguese language, cultures and arts, especially amongst young people in Macau.