By Roy Lie Atjam
Ambassador of Brazil, H.E. Paulo Roberto França and his spouse, Mrs Ivana Mainenti França, cordially welcomed the hundreds of guests to a reception celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Independence of the Federative Republic of Brazil. The festivities took place in Wassenaar on 7 September 2022.
The National Anthem of Brazil and the Netherlands was by Brazilian artist Elizabeth Fadel on the Piano.
The venue was filled to capacity, and scores of ambassadors and diplomats from all continents attended. Namely, India, Thailand, Cameroon, Panama, Morocco, Costa Rica, Portugal, UK. and many others. Further, Dutch dignitaries and business people, academia, DG and Deputy DG of the OPCW, Internationals, the Brazilian diaspora and numerous friends of Brazil. It was an exciting atmosphere!
The Brazilian National Day reception is one of the first major activities in the diplomatic community after the summer holidays. One Ambassador amicably observed that it looks like “the first day of school”, and people are eager to reconnect with colleagues and friends.
On the program, a Piano performance by Elisabeth Fadel, Brazilian artist Andrew Laureth performing Brazilian music, and a Capoeira sessions by Academia de Capoeira Senzala under the stewardship of Mestre Claudio Lemos.
Capoeira de Angola is a dance-fight game that enslaved Africans brought from Angola to Brazil. Capoeira is music, spirituality, dance, attack, defence, cunning and playfulness.
Independence Day celebration in Brazil, the President spearheaded a civil-military parade. Further activities, patriotic performances, fireworks, waving flags and banners. People dance sing songs, play football, go for outdoor fun activities and much more.
The day is remembered throughout Brazil with different celebrations at various institutions. But those noteworthy remembering are the children’s school parades. Colour, music and enthusiasm fulfil a unique atmosphere.
With elections looming around the corner, a candidate made use of the independence day celebrations and went on the campaign trail, visiting a football match at Maracanã stadium and the Copacabana beach canvassing to solicit votes.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs illuminated its headquarters with the beautiful colours of the Brazilian flag. A true kaleidoscope of colours.
Ambassador Paulo Roberto França started his welcome remarks “ It is a great pleasure to have all of you here today, on this joyous occasion in which we celebrate the bicentenary of Brazil’s independence.
I arrived here with my family in December 2020, and had the honor of presenting my credentials to His Majesty King Willem-Alexander just a few days later. Since then, despite the restrictions we all faced during the tougher periods of the pandemic, I have sought, through contacts and travel, to extend my familiarity with the country, beautiful country. I have been continuously impressed by the vibrancy that is evident on so many levels, and am thankful for the warmth with which I have been received.
It is particularly gratifying to be Ambassador for Brazil in a country with which bilateral relations have such a long and rich history. Brazil and The Netherlands, besides shared history, have fostered strong ties of friendship and cooperation in so many different areas. Since my arrival, I have been a witness to the diversity of converging interests and partnerships that bring our countries together. I have also actively engaged, mobilizing the efforts of the Embassy, in their promotion. Many of you present here today, whether Dutch or Brazilian, contribute, on a daily basis, to strengthening these bonds through your work in academia, the cultural sector and in business, amongst others.
In this regard, I would like to address the Brazilian community in the Netherlands. Brazil-Dutch relations are rooted in common principles and aspirations, but it is from people-to-people contacts that they gather strength. With your permission, I would therefore like to say a few words in Portuguese to the Brazilians residing in the Netherlands present here today.
É uma alegria enorme recebê-los hoje para comemorarmos o bicentenário do nosso Brasil. Este ano preferimos realizar a festa neste espaço, e não na Residência Oficial, para permitir uma comemoração maior, à altura da importância da data de hoje. Quero reconhecer e agradecer a contribuição de todos vocês para a aproximação entre o Brasil e os Países Baixos. Contem conosco, na Embaixada na Haia, bem como com meus colegas no Consulado em Amsterdã, representado aqui pelo consul-geral, embaixador Cezar Amaral, para apoiá-los nos seus esforços.
Desejo a todos uma ótima festa.
Since I have addressed our Brazilian community, this is perhaps a good moment to mention the list of sponsors for tonight’s event, which helps to illustrate the diversity I’ve referred to. All of these Brazilian companies are leaders in their fields: Braskem, in the chemical and petrochemical industry; Embraer, in the aerospace business; CBMM, in mining and development of niobium technology; Cutrale, in the fruit juice sector; and Seara and JBS, in the meat and poultry sectors. I take this opportunity to warmly thank them for their contributions.
I can’t fail to mention, as well, our friends from Rodízio Brazilian Grill, who will be preparing grilled meats and caipirinhas for us to savor.
Dear friends, Allow me to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Professor Antonio Augusto Cançado Trindade, one of Brazil’s most brilliant and dedicated jurists, who passed away earlier this year. Having twice been elected as a judge to the International Court of Justice, professor Trindade’s qualities are well known to the diplomatic community in the Hague. I want to acknowledge, as well, the presence at this event of Professor Leonardo Caldeira Brant, Brazil’s competent jurist with vast knowledge and experience in international Law. We are proud to launch the candidacy of professor Leonardo Caldeira Brant here in the Hague to fulfill the remainder of the 9 year term of office that had been held by professor Trindade, in the elections to take place this November. We wish professor Leonardo Caldeira Brant success, which he most certainly deserves.
Lastly, I’d like to refer to tonight’s cultural performances. I thank them all. Elizabeth Fadel, who we have already heard playing the Dutch and Brazilian anthems, will continue with a repertoire of Brazilian classics, including well-known chorinhos. On guitar and voice, Andrew Laureth’s music focuses on Brazilian Popular Music. Furthermore, the capoeira Senzala school.
Finally, let me thank my team at the Embassy, that have done their utmost for a very successful commemoration of our bicentenary.
My warmest greetings to all of you!”
The Brazil @ 200 reception has made quite a splash !
Photography by Thainá Rodrigues from Amour Fotografie