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Today marks the First World Day of the Portuguese Language

Portuguese is spoken by more than 260 million people on five continents, that is, 3.7% of the world population.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) made the date official last year, but since 2009, on May 5, the Day of Portuguese Language and Culture was celebrated, instituted by the Community of Speaking Countries Portuguese (CPLP).

 

Messages will be broadcast from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, from the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, from the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, from the Cape Verdean head of state and acting President of the CPLP, Jorge Carlos Fonseca, CPLP Executive Secretary, Francisco Ribeiro Telles, and Ambassador Sampaio da Nóvoa, Portugal’s representative at UNESCO.

These were joined by about two dozen other Portuguese-speaking personalities including writers, musicians, filmmakers or scientists.

Among them are the writers Mia Couto (Mozambique), Germano Almeida (Cape Verde) or Manuel Alegre (Portugal) and the singers Adriana Calcanhoto (Brazil), Dino Santiago (Portugal / Cape Verde) or Carminho (Portugal).

Also participating are footballer Pedro Pauleta, canoeist Fernando Pimenta (Portugal), filmmaker Flora Gomes (Guinea-Bissau), scientist Maria Manuel Mota, theologian and cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça (Portugal) or East Timorese politician José Ramos-Horta , among others.

The event will also feature a concert space with musicians from Aline Frazão (Angola), Ivan Lins (Brazil), Teófilo Chantre (Cape Verde), Manecas Costa (Guinea-Bissau), Stewart Sukuma (Mozambique), João Gil (Portugal) ), Tonecas Prazeres (São Tomé and Príncipe) and Zé Camarada (Timor-Leste).

In addition to this online event, there will also be initiatives in the various Portuguese-speaking countries.

It is the official language of the nine CPLP member countries (Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and Timor-Leste) and Macau, as well as the working or official language of one international organizations such as the European Union, the African Union or Mercosur.

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