Embracing Portugal: A Cultural Odyssey at the College of Europe in Natolin

The College of Europe in Natolin recently played host to a vibrant Cultural Day of Portugal, an event orchestrated by students in collaboration with the Student Affairs and Professional Development Office. Celebrating the rich fabric of Portuguese culture and history, the day unfolded with a diverse array of activities designed to immerse attendees in the essence of Portugal.

Kicking off the festivities was a film screening of "Os Capitães de Abril", followed by a brief presentation by students shedding light on the significance of the Carnation Revolution, which overthrew the authoritarian Estado Novo government on 25 April 1974. This introduction set the stage for an exploration of Portuguese history, conveyed by Portuguese students who shared insights with their classmates. Complementing the historical journey was a delectable reception featuring the iconic pastéis de nata, providing a taste of Portugal's culinary delights.

Central to the day's agenda was a drawing competition themed around sardines, a quintessentially Portuguese symbol steeped in cultural significance. Renowned for its portrayal in festivals and artwork, sardines hold a special place in Portuguese tradition, symbolizing prosperity, unity, and celebration. As participants engaged in artistic expression, they delved deeper into the cultural fabric of Portugal, forging connections through creativity.

The pinnacle of the event arrived on Friday, 15 March 2024, with a sumptuous Portuguese dinner prepared by the Natolin student restaurant. Infused with flavors that evoke the essence of Portuguese cuisine, the menu featured culinary treasures such as presunto ibérico, caldo verde, bacalhau com natas, and queijadas, offering a sensorial journey through Portugal's culinary landscape. The evening was honored by the presence of the Ambassador of Portugal to Poland, Mr Luís Manuel RIBEIRO CABAÇO, further enhancing the cultural exchange.

Capping off the evening was a captivating concert by Mr João de SOUSA, whose eclectic musical repertoire seamlessly blends Portuguese roots with diverse global influences. From fado to alternative pop, his performance encapsulated the dynamic spirit of Portuguese music, captivating the audience with each note. The day culminated in an interactive virtual guide to Portugal led by Portuguese students, followed by a lively Kahoot! quiz that tested participants' knowledge.

The Cultural Day of Portugal fostered a deeper understanding and appreciation of Portugal's rich heritage. Through engaging activities, tantalizing cuisine, and captivating performances, participants embarked on a journey of discovery, forging memories.