Cultural exhibits in Santa Lucia in Uruguay
Ambassador Qu Shengwu of China (left) and Ambassador Dawie Jacobs, Head of Mission/Charge D’Affaires of South Africa (middle) at the SA display in the park
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the city of Santa Lucia, that is situated in a wetland area, organized a cultural event in a historic park in Santa Lucia on Saturday 27 October 2012. The hosts of the event were the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Luis Almagro and his wife Marianne who is a former South African diplomat.
Five selected embassies participated with exhibitions at the event, namely South Africa and China and then Spain, Italy and France. The latter three countries have a significant presence in Uruguay: around 60% of Uruguayans have Spanish roots and around 40% Italian roots, while historically there have been strong cultural ties with France.
Besides the embassy stands there were also stands with products, handicraft and artwork from the city and the region. The event started with a guided tour of the park and historic buildings in the park for the diplomatic corps and other invited dignitaries after which the event was open to the general public. The park is inter alia home to the largest tree in Uruguay that is 120 years old. At a reception for the invited guests South African wines, provided by the Embassy, were served. The Embassy made use of this opportunity to showcase aspects of our culture such as South African recipes and wines and to also promote the country as tourist destination through our exhibition at the stand.
Two actors performing a scene in the park
Throughout the event there were different groups of local musicians performing, including a performance of candombi (music played on drums) that originated from Africa and became part of the Uruguayan cultural heritage.
The wife of the Foreign Minister, who is also a community leader in Santa Lucia, is currently endeavouring to establish some form of cooperation between Santa Lucia and St Lucia/IsiMangaliso in a South Africa, both being wetland areas.
SA Embassy Montevideo, Uruguay