By Luciana Leitão

This weekend is easy for me to write about, as it’s time for one of the most awaited events of the year: the Lusofonia Festival.

It was supposed to happen last weekend, but, thanks to the typhoon, it started on October 28 and is taking place until October 30, at the Taipa Houses-Museum. It features music, dance, gastronomy and lots of other activities from the Portuguese-speaking countries and regions. But is much more that. It is an opportunity to meet, informally, with all the people you already know, plus a lot of other people you have never seen in your life. All barriers fell, as the caipirinhas or sangrias keep coming, and everyone forgets about formalities and conventions. Plus, music fills the air, as some of the musicians from the different Portuguese-speaking countries usually come off stage to meet the locals, sometimes ending up in an evening of very improvised jam sessions.

This edition has a couple of highlights worth mentioning, one of which is the concert by the Portuguese ensemble HMB, as well as the Cape-Verdean group Tubarões. Other featured musicians include Garimpeiros (Mozambique), Margareth Menezes (Brazil), Tino Trimó (Guinea-Bissau), Tonecas Prazeres (S. Tome and Principe), Knanuk Timor (Timor-East), Latin Connection (Goa, India) and Don Kikas (Angola).

This year’s programme features also the usual different cultural booths of Macau Portuguese-speaking communities from ten countries/regions, namely Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Goa, Daman and Diu, Mozambique, Portugal, S. Tomé and Príncipe, Macau and East Timor. It introduces their countries or regions’ traditional music, photographs, arts and crafts, costume, literary books and gastronomy. In addition, you may also taste the different gastronomic treats at the restaurant improvised at the set, serving typical dishes from the different Portuguese-speaking countries.

It is a great opportunity to learn more about the cultures of the different Portuguese-speaking countries, but it is also a great opportunity to meet different people. And it’s very nice to see everyone, regardless of their origin/nationality, together. This is one of those rare and special moments. Don’t miss it.