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Berlin Embassies celebrate 525 Years of Latin American Inter-culturalism

Members of the ALBA alliance gather for an evening paying tribute to Latin America's rich cultural traditions and diverse population

November 01st, 2017

On 19th October the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela played host to an event celebrating “the Day of Interculturalism and Plurinationalism” with presentations, a photo exhibition on the indigenous peoples and a display of regional arts and crafts.

The event was kicked off by the H.E. Amb. Orlando Maniglia (Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Germany) who welcomed the guests and emphasised the importance of such anniversaries in recognising the peoples of Abya Yala – the name used by the indigenous Native American Kuna People to refer to the American continent before the arrival of Columbus.  The secretary of the Venezuelan Embassy, Ismael Cejas, then gave a short presentation on the history of the indigenous peoples in the region highlighting their unique ancestral knowledge and history: “the true Latin American resistance is the continuation and loyalty to the purest values of solidarity and integration which underlies the spirit of the good people”.  He continued by calling for every 12th October – the Day of Interculturalism and Plurinationalism” to be commemorated.

Three different groups of indigenous peoples were depicted in the exhibition – including one group from the Andean highlands – drawing attention to the Ecuadorian government's efforts in protecting the human rights of Ecuadorians no matter what their ethnic background.  In addition to the photography exhibition, an array of handicrafts were also on display such as toquilla straw hats (also known as Panama hats) as well as sombreros made from corn leaves and handmade tagua figures – a material made from the dried nut pulp of tagua palm.  Ultimately, the evening did not only prove to be a success in commemorating Latin America's rich heritage but also in exposing Berliners to a  a unique part of the host's culture – a part which would have almost certainly been unfamiliar to some in attendance. 

The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) encompasses eleven Latin American countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Grenada, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.  Founded in 2004 it aims to develop and further economic, political and social ties between Latin American countries through trade agreements, development projects such as healthcare and literacy programs, joint news channels and cultural events.

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