|Singing their praises: Artists from the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique performed last week at the Ha Noi Opera House to mark 40 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries. — Photo courtesy of Mozambique Embassy.
To mark Mozambique's National Day today, Viet Nam News presents an article by Gamiliel Munguambe, the Mozambican Ambassador to Viet Nam.
Today we celebrate 40 years of indepen- dence and of the establishment of diplom-atic relations with Viet Nam. On this date, we celebrate the spirit brought by those who cared for the independence of our beloved country and the freedom of our people, as the fulfilment of a centuries-long process of resistance to colonial rule.
It was the dream of freedom, unity, justice and progress that led the founding fathers of our national identity, Eduardo Mond-lane and Samora Machel, and many other patriots, to take up arms against colonial rule which, 10 years later, culminated with the declaration of dndepend-ence.
Mozambique is situated in the south-eastern coast of Africa. It shares borders with Tanzania in the north, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe to the west, South Africa and Swaziland to the South and the Indian Ocean to the east.
There is 2,700km of coast line. This strategic location makes Mozambique the most viable access point for exports to and imports from the hinterland countries in southern Africa.
With a total land area of 799,390sq.km, Mozam-bique has 11 provinces, 150 districts, 53 municipalities and 10 major cities. Maputo, the capital, is the largest city and has a population of about 24 million people.
The official language is Portuguese, but native languages are used throughout the country, including Emakhuwa, Xichangana, Cisena, Elomwe, Echu-wabo, and others. English is widely spoken in major cities.
To mark this year's celebrations, the embassy choose to use culture to highlight the excellent relationship between our two countries.
Mozambique's culture derives mostly from the Bantu origin of the African population, as well as from Arab and European influen-ces. It is rich and diverse, reflecting the multiracial composition of society that includes Africans, Euro-peans and Asians.
It is not surprising therefore that the main manifestations of Mozambique's culture derive from this diversity. From the African majority, the most important aspects include dance, song, painting, sculpture/woodcarvings. Drums are the most used instrument for communication, singing and dancing.
In arts, Malangatana Valente Ngwenha, painter, and Alberto Chissano, sculptor, are the two most influential post independence artists. However, the Makonde tribe is widely known for its woodcarving, especially with ebony wood.
The dances, which vary from region to region, are full of rituals that reflect battle or satiric messages or the celebration of major events and special days.
Among many other cultural manifestations, Timbila, a combination of xylophone instrument, song and dance, and Nyau dance, are both UNESCO World Intangible Heritages. When it comes to music, Marrabenta is the most commercialised genre, notably played in saloons and festive occasions.
At various performances in Ha Noi, the National Song and Dance Company of Mozambique brought its vibrant style to the Vietnamese audience.
Likewise, Mozambican cuisine was also an important component of the cultural events during celebration week, with its rich African, Arab and European influences.
Tourism plays an important role in promoting Mozambican culture and hospitality. In fact, the people of Mozambique are widely known for their welcoming attitudes. With its clear-water beaches, exotic islands and national parks or reserves, Mozambique is a tourist destination not to be missed.
In 2013, it ranked sixth out of 11 major African destinations, according to Wikipedia, citing the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. According to CNN travel, Bazaruto Archipelago came 20th out of the 26 stunning spots in Africa the same year.
Mozambique and Viet Nam enjoyed mutual exchanges at all levels, including high level visits by Party, Government and business entities since the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Co-operation between the two countries is growing. Two-way trade has been on the rise, increasing by more than 200 per cent from 2011 to 2013, reaching more than US$143 million plus in 2014.
Businesslike, Viettel-Movitel is the major investment so far and its experience is driving new ideas for further promoting relationships in this field.
Vietnamese business people and tourists are invited to invest and explore the natural beauties of Mozambique. — VNS