Text: M. Zisso; Photo: Sol Garcia – solgarcia.com
On the occasion of the 213th Anniversary of the Independence of Argentina, H.E. Ambassador Roberto Salafia hosted a special reception at the beautiful Kaunický Palace in Prague city center.
Here are selected parts of the speech H.E. Ambassador Roberto Salafia delivered at the event.
Dear Representatives of the Czech Government, Dear Members of Czech Institutions and Associations, Dear Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Dear friends of Argentina,
On May 25, the Argentine Republic commemorates 213 years since the beginning of its independence process. Like every year I am very pleased to highlight the thriving bilateral relation between Argentina and the Czech Republic and although Argentina may seem a geographically distant partner, both countries are connected by mutual appreciation and great cooperation. I would like to stress that the values that our societies share, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and peaceful and negotiated conflict resolution, are at the core of our excellent relations, that also allow us to develop a very active and constructive joint work at the multilateral fora.
But the celebrations of national dates are not only to commemorate the landmarks in our history and an opportunity to appraise our bilateral relations but also a great occasion to thank all of you who, in one way or the other, contribute to the expansion and consolidation of these relations, as well as the thousands of descendants of Czechs living in Argentina who have contributed to our national identity.
To illustrate the links between Argentina and the Czech Republic we have invited as a special guest Professor Dr. Eva Zažímalová, President of the Czech Academy of Sciences, who will highlight aspects of the bilateral scientific cooperation. After an intermission we also have the performances of the guitar player, Barbora Kubíková, pianist Andrea Mottlová Vavrušová and violoncellists Ivan Vokáč and Václav Žák who will immerse us within the Astor Piazzolla’s music, one of the most beloved composers by the Czech people.
As you will see, Science and Music constitute bridges which connect cultures and languages and shorten the distance between our countries. So, please allow me to give first the floor to Professor Zažímalová.
Before my concluding words, I would like to thank some of the people who have helped in making this event:
- Mr Sebastian Pawlowski, the Palace Kaunický’s administrator, and his assistant Ms. Kateřina Dietzscholdová,
- the wine importing companies: Alifea, Piantado Wines, Productos Latinos and Smart Buying Wines, “La Paisanita” catering company under the management of Diego Acosta and Romina del Pino,
- the travel agency “Pangeo tours” and its Director Klára Šmídlová.
And of course some words in Spanish for my fellow Argentines. It is a poem by Eduardo Mallea that I like to remember when my homesickness, or „ansias o ansiedad“ about my country becomes very intense.
The translation of the poem by Eduardo Mallea (1904-1982)
If I had to choose a thousand times, a thousand times I would choose to be born again on the shores of my land, to grow among its rivers, to listen the sweet whisper of its slow growth.
If a thousand times I had to choose, a thousand times I would choose to listen to the ways of its voice, to see the nuances of its faces, to continue to be moved by the flight of its birds.
If a thousand times I had to choose, a thousand times I would take from me the songs that within its silence its different causes in me arise.
If I had to choose a thousand times, a thousand times I would lower my face to the ground to distinguish in a patient beat, the eternal native sound of its generations.
If I had to choose a thousand times, a thousand times I would choose the multiple fortune of being a thousand times Argentine.