To celebrate the 196th anniversary of the Independence of Brazil and the 70th anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between Brazil and Pakistan, the ambassador of Brazil, Claudio Lins, hosted a reception at the Serena Hotel. The event was well attended but not too crowded and the guest of honour was Minister for Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mahmood.
A display of Gogi cartoons, along with video screenings of Gogi in action that had been curated by MyArtWorld were displayed at one end of the hall, including a few drawings of a cartoon character from Brazil named, ‘O Menino Maluquinho’ - the ‘Naughty Boy’ by cartoonist Ziraldo, while large cutouts of the characters greeted guests on arrival.
After the national anthem of both countries had been played, the host welcomed his guests and mentioned that Brazil and Pakistan were celebrating seventy years of diplomatic relations. “Brazil was the first country in South America to recognize Pakistan and also the first to open an embassy in Pakistan´s previous capital, Karachi,” he said. “Our friendship is as old as it is close, in spite of the geographical distance. We have much in common - two warm, creative, hospitable peoples who love sports and music and who share common values, which include the observance of International Law under the auspices of the United Nations; the promotion of women empowerment; religious tolerance and freedom of expression. In short, Brazil and the Brazilian people would immediately recognise the lessons of the Quaid-e-Azam as lessons we also cherish.”
Adding that the evening also celebrates the value of art applied to education, he introduced Nigar Nizar, creator of Gogi. “She is a highly versatile artist with a social vision. Gogi, and the Naughty Boy, two young friends together, along with the Capoeira students, symbolize tonight the friendship of Brazil and Pakistan and everything the two countries have in common.” He concluded by saying ‘thank you’ to his guests - especially those who had come from out of town - and wishing them a very happy night.
In his response the guest of honour thanked the ambassador for inviting him to the event; extended greetings from the people of Pakistan to the people of Brazil on this auspicious occasion; spoke of the long and lasting ties between the two countries and hoped for increased cooperation and trade. On another note, he added, “We have thousands of children out of school and different systems of education,” he said, “but we hope to rectify this as soon as possible with the help of our friends and well-wishers.” He concluded by extending condolences on the huge loss suffered by Brazil in a devastating fire on Sunday in which as much as 90 per cent of the collection at Brazil’s National Museum was destroyed.
Nigar Nazar also spoke about why she created Gogi and her mission to spread awareness about social issues through her character.
For entertainment there was a Capoeira performance in the lobby for guests who wanted to watch the expertise of those practicing Brazilian martial arts. Dinner with a variety of dishes was served and many guests stayed on to relax and interact with each other and members of the Brazilian embassy - most of them are new in Islamabad and seem like a friendly bunch of people, like their boss!