10th May 2024

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Due to its firm establishment, endurability, and expansion, the Spanish language has become a respected, crucial, and one of the veritable means of global communication with beneficial and evidential outcomes. And, with more non-Spanish speaking countries and people excitedly embracing the language in their various spheres and spaces, the highly celebrated language is increasingly gaining prominence, acceptability and impact around the world.

Head of Mission of Spanish speaking countries in Nigeria at the high table during the event

Spanish which originated from Spain is the official language in 21 countries, making it the second most spoken language in the world by native speakers. With over 460 million speakers including native speakers and people who have learned it as a second language, it is estimated that more than 580 million people speak Spanish worldwide. As such, Spanish serves as a bridge language, enhancing communication, conversations, and cultural exchange between speakers of different languages around the world.

In recognition of this multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as in promoting its equal use of all its six of its official working languages throughout the organization, the United Nations set aside 23rd of Every April for the Spanish Language Day commemoration. And, towards this, the Spanish speaking countries at home and abroad through its various representations (especially through their diplomatic missions, key Envoys and people living and working in their various host countries) are celebrating the Language Day in most welcoming ways, as was recently witnessed in Nigeria.

Spanish Ambassador Juan Sell (R) exchange pleasantries with Prof Mamman (L)

For the first time, the Delegations of the Spanish-speaking countries present in Abuja comprising the embassies of Argentina, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, the Honorary Consulate of Colombia in Abuja in collaboration with Casa Mexicana came together to offer a full day agenda seeking to celebrate the richness, diversity and international presence of one of the most spoken languages in the world, as well as acknowledge the role that the Spanish language plays in fostering dialogue, understanding, and cooperation among communities.

Ambassador Sell discusses with Arts, Culture and Creative Economy Minister, Mrs Hannatu Musawa

The event was exciting and educative with lots of activities exposing many including students from different schools in Abuja, to enjoy recreational activities around the Spanish language and Spanish-speaking cultures. The organizing Delegations hosted a Gastronomic Exhibition, with a taste of some of the most characteristic dishes from their countries. An acoustic flamenco show, offered by the Spanish Dance Company Anabel Veloso, who presented the performance Mano de Santo, an emotive tribute to the Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist and composer Paco de Lucía.

Cross-section of guests at the event center

The Ambassadors and Honorary Consul of the participating and celebratory countries proudly spoke on the source and significance of the Spanish Language in their respective countries and why it should be a leading, emulative and relational means of expression among partners nations and across the globe.

Towards fostering productive partnership between Nigeria and the Spanish-speaking territories, Nigerian Minister of Education, Prof Tahir Mamman, represented the Federal Government as the ‘Special Guest of Honour and opened the day in Abuja. The erudite Honourable Minister in his inspiring remarks disclosed among others that Nigeria promises to begin work on integrating Spanish Language into school curricular.

Quintessential Spanish ladies poses for photos at the event.

Nigerian Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Ms. Hannatu Musawa, was also present at the event. The renown distinguished Minister known for her nation-building pursuits could not hide her excitement by highlighting her Ministry collaborations with the Ministry of Education towards cultural expansion to introduce Spanish language into the Nation’s Education curricular to enable easy communication with our Spanish foreign missions. She further spoke about the similarities between Spanish and Nigeria culture in areas of music, dance, food and art, stating there will be continuing interactions and partnerships with the Spanish speaking communities for further cultural expansion and exchange.

The maiden Abuja celebration brought together a mix of distinguished people from all walks of life: lovers and promoters of the Spanish language gathered together under the umbrella of love, unity and advancement to celebrate a people and language whose impacts are rapidly bringing prosperity and progress to humanity and the planet. It was indeed a well-planned and well-attended celebration. Kudos to the organisers.

cross-section of activities at the event

Happy 2024 International Spanish Language Day!

Acclaim Nigeria International Magazine (ANIM) was there and covered the event.

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Written by acclaim nigeria


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