CIAD II is a dream come true - Brazilian association

Salvador- Brazil (PANA) – A Brazilian cultural ass-ociation involved in efforts at restoring the dignity of the black people has described the second Conference of Intellectuals from Africa and the Diaspora (CIAD II), held here, as a dream come true.
"The CIAD amounts to the fulfilment of a dream because it is important for Brazilian black population to discover what is prevailing in African countries and in the Diaspora.
It represents for us an opportunity to exchange views and establish relations," declared Hilda Virgens, vice-president of the Maria Felipa House of Culture.
She told PANA the association was created to research on black people of African descent.
Reacting to a question on whether Blacks in Brazil had problems of identity, Virgens, a secondary school French teacher in Salvador, answered in the affirmative.
"Here in Bahia, the situation is more difficult but there is a great number of organisations working to help black people to choose and find their way, but problems remain, especially for people who have not been to school," she explained.
Virgens, however, acknowledged that the government since President Luيs Inلcio Lula da Silva assumed power in January 2003, had been making "considerable efforts" to help the black population out of its difficult situation.
The Brazilian leader has visited a number of countries in Africa and the Diaspora and has invited several African leaders on official visits.
"Considerable efforts are also being made in the field of education, especially in schools and universities, to offer the black population opportunities," Virgens said.
Maria Felipa, after whom the association was named, was a 19th century black leader who opposed the Portuguese colonial administration.
She distinguished herself through the use of a local plant called cansaçao, to fight her enemies.
The plant is said to invoke an intense and nearly intolerable skin irritation.

14 يوليو 2006 16:00:00

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