Edited and photographed by Anna Popper
In honour of the 212th anniversary of Colombia’s Independence, the Embassy of Colombia in Hungary hosted a joyful celebration for their compatriots living in Hungary. They have chosen a very original venue of exceptional beauty in the historic area of Budapest: the Boating Lake, used as an outdoor ice rink in winter, in front of the magical Vajdahunyad Castle, very close to the recent attraction of Budapest, the Panoramic Air Balloon, flying up to 150 meters above the city.
Almost half of the 400 strong Colombian colony attended the festivity, remembering and recreating here the usual way of celebrating their most important holiday in their homeland in Latin America, 11.000 km far from Hungary.
At the kind invitation of the Embassy, many Hungarian and other foreign friends of Colombia joined this special occasion.
Before the friendly conversations, the vibrant Latin music by a DJ and dancing, the Salsa course and taking photos at this unique place, the attendees listened to the official part of the celebration.
After the national anthem of Colombia, sung together by those present, H.E. Carmenza Jaramillo, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to Hungary took the stage accompanied by the main guests of the event – Mr Bence Garamvölgyi, Mr Gábor Deregán, Prof Katalin Nagy, Honorary Consul of Colombia at Szeged – while delivering her address:
“Dear fellow citizens, friends of Colombia,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our celebration on July 20, at this historic place of Városliget (City Park of Budapest), in front of the beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle.
I am immensely grateful to the Municipality of the City of Budapest and particularly to the Director of the Budapest Sports Service Provider, Mr. Bence Garamvölgyi, and his entire team for making possible for us to share this space today.
We commemorate 212 years since the events of 20 July 1810, when the Grito de Independencia (Cry of Independence) occurred and a generation of patriots glimpsed the dream of having our own Nation, our own State and Government.
Every time we celebrate our national holidays, it is important to remember all those who preceded us and in particular our national heroes, who made enormous sacrifices to build what we have today. It is our duty to honour that memory by contributing positively to the construction of our nation.
The community of Colombians is increasing in Hungary and in the countries that we cover from the Embassy in Budapest: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro.
Only within the framework of the Stipendium Hungaricum program, we are receiving 42 Colombian students each year. We thank the Hungarian government for this generous contribution to the vocational training of our young people. There are many more who have come to specialise, research, develop ideas and joint projects at various universities.
We have an important community of binational families that have contributed enormously to strengthening the strong bonds of friendship between our countries. There is also a notable presence of professionals working in multinationals and NGOs based in Budapest.
You, as residents abroad, are all ambassadors of Colombia, your actions speak for all of us, I invite you to be exemplary citizens and be a source of pride for Colombia.
We wanted to create this space to meet and share an afternoon with the best of Colombianness, talent and joy that characterise us in the heat of our music.
The music by our DJ Sergio Villamil, who will accompany us throughout the event with Colombian music of various times. Thanks again for your company and I hope everyone enjoys this event!”
The Ambassador drew the attendees’ attention to a very special feature set up on the occasion of Colombia’s National Day: the illumination of the Fisherman’s Bastion with the colours of the Colombian National Flag, which could be admired for two nights: on 20 and 21 July 2022, from 9 pm until midnight.
The symbolic meaning of the colours of the Colombian National Flag: the yellow represents the abundant gold in Colombia, the blue the country’s seas, and the red represents the blood spilled fighting for Colombia’s independence.