23 April is “World Book and Copyright Day”. To celebrate this day, the Chinese-Portuguese Bilingual Teaching and Training Centre (CPC or “the Centre” thereafter) of the Department of Portuguese of Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Macau invited three famous scholars to conduct a sharing in the format of “book club”. Including Yao Jing Ming, who presented his new book called “My Heart was late: Fernando Pessoa and His Poetry of Love”; Giorgio Sinedino talked about “The essence of ‘love’: cross-cultural intuitions on I Corinthians 13”; and Carlos Morais José reflected on his work “Macau: the book of names”.

The poet, artist and professor, Yao Jing Ming kicked-off the Book Club event on 22 April 2021. Dedicated to love, the session “Meu Coração Tardou: Fernando Pessoa and His Love Poetry” is focused the love story between Ofélia and Fernando Pessoa.

To illustrate the passion between the beautiful and romantic Ofélia and the cold and distant Fernando, Professor Yao Jing Ming presented a poem called “The Loving Shepherd”, in which the poet described a love scene, but did not have the confidence in this love or the courage to confess it. Participants were also encouraged to write and share their own with other participants, and Professor Yao gave them feedback at the book club.

On 30 April 2021, the second session of the book club was organized. The Centre invited a sinologist, Mr. Giorgio Sinedino who spoke on “The essence of ‘love’: cross-cultural intuitions on I Corinthians 13”. The session aims to reflect on the meaning of “love” from a cross-cultural perspective, using I Corinthians 13 as a starting point for exploring the meaning of “love” in Western literature.

At the last session, Mr. Carlos Morais José, poet and the director of Hoje Macau, presented his book “Macau: the book of names”. Living in Macau for 30 years and passionate about poetry, he said, “I no longer know where I am from, where I belong. I’m from Macau, and I’m from Portugal…”

Although the street names were written in both Chinese and Portuguese in Macau, but they are not correspondingly translated. They have a completely different meaning because of the history and culture. For example, the main avenue in the heart of the Macau peninsula is called “San Ma Lo” in Chinese, which means a new street; and in Portuguese, it is called “Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro”, which means the commemoration of a Portuguese judge at that time.

The book has chosen 50 places in Macau. According to the author, each text presents a loving relationship. “The city of Macau is full of symbols of love,” said the speaker. The places aroused feelings, which inspired the author. For example, the poet used the image of the Ruins of São Paulo to symbolize the relationship with someone. For Carlos Morais José, Macau is a utopian city, where the two cultures have always walked side by side in the streets. “It is a city of many integrated communities, where freedom, humanity, the realization of passion and the construction of love are found.”

Through these series of events to celebrate the “World Book and Copyright Day”, the Centre hope this can reinforce the importance of reading different form of literature, and the insights we gained from reading.

Established in 2017, the Chinese-Portuguese Bilingual Teaching and Training Centre is dedicated to developing partnerships with other institutions both in and outside Macao in order to promote Portuguese language education, teacher training, and the study of Chinese and Portuguese cultures.