Ever wonder why some countries have Embassies and some have High Commissions? A High Commission (with the attendant High Commissioner) means that the country is a member of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth was the Former British Commonwealth that was formed by nations that were former British Colonies and Possessions before individual dates of Independence. In addition to being former colonies they have many things in common like the English language and driving on the left-hand side of the road. So why is there a British High Commission in Maputo?
Because Mozambique became the Commonwealth's 53rd member (and the first not to have once been associated with the British Empire) in November 1995. Mozambique, despite being a Portuguese speaking former colony of Portugal, had long been interested in Commonwealth membership. They had to gain the agreement of all the other members at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in New Zealand in 1995
Maputo has several art displays and at least one ‘Gallery’. They all seem to have a common theme – weapons. The art reflects the destruction and havoc the protracted civil war caused on the psyche of the country. If you look closely you will see the sculptures are made up of machine guns, pistols and land mines. Sometimes they are abstract. Chillingly, they sometimes are in the form of everyday life, like furniture. Sadly this art genre is all too popular here.
The current Mozambique flag was officially adopted on May 1, 1983. It consists of three equal horizontal bands of green (top), black, and yellow with a red isosceles triangle on what is called the ‘hoist’ side. The Green colour stands for agriculture, Red sybolises the struggle for independence, White denotes peace and Yellow denotes mineral wealth. The central Black strip represents the African continent. The official emblem of Mozambique is displayed on the red triangle. In the centre of the triangle is a five-pointed star bearing a crossed AK-47 rifle and hoe in black superimposed on an open white book The crossed gun and ploughshare symbol is an influence of the Marxist FRELIMO party.
Centre Culturel Franco-Mozambicain de Maputo.
The French-Mozambican Cultural Centre is house in a large, mostly wrought iron, building across from the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao. The large structure was a colonial hotel built in 1896. It was opened at the Cultural Centre on 13 July 1995. You can wonder in for free and see various art works and dsipalys. There is also a large concert area. Check out the website or the Time Out Magazine for up coming shows and exhibits.
Do not worry about the crocodile in the fountain area. He is a work of art as well!
Av, Samora Machel, 468 Maputo , Mozambique
tel : (+258) (1) 21 31 45 90 / 21 31 45 99 / 21 32 07 87
Openings -> Mon : 14h - 18h, Tues-Fri : 9h - 18h, Sat : 9h - 12h.
The people of Mozambique speak Portuguese as a legacy of their colonial past. Here are a few phrases to get you started!
Bom dia Good morning
Boa tarde Good afternoon
Boa noite Good night
Como está? How are you?
Muito bem, obrigada Very well, thanks
Obrigada Thanks (spoken by a woman)
Obrigado Thanks (spoken by a man)
Até logo See you later
Need your shoes shined? A cheap lighter? Tissues? Maybe even a watch? These guys cannot afford to rent a shop space, but they are polite and put food on the table. Please use these guys if you need anything. They live form one day to the next, but they are generally honest and cheap. And very polite!
Right next to Hotel Cardoso there's a walking shortcut to Baixa, the lower part of Maputo, that brings you right to FACIM - Maputo's International Fair ground..
I've already crossed several times this convenient shortcut myself.
However, since it requires a considerable walk in an isolated area, some visitors might feel unsafe crossing this area on their own.
While visiting Feira Popular de Maputo (Maputo's Popular Fair), it definitely seemed to me that the glorious days of this park are long gone.
It might have been a popular destination for family entertainment in the past. Nowadays it looks worn out and a little bite out of fashion. Even though, Mozambicans still bring in here their children for fun.
To get inside the park there's a cost of 10 Meticais (about 30 euro cents) per person and additionally tickets for rides on the various carrousels are as follow:
> Bumping Cars: .......... 30 MT (about 1 euro).
> Big Wheel: ................ 20 MT.
> Valsa: ....................... 20 MT.
> Children Carrousel: .. 20 MT.
> Flyers Chairs: ........... 20 MT.
The well known "Caracol" Road (in english: snail road) got this popular designation due to its shape.
"Estrada do Caracol" designation was created during the Portuguese ruling era.
This particular road links the upper area of Maputo to its lower area that is also known as baixa.
Marquis of Pombal, a Portuguese statesman, has a street named after him in downtown Maputo.
Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Marquis of Pombal, was Prime Minister to Joseph I of Portugal at the time of the famous 1755 Lisbon earthquake.
Click Marquis of Pombal to read more about Marquis fo Pombal at wikipedia.
The Portuguese Football League has thousands of followers in Mozambique. One can tell that Mozambicans really care about Portuguese football ("soccer" in the USA).
While wandering in Maputo I found several few locals wearing shirts of the Portuguese team of Benfica.
Other Portuguese clubs such as Sporting and also Porto do also find thousands of followers in Mozambique.
Actually, world class sportsman Eusébio, also known as the black panther, the leading scorer in the 1966 World Cup and the best Portuguese football player ever, is of Mozambican born himself.
Random Street Scenes (II): The Watch Seller.
Leonardo is his name but he's known as Leopardo (Leopard).
Likely any other street sellers, he calls visitors by the english word "boss".
Leonardo has an "original" Breitling watch on sale for 350 MT (about 12 euros) !! - Pretty dam deal !! .. :)
The Hellenic Orthodox Church was founded in 1966 by the Hellenic community then living in the Lourenço Marques city.
It's the only Hellenic Orthodox Church in Maputo but there's another one in the city of Beira, central Mozambique.
It's located on the intersection of Ahmed S. Touré and Armando Tivene avenues.
By wandering the streets of Maputo, one can tell that Lourenço Marques, the former name of this city, was very green with Trees in every single street & avenue. Even today Trees are found almost everywhere.
The City Council of Maputo just needs to pay a little more attention to its actual Trees and to replant a few others in some empty spots. The city will then easily revive the best of its glorious green era.
Praia da Costa do Sol / Costa do Sol beach is the most popular beach destination in the city of Maputo and largely frequented by Mozambicans, in particular during weekends.