I gave a "miniskirt" introduction to Latin America to the 2006 batch of Indian Foreign Service officers. I gave an overview of the people, history, politics, markets, regional integration,foreign policy and culture. How latin america is becoming politically stable, economically healthy and culturally vibrant. Political power has passed decisively to the masses who have now started driving the political and economic agenda. It is said Left has come to power in most countries. But I say that it is the new empowered masses who have decided to change the colour of their governments.
Through the collective strength acquired through integration, the new Latin America has become confident and assertive and an autonomous player in the global scene. They cannot be taken for granted anymore.
On Indo- Latin American relations i spoke about the four stages of relations. At present we are in the third stage- romantic. And we are building the next stage of partnership.
I quoted the Mexican bolero
No me preguntas mas
dejanos imaginar que no existe el pasado
que nacimos al mismo instante en que conocimos
means- dont ask me more
let us imagine that we were born at that moment when we met each other
In our relations with latin america we dont look at the past
we look to the future.
I injected the usual doses of jokes and some poems. But I noticed that that the young diplomats were a bit restrained in laughing. Were they caught unprepared for the Latino jokes? ...cultural shock? ...I had used some of the same spicy jokes in my talk in Portuguese language at the Catholic University in Sao Paulo in 1999. The audience of undergraduate students erupted in laughter and hit the ceiling . That is Brazilian spirit..free, uninhibited and spontaneous expression to feelings.
Colleagues ask me when am i flying to latin America on the trip (10-22 February) to cuba, Dominican Republic and jamaica. I tell them, " my heart has already flown. I am waiting till saturday morning to carry my body to follow the heart"