By Daniel Clare
UNH hosted a celebration of one of Brazil’s biggest cultural celebrations: Carnival. On Wednesday April 15, MOSAICO, Brazilian Broad Culture (BBC), and the Native American Cultural Association (NACA) collaborated together to bring University of New Hampshire students a taste of Brazilian culture.
Carnival is an annual festival held in Brazil that begins a day before Ash Wednesday and ends before Lent begins.
“Its five days of parties. There are parades, people wearing costumes, drinking, and dancing [in Brazil,]” said Thaisa Lima, a junior, when describing what Carnival is like in Brazil. “There is tons of live music and people really enjoy themselves.”
Although it is challenging to replicate the magnitude of Carnival in Brazil here in New Hampshire, the essence may be replicated. Music, Brazilian cuisine and Samba dancers were present at the event. The Granite State room was packed full of people who wanted to experience the festival.
“We advertised through fliers, an online page, and posting on all the UNH Facebook pages,” said Jhenneffer Marcal, a sophomore member of MOSAICO when describing the promotional efforts of the event. “We were not worried about the turnout. This is one of our biggest events. We always have a successful turnout.”
“We also want to welcome other Brazilians that come to UNH and this is the biggest event we offer that spreads the culture,” said Marianna Moura, a BBC member.
BBC was responsible for the event’s food. There was a buffet style table set up that offered Brazilian food such as feijoada, a bean stew consisting of pork and beef. There was farofa, a flour dish consisting of an awry of spices and flavors. There was also brigadeiro, which is a truffle-like Brazilian delicacy that consists of condensed milk mixed with chocolate powder and topped off with chocolate sprinkles.
People who were lined up out the door were salivating over the aroma of the food. While people were waiting in line, the Samba band began to play. Guests danced and sang along to the music as they were waiting in line.
The band played throughout the event, only stopping for the raffle winner announcements. Guests who bought a ticket placed their stub in a designated box for a chance to win prizes like Bose speakers and Beats headphones.
As the event concluded, three Samba dancers, dressed in extravagant headgear and shimmering clothing, danced at a frenetic, yet graceful pace. The dancers even let the crowd dance along, teaching them step-by-step how to dance to the music.
Overall, the people who attended received the event well.
“I thought the event was very insightful. I never been to an UNH event like this before,” said Sean Franco. “It was a good experience to step outside of your shoes and see a different point of view and experience a different culture”
“I really enjoyed how interactive the Samba dancers were. It really made the experience more memorable,” said Marissa Hart, a sophomore. “I’ll miss being here next year since but I will be going to Brazil next year [so] at least I’ll experience the real thing.”
Carnival brings Brazilian culture to Durham
By Daniel Clare