The Brazilian festival—Carnaval—is named after the Latin term “carnem levāre”, which according to the Oxford dictionary, means to “put away the flesh (as food), and to stop eating meat.”
The name is ideal for the festival because Carnaval is an annual celebration that takes place a week before Lent, which is the Christian fasting period that takes place right before Easter. Carnaval is not only celebrated by the Brazilian community, but also in many Latin American countries.
Here at UNH, Carnaval has been celebrated for the past 10 years. This year, a little over 300 people attended the celebration that was put on by the student-run club MOSAICO.
The co-president of the club, Ashley Gonzalez, explained that MOSAICO’s mission on campus is to “educate the UNH community on current issues within the Latin American community abroad and in the United States, while also taking the time to celebrate the Latino culture through events like Carnaval.”
This year’s event included a plethora of Latin American food, live music and live dance performances.
The menu consisted of plates originating from multiple places in Latin America, including Brazil, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. The crowd favorite was definitely the Coxhina, a Brazilian finger food made from chicken and dough. The food was ordered from local restaurants in the Nashua area, and some of it was even made by executive board members of MOSAICO. Even with 300 people in attendance there was an abundance of food for everyone there, and some were even allowed to get seconds.
The program included live entertainment from Samba Viva, a Brazilian dance and music ensemble based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“We have been working together for at least five years now, so we have solidified our professional relationship with them,” Gonzalez said about. the relationship between Samba Viva and MOSAICO.
“The music is really lively, and makes a lot of people want to dance,” senior Stephanie Morales said.
This proved to be true, as when the musicians invited the crowd to go and dance upfront, a majority of those in attendance got up and danced. The music was followed by traditional dances performed in traditional Carnaval dresses and customs. The upbeat dances and music, kept the crowd entertained throughout the whole event.
People in attendance were able to indulge traditional Latin-American food, song and dance.
“By bringing Carnaval [to UNH], the Latinx students on this campus get to celebrate together for a couple of hourd the food and music of our culture, while also teaching the broader UNH community about some aspects of Latin-American culture that they don’t normally get to see here at UNH,” Gonzalez said.