Brazilian June’s Festival hosted in the MUB

Bret Belden

By COREY SCARANO, Contributing Writer

Green, blue and yellow flags and banners hung from door to door. Smiling, decorated faces swarmed the room as loud, catchy music played and vibrant food and drinks covered the tables. This set the scene for room 330 in the MUB at the Brazilian Festival this Tuesday night.

The student Brazilian club at the University of New Hampshire, made up of 15 exchange students all from Brazil, put on a festival to show Durham how Brazilians celebrate the warm months back home. Tickets were free, and a wide variety of people showed up, filling the room to capacity.

“We are trying to bring the Brazilian culture to UNH,” Thaisa Lima, an exchange student from Brazil said.

All of the club members are from different parts of Brazil and met here at UNH. They all became very close, taking comfort in coming from the same culture while experiencing a new one together. All these students are on a yearlong exchange program, with most finishing up at the end of this semester. The festival was meant to share their culture with UNH before they go back home.

“We have made our traditional food and we will show our traditional dance called the quadrille,” Ana Lidia dos Santos, also a Brazilian exchange student said.

The traditional food showcased at the festival included cut-up hotdogs in a homemade traditional sauce, rice pudding and homemade popcorn. As for dessert there was “fuba,” which is a sweet cornmeal cake, and “paçoca,” which could be compared to a vanilla crumb cake.

“I think the dance will be the best part of the night,” Stephanie Afonso said, another exchange student from Brazil who looked forward to participating in the traditional square dance. “We just know the dance, during our whole life in Brazil we have done it.”

Not all attendees present were exchange students. Andrea Natal-Vadell, a graduate student, went to take a break from studying. But that wasn’t her only reason.

“Although I am not Brazilian myself, the culture represents a lot of my culture which is Puerto Rican,” she said. “I feel at home whenever I am with these guys.”

Natal-Vadell lives in the same building as Brazilian exchange student, Pedro Damasceno, which is how she heard of the event. She said she will definitely be coming back for more.

“We are very proud to represent Brazil and show our culture to Americans and everyone here,” Damaseno said, encouraging all his American friends to come to the Festival.

Although the majority of the group will be heading back to their home in Brazil after this semester, they are all glad to have shown their fellow Wildcats a part of their lives outside of New Hampshire.

“It is good for us because we can share our culture for everybody,” Santos said. “We are a small group, but we are growing up here for a little now, so we find this important.”