Luso-Brazilian Associate brings Carnaval from Brazil to Champaign


By Features Staff

The Luso-Brazilian Association at the University is bringing a taste of South America to the YMCA on Saturday. The Brazilian Carnaval festival is an annual Brazilian festival held between the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday and Ash Wednesday at noon, which also marks the beginning of Lent.

During the festival, different regions of Brazil celebrate the holiday differently. In cities like Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Vitoria, parades are led by samba schools, or groups that sing, dance and march down the streets. While northern cities like Salvador, Porto Seguro, Olinda and Recife still celebrate, their organized parades are highly influence by African-Brazilian culture, where the public interacts directly with the groups. Costumes, music and dancing fill the streets of Brazil during this time.

The Daily Illini spoke to the president of the association, Flavia Batista Da Silva, who is also a graduate student majoring in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies.

The Daily Illini: What is the Brazilian Carnaval and why will it be celebrated at the University?

Flavor Batista Da Silvia: It is undoubtedly the most popular and important traditional festival held in Brazil. It gathers many of Brazilian most popular cultural features such as music, dance and food. It will be celebrated in the University because we want to provide our community the opportunity to experience Brazilian Culture first hand increasing student awareness about cultural diversity.

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DI: Are there a lot of Brazilian students at the University who participate?

Batista Da Silvia: Yes, there are. The majority are part of the Luso-Brazilian Association, which is the event’s organizer. We will have the support of the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies, the Portuguese Language Program, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the University YMCA and the Student Cultural Programming Fee. We will also have a huge community of Brazilian in the city that will be part of the event.

DI: Why do you, a member of the Luso-Brazilian Association, think it’s important to have cultural events like this on campus?

Batista Da Silvia: I think cultural events are important because they offer an opportunity to people to have contact with different cultures and food, which would corroborate for their knowledge about diversity and respect.

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