Last Saturday brought the curtains down on the annual Festa Junina celebrations at the Brazil-Guyana Cultural Centre, which saw its largest crowd ever: more than 1,000 persons in attendance.
To celebrate the June festival, the Brazil-Guyana Cultural Centre held a two-part project ‘I Brazilian Flavours Food Festival’ which sought to promote Brazilian cuisine through a culinary workshop that ran from June 12 to 16, followed by several restaurants in and around Georgetown, Linden and Lethem preparing Brazilian delicacies from June 17 to 24.
The history of the Festa Junina dates back 2,000 years to ancient Greece where people worshipped pagan gods in the commemoration of the great fertility of the earth. Over the years it was influenced by Catholicism and today it is highly associated with the names of saints Anthony, Peter and John. The tradition, through Portuguese Catholic families, was introduced to Brazil during the colonial times and became a popular expressive folk festival with all its states celebrating. June is recognized as a month of harvest where fruits are harvested as well as corn and as an expression of gratitude, the festival is held.
Saturday’s festivity started with a fun day for the children from 4 pm to 7 pm. The children enjoyed games including, sack races, an egg in the spoon race, dance and pop the balloon, fishing games, balloon and darts and ring toss. Then followed the Mr and Miss Caipira segment where two children were awarded for Best Country Style. The winners of the games won themselves stationery items and toys, compliments of Michelle Low, Andrea Crefta and the Brazil-Guyana Cultural Centre while the little Miss and Mr won two cosmetics gift sets from Maisa Cosmetics Beauty World.
A few hours later the adults had their turn with Level six student Davindra Ramnarain hosting the event. This last session of the event saw an informational speech given by the Emcee about the festival followed by a Brazilian folk dance (Quadrilha), a ‘Forrorobics’ presentation done by Devon Ambrose of Space Gym and the announcing of the adult winners for the Mr and Miss Caipira. The prizes for the games’ winners included: web cams and photo sliders (Starr Computers), the raffle draw winners received complete gift sets, beauty hampers (Maisa Cosmetics Beauty World), a Chilean bottle of wine (compliments of the Chilean ambassador), a month membership and Sports items (Space Gym), dinner for two at Pegasus. The Mr and Miss Caipira won two gold bracelets from Kings Jewellery World.
Attendees and guests spent the remainder of the evening socializing, enjoying some of the delicacies and drinks on sale.
This event was sponsored by Pulse Entertainment (official partner of Festa Junina), Excel Minerals Incor-porated, Brasimex, Ishmael, Massy Distribution Guyana Inc, Ramps Logistics, Space Gym, El Dorado Offshore, Guyana Office for Investment, GSAT Connection, Yokohama Trading and Grace Kennedy Remittance Services.
The Brazil-Guyana Cultural Centre is also offering various services to the public: Portuguese and English classes, Capoeira (Brazilian Martial Arts) and the Brazilian Film Festival. Those taking the Portuguese classes are introduced to music, audio, movies and cooking sessions that make up the Brazilian culture in their curriculum.
For more information the Brazil-Guyana Cultural Centre can be contacted at 226-2573.