‘Festa Junina’ to attract thousands

Learning a new kind of Brazilian Dance at last year’s event

One year later the Brazilian Embassy will yet again be hosting its annual festival ‘Festa Junina’ on the lawns of the Brazilian Embassy today beginning at 6pm until midnight. The event, which attracted more than a thousand patrons last year, is expected to attract double the amount this year.

Speaking to The Scene, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Brazilian Embassy, Ronaldo Vieira said that this year the festival will have some additional items included. The festival he indicated is part of interacting with Guyanese and giving those attending the affair an experience of the Brazilian culture through, music, dance, delicacies, cocktails and games.

There will be various food booths with Brazilian desserts, finger foods, savoury foods and Brazilian Barbeque. For Brazilian drinks there will be on sale the famous Caipirinha Brazilian Cocktail among a number of other drinks.

The dancers of the traditional Quadrilha pose for a photo at last year’s Festa Junina.

The audience will be treated to the Quadrilha, a traditional folk dance in Brazil that is done through Square Dancing. There is a special time designated for children as well and this starts from 2pm until 6pm where there will be special foods on sale for them, as well as games then once the clock strikes six the main event of the festival begins. Vieira noted that because parents need time for themselves, there will be designated persons to overlook the children in the game area while they mingle a bit with the other adults.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian Embassy has recently launched their campaign ‘Friends of Lethem’ in aid of the St. Ignatius School in Region Nine. The school has approximately six hundred children attending and of that amount, two hundred and fifty stay in the dorms. While there are a few Brazilians attending the school, ninety nine percent are said to be Guyanese. Persons are free to donate whatever amount they wish in aid of the school through the campaign and they can do so during the night of festivity or at any other time they wish to.

Historically the countryside of Brazil celebrates the harvest of their crops in June and would celebrate this festival in the same month. 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.

At four o’clock today the embassy will take the opportunity to feed the children of two orphanages: St. Ann’s and Joshua House. During this time also students from a number of public schools teaching Portuguese as part of their curriculum will be invited to interact and will be treated to delicacies as well. These schools are Bishops High, President’s College, West Demerara Secondary, Queen’s College, Diamond Secondary, Bygeval Secondary and Brickdam Secondary.

Festa Junina is a family affair and the public along with family and friends are invited to the event; admissions are free.

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.

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