Samba dancers use lawn for ‘Carnaval’

By Nancy Benet


The Campus Activities Board held a Brazilian “Carnaval” in observance of International Education Week on Tuesday, Nov. 17, on Dubuis Lawn.

When thinking of which cultural Brazilian event to do, CAB took suggestions from international Brazilian students at the University of the Incarnate Word.

“We asked the international Brazilian students at UIW to see which event would be best,” Nicole Garcia, director of external affairs, said. “Everyone seemed to want to do the Carnaval because it is such a huge, well-known annual party in Brazil. After we decided on doing (it), they gave us suggestions on what kind of stations and food to provide for the students.”

“Carnaval de Brazil” is a festival, observed worldwide, that takes place between Friday afternoon, and Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Originally, the event was a food carnival because it was the time for people to eat a lot before Lent. Over the years, it gradually became one of the world’s largest parties. “Carnaval de Brazil” takes place in multiple cities in Brazil, and often attracts millions of people. During the six-day parade, Brazilians often parade around cities with performers, music and costumes influenced by African-Brazilian and Portuguese culture

The CAB version had numerous stations, decorated in vibrant colors, representing the actual Carnaval in Brazil. Free Brazilian snacks were given such as “Guarana Brazilia” and “Biscoito de Polvilho” chips. CAB also had a few giveaways, including a pair of Spurs tickets.

“We had a face mask decorating station where you could decorate your mask with paint, jewels and feathers,” CAB member Clarisa Salinas said. “We also had an air tattoo station, and a drum-playing station. I got to play the drums with the Samba band and it was a lot of fun. I really felt the culture within.”

Samba dancers — one of the biggest attractions at the Brazil carnival – also were featured at CAB’s event. Samba is a traditional African-Brazilian dance style that is performed throughout the carnival. The dancers wear extravagant costumes made of vibrant colors, and feathers. At the university carnival, students were able to dance with local Samba dancers from San Antonio to Brazilian-themed music.

International Education Week at UIW featured a bevy of food, culture, music and art. UIW has students from more than 60 different countries.

“(When the planners) called us and told us about International Week, we really wanted to host a cultural event in honor of International Week because we have so many international students,” Garcia said. “When we were deciding on which event to do, everyone thought of Brazil because they have awesome traditions.”


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