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Brazilian Carnaval celebrated

Lindsay Sena | Friday, February 1, 2008

South Bend will be getting a little taste of Brazil tonight as the Kellogg Institute for International Studies hosts its 10th annual celebration of Brazilian Carnaval in South Dining Hall.

A celebration similar to Mardi Gras, Carnaval takes place each year at the beginning of Lent and is celebrated in many European and Latin American countries.

Brazilian Club officer Valerie Kornfield explained the tradition behind Brazil’s Carnaval.

“It is a unique opportunity for people from every social class to party and celebrate together on the streets,” Kornfield said. “There are huge, elaborate parades and presentations in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, as well as some in Sao Paulo. Thousands of tourists flock to Rio de Janeiro and Salvador to participate in the festivities.”

Events Coordinator for the Kellogg Institute Dina Dinovo said Notre Dame’s Carnaval celebrations have “grown exponentially each year.” The event has been held at a variety of locations – first at Reckers, then Legends, LaFortune Ballroom and the Palais Royale in downtown South Bend.

Carnival returned to campus in 2005, Dinovo said, and has been held in South Dining Hall ever since.

The family-friendly event brings together a variety of people: students, faculty and staff from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, as well as from other are colleges, Dinovo said.

“We have members of the community that return each year dressed in the colors of Brazil,” Dinovo said. “It is really a pleasure to have all of these people come together and enjoy dancing, singing and having fun.”

As in previous years, Notre Dame’s Carnaval will feature Chicago Samba. The Chicago-based Brazilian musicians have been together for over eighteen years and play “a variety of styles of the most popular artistic expression in Brazil,” according to the group’s Web site.

Kornfield describes Brazilian music as “full of spirit and fun and movement, beautifully woven together. The lyrics of traditional sambas often speak about central elements of Brazilian history or culture.”

In addition to music, complimentary snacks will be served and professional Brazilian dancers in costumes will be performing and teaching dance steps to a variety of traditional and popular Brazilian rhythms.

Dinovo estimates at least 400 people will attend the celebration, which begins at 8 p.m. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.