Brazil Club promotes Carnaval celebration
Megan Valley | Monday, February 16, 2015
This week, the Brazil Club, along with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, is hosting two events to highlight contemporary topics in Brazil and to celebrate Carnaval, a festival held during the four days before Ash Wednesday and Brazil’s most important holiday.
Senior Pedro Suarez, co-president of the Brazil Club along with senior Fernanda Osthoff, said celebrating Carnaval furthers the club’s mission but is not its only project.
“Our hope is to bring Brazilian culture to both the Notre Dame and South Bend community, as well as provide an educational component where those interested can learn more about Brazil beyond the traditional Carnaval celebration,” he said.
Suarez said the club wants to educate students on the importance of Carnaval in Brazilian culture.
“To the casual observer, Carnaval may seem like just a large dance party; however, it is so much more than that,” he said. “It is one of the few times during the year where everyone in the country, no matter what socioeconomic class, race or religion, stops what they are doing to celebrate their nation, culture and each other.”
On Monday in Montgomery Auditorium, the club hosted a discussion with Ann Mische, associate professor of sociology and peace studies, on the recent protest wave. The discussion was followed by a short documentary film “June: the Riots in Brazil.” Suarez said this event shed light on events in Brazil and what they mean for the future.
“Both the speaker and the movie [added] more depth to the current situation in Brazil, especially with the increased attention it has received in hosting both the World Cup and the Olympics in 2016,” Suarez said.
On Tuesday, the club will host a Brazilian Carnaval celebration in the Legends Club Room from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food and drinks will be provided.
The Carnaval celebration will feature the dance company Planeta Azul from Chicago. They are all authentic Brazilian musicians and samba dancers, called passistas. Planeta Azul has traveled all over the world, as well as to several universities in the midwest, and Suarez said the Brazil Club has been eagerly awaiting the group’s arrival.
“Brazil Club is excited to be bringing the entertainment group on to showcase an authentic Rio de Janeiro-inspired Carnaval experience, including a performance and an interactive portion where everyone can join in on the dancing,” he said.