By Mariana Belham
Humber held its first Brazilian Carnaval at the Lakeshore Welcome Centre on Feb. 20.
The carnival, a student initiative, was the idea of Market Management students Carolina Castro and Laura Prytoluk. They put it together in partnership with the First Year Experience (FYE) program at Humber.
“My friend Laura and I had this idea last November to spread around Brazilian culture,” Carolina Castro said.
According to Castro, Carnival — or Carnaval in Portuguese — is a traditional week of celebration. People typically dance in the streets, following a float. “We had the idea to do one here, but, as we can’t go outside because it’s winter, we are doing a carnival inside,” Castro said.
The event had many traditional party foods, such as cheese bread, chicken pastries and chocolate truffles. People were excited to try the snacks. They lined up across the FYE lounge.
“We started planning in late November. We purchased all the decorations and lots of food, so everyone had a chance to try at least one thing from this Brazilian Cuisine, and Brazilian coffee,” said Camila Ruiz, FYE team member.
Ruiz also said that this might be the very first Brazilian-focused event at Humber. “I really enjoyed seeing happy faces of everybody who came out to celebrate the Brazilian culture because it’s something that hasn’t really been done at Humber,” she said. “I know that in the past, we had events celebrating the Latino culture, nothing specifically Brazilian. I’m happy that we were able to do that for the first time.”
Besides the food, there was a carnival masks station where students could make their own masks with glitter and markers. Many posed for pictures with their masks and danced to the music.
The event ended with capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian dance/martial art. It dates back to the 16th century, but the capoeira artists gave a slightly modern touch with backflips and freestyle moves.
The people were then invited to learn capoeira and practice with the artists.
This first Brazilian-themed event at the campus was nostalgic for many Brazilian students.
“I grew up going to these parties, even like when I was a little kid, between 5 and 10,” said Pedro Silveira. “Honestly, I can tell you one thing, I’m not really into the music, but the environment brings the party into me. Everything is so enthusiastic, and this sound is really about this, being happy and jumping.”
For the event organizer, the carnival had another special meaning: to spread the Brazilian culture to Canada.
“Brazilians are not as much here in Canada. There isn’t a lot yet,” Castro said. “Other people, from other countries, they don’t know a lot about Brazil, so it means, personally, like an achievement, people from all around the world can see my culture as well.”