Saturday, June 19, 2010

Festa Junina

If you were to have asked me when I moved here, "Sandy, what is the thing you think you are least likely to see in Brazil," I might have answered square dancing.

Yet today, I saw square dancing in Brazil.

Well, it is called quadrilha, but it pretty much looks like square dancing.

Today we went to a festival where the kids go to school to celebrate Festa Junina, which is an end-of-summer festival based on three saints. The festival was enormous with lots of big carnival type games for kids and SO many food tents.

I didn't get a chance to check out many of the food tents and choose the best because as soon as I saw the Arabic food tent I knew my fate was sealed. I grabbed this amazing falafel kebab.

There was also some pretty good meat on sticks. And everyone knows that all food tastes better on a stick! We also had really good coffee and some amazing cake, but those were eaten before I could get a photo!

We had lots to eat and passed the time with good company and conversation :) I still don't understand everything being said around me but it is getting better. I talked with Marlay, basically my Brazilian Grandma, today, and I can understand SO much more of what she says than I did just 2 weeks ago (which is great because she is a riot!) so that makes me pretty happy.

This is like maybe 1/5 of the total space and people that were present.

Mariana and her boyfriend Silvio showed up and we went over to check out Silvio's brother in the quadrilha. Which, as I mentioned above, is square dancing. Down to the checkered skirts and straw hats - square dancing!

I know, I know. You didn't believe me that it actually was square dancing in Brazil. Here is the photographic evidence. I'll throw a video of it on at the end here, too!

One of the saints celebrated is São João (St. John) and his day celebrates marriage. So, the quadrilha cetners around a bride and a groom. At the end, the boys and girls separate, and the bride throws her bouquet. The girl who catches it then has to go get a boy from the boy's side. And this is all done by 16/17 year olds who must be mortified about it! Luckily, it seemed the girl who caught the bouquet had a boyfriend who she picked. I know this because (a) when she caught it all the other boys roared laughing and jumped on him and (b) they kissed.

Throwing of the bouquet. I just really couldn't stop giggling.

Today was one of those days that makes me so happy that I moved to Brazil. I am learning a new language. I am having new and very different experiences. I am learning so much about my self and about other places and cultures. And I am getting to spend time with really amazing people. Most of my family was together today, and I when that happens I miss them even more. Today, though, while I missed them it was fine...because I got to be with family here.

Monica and Monique

Monique and Javier

Monique and Marley

Me with Mariana, her boyfriend Silvio, and their friend

Here is some brazil square dancing for your enjoyment. I don't know why, but I was just so tickled by this, haha!

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