Brazilian club brings culture of love and inclusion to campus

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There are few places on campus that will make anyone feel as loved, appreciated and included than the Brazilian Club meetings. Food, sharing, love, dance and inclusion are all things that Carlos Figueiredo, president of the Brazilian club, strives to bring to each club activity to make sure everyone can get a taste of Brazilian culture.

“Brazilians are all about food and sharing all of the time. [They] are all really close,” Figueiredo said. “We love to show our love. If you show your love, you’ll be a part of the family.”

The club is anything but exclusive. Anyone of any nationality, ethnicity or background is free to join and participate in the activities.

“We don’t see nationality. Our goal is [for others] to come with us and have fun. This is the Brazilian way. Whether you’re Brazilian or not, just come and enjoy the time, eat food and party. We also love to have fun and help others,” club member, ESL and aerospace engineer freshman Helam Moraes said.

At their first meeting, the Brazilian club accommodated those who spoke Portuguese fluently and those who did not simultaneously. Every person at the meeting got a certain color tag. Each color was associated with how fluent the person was in Portuguese. That way, the fluent speakers could help the other members.

“We want everyone to feel like they are home,” Figueiredo said.

Club member, Chase Jasperson, marketing and advertising senior, mentioned how much he enjoys the going to the club meetings.

“I like the diversity and learning about other cultures, countries, foods and people,” Jasperson said.

The club’s next big event will be the Brazilian culture night in February 2018. The celebration will include live music, dancing, presentations and food. According to Moraes, the food and dances vary between the different regions of Brazil, so they are going to try to showcase the diversity of Brazilian culture.

“Even though the types of food and cultures may vary in Brazil, a few things remain the same all over the country. People love to dance, eat and love each other,” said Moraes.

Next to sharing and love, food is a huge part of the Brazilian culture and, therefore, is a major part of the club’s meetings and events. When asked about famous Brazilian dishes, Moraes, Figueiredo and ESL junior Joyce Mistro raved about pao de queijo, or cheese bread.

“We don’t just put sauces on our food and call it good. We use spices and really cook. The seasonings make the Brazilian food special,” Figueiredo said.

In Brazil, it’s common to be greeted with a hug and one or two kisses on the cheek. Even though you may not be greeted like this at a club meeting, you’ll still feel the utmost love, acceptance and friendship from the members.