This past Thursday, March 23, the Caribbean Club decided to bring a little piece of Brazil to Maine by hosting their 3rd annual Carnival Madness event. They had a huge turnout of about 100 people who throughout the night came to sample goods and learn a bit about the cultural festivities that were taking place that day.
This event took place in the Memorial Union at 6 p.m. and represented Carnival, a large public event that takes place in Brazil every year. This festival lasts an entire week and is a lot like Mardi Gras, except much larger. Celebrations take place in many different countries, but the ones in Brazil are much more notable. In Rio de Janeiro, it can feature over 100 blocks of parades. This festival generally takes place 46 days before Easter and represents the beginning of Lent. It is made up of large floats, costumed dancers, lots of food and music and always lots of colors.
Many people visibly agreed that the Caribbean Club did not disappoint. The club had prepared tons upon tons of food, a 50/50 raffle, dances and even an open bar. Before they opened the food up for the crowd, the club held an informative slideshow. The slideshow contained information about the cultures that the club represents. For areas like the Dominica, Grenada, Haiti and Barbados, attendees were able to learn about the general population sizes, languages that they spoke and were able to see pictures of the ways in which they celebrate Carnival too.
“I really like this event,” Cordell Beaton said. “Between the great food and the dancing, this event definitely serves as a great way to have us experience their culture first hand and it’s just a lot of fun.”
Following this, the women of the club performed a carnival dance. They were upbeat and lively, exciting the audience, who hollered and cheered them on. The dancers even created their own feathered costumes (the feather necklaces and anklets over their matching black clothes) for the performance.
During and after the performance, the volunteers from the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) who helped prepare the event also expressed that what the Caribbean Club had put together a great event and had made it fun for everyone that came.
Examples of the food that was provided to attendees, all of which was free to the public, were yuka root, spanish rice, salads, Cuban sandwiches, ropa veja pork and fried plantain. There was also food provided by LASO which consisted of brigadeiro (Brazilian chocolate bonbons) and pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread). As for the open bar, the Caribbean club kept those pina coladas flowing all night (virgin of course). Many people enjoyed the pulled pork and the chocolate bonbon desserts. Either way, by the end of the night, nearly all of the food was gone.
With the close of their performance people were free to eat and dance as they wished. Those who wish to learn more about the Caribbean Club or LASO can follow them on Facebook.