Celebrating Festa Junina, building a more cohesive society

DPI/GINA, GUYANA, Sunday, June 25, 2017

Guyanese and the Brazilian community turned out in their numbers this evening for the Festa Junina at the Brazilian Embassy compound on Church Street, Georgetown. This festival dates back to more than 2000 years in ancient Greek times. It was brought to Brazil by Portuguese Catholic families approximately 200 years ago.

Brazilian Ambassador Lineu Pupo de Paula explained that it is a, “very popular expressive folk festival throughout Brazil.” He said Guyana has, “a grand Brazilian community and Guyanese are interested in their culture.

Over the years, the cultural elements of the country side, the traditions of the country and the indigenous people have been incorporated into this Festival, making it a genuine Brazilian event. Typical foods, dances and ornaments used in the festivities are a combination of different parts of Brazilian culture.

The month of June is the time of the corn harvest with most of the sweets, cakes and salads are made from this food. Pamonha, Cural de Milhoverde, Milhocozido, Canjica, and Cuzcus are just a few examples. Besides the recipes with corn, Arrozdoce, Bolo de Amendoim, Bolo de Pinhão and more, are also part of the menu. As for the drinks, Quentão” stands out, as a kind of cocktail-tea made with ginger, cinnamon and Cachaça. For decorations, in addition to lots of straw, flags, balloons, bonfire and fireworks are also used.

Some popular Brazilian  games that were demostrated included the  Pau-de-Sebo, Lavagem dos Santos, Correio elegante, Casamento Caipira, Corrida de Saco, Dança e Estoura Balão.

Leading up to the Festa Junina a culinary workshop was held at the Brazil-Guyana Cultural Centre (CCBG) from June, 17 to 24 and Brazilian Cuisine promoted at several restaurants in Georgetown, Linden and Lethem between June, 17 to 24.

Ambassador Pupo de Paula speaking about the Culinary Workshop said that the turnout was more than expected, and he is looking forward to hosting more activities come next year. The workshop offered courses on how to make typical Brazilian dishes from various regions of Brazil, from sweet Brigadeiro to Bobó de Camarão to the famous Cheese Bread.

This year the festival was held under the theme, “I Brazilian Flavours Food Festival.”

The festival was held with a Brazilian Restaurant Week. This event was celebrated at Pegasus Hotel; Midtown Restaurant; Duke Lodge; Aagman Restaurant; New Thriving; Marriott Hotel and Nicé Restaurant.

It is estimated that approximately 10,000 Brazilians reside in Guyana. Many of them have settled in various communities, and are involved in economic activities of gold and diamond mining, restaurant, night club and other  businesses which contribute in various ways to the local economy.

By: Zanneel Williams


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