Monday, July 19, 2010

Festa Junina in Brazil (Sao Joao - Saint John's)

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4 comments

http://inrecife.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/sao-joao.jpg













The French brought to Brazil the quadrilha, which is a

theatrical dance that tells the story of a marriage in a small town.

Even today, the traditional quadrilha lyrics of

Festas Juninas use French words.

Laura Duro


Whoever has traveled to Brazil during the month of June, has already found out that Brazilians celebrate the month with parties that can be even bigger than Carnaval in some cities. Those parties are called Festas Juninas and they celebrate saints Anthony, John and Peter with lots of traditional foods, drinks and a theatrical dance inherited from the French called quadrilha (a type of square dance).


However, the origin of this party is much older than Brazil itself. It began in Europe. The month of June being the beginning of the summer, bring crops that the population celebrated with parties and ceremonies. All over Europe, people used to make bonfires on hilltops and plains to dance around and jump over. Part of the ceremonies also was to offer the fire some of the crop and even live animals to bring luck for the next crop season. From this old practice, came the tradition of bonfires in Festas Juninas as well as all the beliefs related to the fire such as " kids cannot play with the fire", "you cannot push the firewood with your feet", and similar expressions.


Even older were the June celebrations throughout the Roman Empire. There were celebrations to the god Juno. These festivities were brought to Europe by the Greek, and goddess Juno, who is known as Hera in the Greek mythology, was celebrated in June throughout Europe, at the same time that Europeans were thanking the crop. Juno was married to Jupiter (Zeus in Greece) and she was the symbol of fertility, love and fidelity.


Juno was considered the Roman supreme goddess, married to the ruling god, Jupiter. She is believed to watch and protect all women and was called by the Romans "the one who makes the child see the light of day". To this day, many people consider the month of June, which is named after the goddess who is the patroness of marriage, to be the most favorable time to marry. With the spreading of Christianity throughout Europe many ancient traditions were eradicated but some were incorporated to the Roman Catholic Church and the marriage abilities of Juno were passed on to Saint Anthony. To these days, Saint Anthony is believed to help with marriage.


Nowadays, Brazilians do not thank for the crops because in South America this is not the crop season. As for the celebrations they extend throughout the month, commemorating Saint Anthony on June 13, Saint John on June 24, and Saint Peter on June 29.


Saint John is the most celebrated in the northeast region of Brazil. Saint Peter is known to protect fishermen and homes besides being one of the founders of the Catholic Church. Some cities also include Saint Paul in the festivities.


Every Festa Junina has a tall pole with a Saint John image hanging on it. Tradition says that Elizabeth, Saint John's mother, used a tall pole to announce the son's birth to Saint John's aunt, Mary who was expecting Jesus. In Brazil, this pole was transformed into a special attraction; it is the so-called pau-de-sebo (greased pole). The pole is covered with grease and money or any other kind of prize is placed on its top.


The Portuguese brought the Festa Junina from Europe to Brazil. Like in Brazil, Portugal celebrates June every year, with the difference that in Portugal people give more attention to Saint Anthony than to Saint John. In the big melting pot that Brazil is, Festa Junina was also well accepted by the native habitants and many more beliefs, traditions and costumes joined the party.


When the French missions came to Brazil they brought the quadrilha, which is a theatrical dance that tells the story of a marriage in a small town. Due to its origin, even today you still see some French words in the quadrilha lyrics, terms like anavam, anarrié, granche, balancê, travessê, devaiê and tour. And the quadrilha became the official dance of a Festa Junina as you can see in the quadrilha script below.


Traditional dishes


Another aspect of Festas Juninas that blended with local culture was the food. All over Brazil, the celebrations for saints Anthony, John and Peter happen June, but the food that goes along is different in each region of the country. Tasting the variety of Festa Junina's food we can experience even far away from Brazil a little flavor and feeling for this most traditional Brazilian celebration.


Starting with the Amazon, in Manaus (the capital of Amazonas State), Festa Junina is celebrated with cassava cake, sweet tapioca with coconut. The Amazonians also enjoy the podre cake, and peanut brittle, which has Brazil nuts in it. Amazonians had a strong influence from indigenous peoples who brought to the Festa Junina the tacacá (porridge of a wild cassava—tucupi—starch and shrimp served hot in a bowl), fried pocovã bananas, caruru, vatapá, cocada and aluá (pineapple peel juice).


Campina Grande, in Paraíba state, and Caruaru, in Pernambuco, are some of the most famous northeastern cities where Festas Juninas are a huge celebration, rivaling Carnaval. Instead of samba, they have 'forró', though.


Forró is a ball dance used to celebrate Festas Juninas and the music for the dance is also called forró. One of the most popular bands of forró is 'Mastruz com Leite'. One explanation not accepted by some experts for the name forró is that the word originated at the time the British were constructing railroads in the northeast region. During the weekends they used to promote outdoor balls to entertain the local workers. And to let everybody know they were welcome to the ball they used to post a sign saying 'For All'. Time went by and 'For All' became forró and the ball became a Brazilian tradition. During Festas Juninas you can find tents selling many different dishes such as canjica, pamonha, corn on the cob, mugunzá, cassava cake and peanut brittle.


Going down to the southeast region you'll also find traditional Festas Juninas in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. There you will find canjica seasoned with roasted peanuts and coconut, soups made with beef, cassava or smoked beans, popcorn, peanut brittle and lots of sweets such as milk fudge, crystallized fruits and cajuzinho (a candy made with ground peanuts). In the south of Brazil, Festas Juninas have roasted pine nuts, popcorn, roasted peanuts, and a variety of cakes. But the most traditional is the corn cake.


Brazil celebrates its Festas Juninas with different foods, but to drink everybody has quentão. This is a hot drink made with cooked ginger in water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and cachaça (sugar cane liquor). The name quentão literally means the big hot one and reminds us that the infusion warms you up in the chilly nights of June. To drink, Festas Juninas also have quentão made with red wine and the traditional caipirinha (margarita-like potion). By the way, another way to warm yourself up is to jump the bonfire that stands in the middle of the party. You also can climb send love letters and dance quadrilha.



 http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Brasil/foto/0,,14776302-EX,00.jpg

CARUARU - CAPITAL OF THE "FORRÓ"

This is a well deserved title that Caruaru holds proudly. Besides being the commercial pole of Pernambuco's inland, leader of about 40 municipalities, it is a incontestable reference within the northeastern folklore and cultural scenario.
Among the so called "inland parties" where the main characteristic is the spontaneity, the parties that compose the June cycle are more and more remarkable as time goes by, and today they are an event nationally and intentionally known.
As important as its function of preserving, maintaining alive and divulging the northeastern popular culture, the Caruaru's June parties - the authentic expression of its hospitable and joyful people - have also the potentiality of leading the tourist flow in the region.
The city transformed in a huge hamlet hosts thousands of visitors which number has been considerably increasing and reflecting directly not only on the local economy but also warming up and discovering other neighbor poles for the market.
Those approaches only would be enough to justify such success. However such peculiar manifestation provides other pleasant surprises revealed by its colors, forms and rhythms of this charming city of inviting weather where you can enjoy the "BEST SAINT JOHN'S PARTIES OF BRAZIL".

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Desserts from Recife, Pernambuco - Brazil

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10 comments

Post by Luciana Lage

Street Smart Brazil

http://www.streetsmartbrazil.com/

Brazil has an amazing variety of cuisine and each state has their unique influences and recipes. Pernambuco is a state with strong cultural characteristics and is rich in folklore, music, and dance. A short while ago I posted a video and the lyrics of a song on our Forums and I said that the lyrics could very well justify one entire semester of Northeastern Brazil Culture 101. The same is true for our gastronomy. Here I will give you a starting point for your researches and explorations of Pernambuco desserts.
One of my favorite desserts is Cartola: sliced fried banana with queijo mateiga or coalho (two types of very delicious  Brazilian cheese), topped with with cinnamon and chocolate. Oh it is so good! It is one of those things that you have to try; the list of ingredients may not sound that exciting, but the dish is fantastic. In fact, the state of Pernambuco has been discussing the idea of officially recognizing Cartola as cultural heritage.
Cartola Sobremesa Recife Pernambuco < Cartola - from the blog Cozinha Cani.
Another exquisite sobremesa (dessert) pernambucana is Bolo Pé de Moleque, which Street Smart Brazil member Species mentioned in his forum post.  Pé de Moleque is a very unique cake. The recipe includes a certain special dough, rapadura honey, cashews, erva-doce (fennel), and clove (cravo). Pé de Moleque is very popular in Recife, especially during the São João festivities.
Here is an article about foods from pernambuco cooked in other states as a way to deal with saudade de Pernambuco. The article mentions the intent to promote Cartola to cultural heritage and has a picture of bolo Pé de Moleque.
There are also many corn based recipes. Pamonha and Canjica are the most popular and are especially consumed during the São João festivities. Just keep in mind that in some parts of the country this delicacies can have a different name. In the picture, canjica is the one in the round place and pamonha is the one wrapped sort of like a tamale.

pamonha canjica milho brazil cuisine < Canjica
Another one of my personal favorites: tapioca com coco (coconut) e queijo coalho (Brazilian cheese). Tapioca in Brazil does not have any resemblance with the tapioca we know here in the US. It is made with manioc or yucca flour and cooked in a skillet in a half moon shape. The original tapioca is filled with coalho cheese and grated coconut. The recipe received many variations and today you can find tapiocas with lots of different flavors and fillings. Here is the recipe (in Portuguese) for tapioca with Brazil nuts (castanha do Pará) and coconut.
tapioca queijo e coco recife pernambuco < Tapioca com coco
Have you ever tried brigadeiro? Please, please do so! Condensed milk and cocoa mixed and cooked together for your (and mine) delight. You are certain to find brigadeiros in every Brazilan birthday party. We recently offered home made brigadeiros to our students during our end of the year get-together :)  If you want to try it at home here is a recipe in English. And stay tuned to our blog: The Street Smart Brazil team is getting together in a week to cook brigadeiro and create a fun video for you!
brigadeiro docinho recife pernambuco < Brigadeiro
(brb: I have to grab a piece of chocolate or something; this is torture!)
We also have many different cakes, like bolo Souza Leão, bolo de macaxeira, and bolo de milho.
A special cake is Bolo de Rolo, made with doce de goiaba (guava marmalade). Trust me: You have to try bolo de rolo in Brazil. It is a great gift to bring back home and has become a popular export Brazilian product.  Here is a recipe in English.
 bolo de rolo recife pernambuco  < Bolo de rolo
A simple yet popular dessert is Romeu e Julieta: queijo coalho and goiabada (guava marmalade). The link will take you to the recipe in English!
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

You make me smile uncle kracker

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Smile by: UncleKkracker






You´re better then the best
I´m lucky just to linger in your life
Cooler then the flip side of my pillow that´s right
Completely unaware
Nothing can compare to where you send me
Lets me know that it´s ok yeah it´s ok
And the moments when my good times start to fade

You make me smile like the sun
Fall out of bed
Sing like a bird
Dizzy in my head
Spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold
Buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Ohh you make me smile

Even when you´re gone
Somehow you come along
Just like a flower poking through the sidewalk crack and just like that
You steal away the rain and just like that

You make me smile like the sun
Fall out of
bed sing like bird
Dizzy in my head spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold
buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Ohh you make me smile

Don´t know how I lived without you
Cuz everytime that I get around you
I see the best of me inside your eyes
You make me smile
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold
buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild

You make me smile like the sun
Fall out of bed
sing like bird
Dizzy in my head
spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold
buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Ohh you make me smile
Ohh you make me smile
Ohh you make me smile

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

This time I'll be Bulletproof

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1 comments



Bulletproof  La Roux

Been there, done that, messed around
I'm having fun don't put me down,
I'll never let you sweep me off my feet,
I won't let you in again, the messages I've tried to send,
my informations just not going in,
burnin' bridges shore to shore, I'll break away from something more,
I'm not turned off to love until it's cheap,
been there, done that, messed around,
I'm having fun don't put me down,
I'll never let you sweep me off my feet,

Chorus:
This time baby I'll be bulletproof
This time baby I'll be bulletproof

I won't let you turn around,
and tell me now I'm much too proud,
to walk away from something when it's dead,
do do do your dirty words come out to play when you are hurt?,
there's certain things that should be left unsaid,
tick tick tick on the watch and life's too short for me to stop,
Oh baby, your time is running out,
I won't let you turn around,
and tell me now I'm much too proud,
All you do is fill me up with doubt,

Chorus:
This time baby I'll be bulletproof
This time baby I'll be bulletproof
This time baby I'll be bulletproof
This time baby I'll be bulletproof

Bridge

Chorus:
This time baby I'll be bulletproof
This time baby I'll be bulletproof
This time baby, this time baby
This time baby, this time
This time baby, this time baby
This time baby, this time.

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