One of my favourite things about Bangor is its large international presence. This year I had the pleasure of meeting two Brazilian girls who invited me to the ESN Bangor’s “Flight to Brazil” event.
I received the following message – “Dear Passengers, The Erasmus Society would like to welcome you on board. Please fasten your seat belts and prepare for a flight to Brazil! Get ready to celebrate the Carnival with plenty of Caipirinhas, drums and Samba! And as a warning a lot of turbulence is expected on the dance floor. We would kindly request you to bring along some fellow passengers whom you wish to Samba with. In accordance with safety regulations we would kindly ask that you: Return your mood to the upright position, DO NOT remain seated during the inflight entertainment; you might be expected to show some Brazilian moves! Emergency Exits: on both sides of the room in case you can’t keep up with the ‘lambada’, ‘brega’, ‘frevo’, ‘forro’.. If you are in need of any assistance you are kindly requested to disturb the hosts.”
An event invitation like this immediately sparked my excitement. Throwing doubts about my lack of rhythm aside, I donned a mask, got into the carnival spirit, and found myself at Braint Common Room on a cold and rainy night.
The society had done a fantastic job in bringing the colours and energy of a Brazilian Carnival to Bangor. The guests were dressed in bright colours, most people either in a mask or a costume. Brazilian flags covered the ceilings and the Brazilian sounds of samba, funk, sertanejo and forro filled the room.
I was hesitant to get up and join in with the energetic dancing, myself profoundly British, drink in hand people watching. This all changed when I found myself pulled to my feet, handed a tambourine and glass of Caipirinha – a Brazilian drink of lime, sugar, ice and cachaça. My seat was suddenly whisked away with my safety and I had no choice but to join in and dance!
It’s safe to say that I have no dance ability, and no rhythm to speak of, but this somehow didn’t matter. The event embodied the sounds and sights of a Brazilian Carnival. The energy was so infectious it was impossible not to smile and get stuck in.
Photo by Shaun Jackson