Brazilian Heritage Festival connects UK students to a new culture


SAB hopes to host more multicultural events in the future.

Hailey Peters

The UK Student Activities Board hosted its Brazilian Heritage Festival Oct. 5. Though students did not have to be Brazilian to attend, the festival brought new understanding to several facets of Brazilian culture that people may not have had before.

SAB’s intention for putting on this event was to get students with Brazilian heritage connected to each other, as well as introduce non-Brazilian students to new food, music, art and recreation that they may not have been aware of.

The event attracted a diverse crowd of UK students, parents and faculty. Attendants could participate in a soccer goal competition, mask decorating, sand art making and eating authentic, catered Brazilian cuisine. All of this could be done while listening to Portuguese music and aiming to earn a free t-shirt.

Thomas Dimeny, a freshman computer science and finance major who serves as a chairman for the board’s multicultural events, said he was pleased with the success of the event.

“The goal was to broaden people’s horizons to cultures they may not have known were so active on campus,” Dimeny said. “I think the students here love the opportunity to learn about other cultures while eating some really tasty food.”

There was no shortage on food at the event, and tables were packed with attendants eating the meal in Barker Plaza. People could choose to eat pão de queijo (cheese bread), arroz (rice), feijão (beans), frango assado (chicken) and brigadeiro, which has no English translation. The food was all catered and got immense approval from the crowd.

Each attendant had his or her own reason for going to the festival, but they all left with the same thing: a deeper understanding and appreciation for Brazilian culture. Emily Nguyen, a freshman biology major, was one of the attendants that achieved this understanding.

“One of my best friends is Brazilian, so I thought it would be fun if we came,” Nguyen said. “I think it’s been a good thing for [Student Activities Board] to put on. Living in a non-diverse place like Kentucky, I think it’s really important to show representation like this, even if the population of the people you’re representing is small.”

Whether an attendant’s native language was English, Portuguese or something else entirely, the festival connected everyone. This was an opportunity for an underrepresented ethnicity on campus to shine through and share who they are with the UK community.

Festivals like this open people’s minds to new ideas created by people different than themselves, and the willingness to accept those new ideas is an important quality that the university is seeking to instill upon every student.

SAB plans to have more multicultural events in the future and will announce the dates and locations as they are finalized.