Revelers have a good time at the Brazilian carnival in the Shuiwei Community in Futian District on Thursday. Wang Haolan
“A Brazil without the Carnival would be like drinking Chinese white spirits without saying ‘cheers.’” This witty saying, coined by Tiago Ferreira, a Brazilian bar owner who has long been willing to bring the annual gala of his home country to Shenzhen in its true sense, perfectly describes the Brazilian carnival he hosted in the Shuiwei Community in Futian on Thursday.
Often seen as synonymous with overnight revelries, the carnival turned the community into a sea of buzzing vibes with a parade that started at the Brazilian bar named Brass House, which is one of the major venues of the event. In addition to samba dancers dressed up in bejeweled costumes and the symbolic jerseys of the Brazilian national football team, lion dance performers were also on hand. “While making preparations, I came up with the idea of making the carnival into an infusion of Brazilian and Chinese cultures,” said Ferreira, adding that he aims to make the carnival into a borderless event where the charms of cultures from all over the world can be displayed.
Revelers at the Brazilian carnival in the Shuiwei Community of Futian District on Thursday. Tiago Ferreira, a Brazilian bar owner in Shenzhen, has brought the annual gala of his home country to Shenzhen.
The parade is divided into two sessions, with an eight-per-side football match kicking off at 8:30 p.m. as the watershed. “The parade includes some performances by kids, so we put them in the first session starting at 7:30 p.m. so that they don’t return home too late,” said Sharqi, an adviser with ActivnA, a platform that organizes cross-cultural events for communities and is the co-organizer of the carnival. “Office workers getting off late can catch up with the latter session, which is followed by a samba party at 10 p.m.”
Prior to the friendly match between Chinese and Brazilian footballers, a five-per-side football match was also held between children from football academies at the football pitch of Yunding School. “I know people from expatriate football communities in Shenzhen. Some of them are teaching at local football academies. So, we invited football teams from those communities to play in the adult game and the children from six football academies for the kid’s game,” said Sharqi.
Partygoers also grabbed a bit of Brazilian food during the warm-up session of the carnival, such as Coxinha — a chicken thigh-like stuffed pastry — and brigadeiro cake — a kind of Brazilian-style chocolate cake.
“The Brazilian Carnival is dubbed one of the biggest parties in the world and is celebrated by people all over the country for nearly a week. As great a spectacle as it is, I hope that in Shenzhen, not only the Brazilians will celebrate the carnival with their compatriots at a bar or restaurant, but that other people, regardless of their nationalities, will also have fun. That’s why we’re calling up the whole community to hold this event,” said Ferreira.
Once a laid-back urban village located near the border with Hong Kong, the Shuiwei Community has become a popular place for expat residents to experience the inner beauty of civic culture in Shenzhen since its renovation.