Celebrating Brazilian culture

By Maggie Oliver
Staff Writer

April 18, 2013

This past Friday, Avenue 209 Coffee House once again opened their doors to feature another part of the Culture through Coffee series. The destination this time was Brazil.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Oliver Camila Hermes (left) and Lacey McKivison (right).

Photo courtesy of Maggie Oliver
Camila Hermes (left) and Lacey McKivison (right).

Culture through Coffee is a collaborative effort between the Institute for International Studies and Avenue 209 to share cultures and customs from throughout the world with the local community. Generally, international students or study abroad returnees are the spotlight and they share what they learned from being abroad. Past events, or destinations, have included Japan, Mexico, and Italy.

The idea to highlight Brazil came easily because LHU currently has an international student from Brazil, Camila Hermes, and a study abroad returnee, Lacey McKivison. Camila is currently visiting LHU on a scholarship which she was awarded from the Brazilian government – her home institution is the University of Passo Fundo. Lacey won a Gilman Scholarship and studied at LHU’s partner school, the University of Fortaleza, last fall.

As the program began Brazilian music was played and the country’s national colors – green, gold and blue – draped throughout the café to get everyone in the spirit of the event. Lacey and Camila both spoke about the regions that they are familiar with and, during a short break, the audience was invited to try some traditional Brazilian foods.

First, were the traditional Brazilian hot dogs. Most people associate hot dogs with America, but these hotdogs are probably not what most people would expect. Cut up and cooked in a sauce, before being place on the bun, these hot dogs are also garnished with potato sticks and depending on your region, onions, green peppers and corn. For dessert the audience was treated to a favorite from all across Brazil, brigadeiros. Made from condensed milk, cocoa powder and chocolate sprinkles, the brigadeiros were definitely the hit of the night.

Lacey and Camila were both happy to take part in the Culture through Coffee program.  “I think it’s a really great way of being able to share my experience with the community,” Lacey said, a main goal of the series according to the Institute for International Studies. “Thank you for coming and sharing some of the Brazilian culture,” Camila said at the end of her presentation. The experience also gave the participants and opportunity

to learn more about Brazil themselves.

“It was really great working with Camila, especially because she is from a completely different part of Brazil than I was in. It was great to learn about her part of the country,” said Lacey.

John Gradel, the Assistant Director for the Institute for International Studies, has been a part of the planning process for Culture through Coffee since he started his position at LHU last fall. “Our students gain so much by going out into the world, and it’s great that they have an opportunity to share what they have learned,” Gradel said.

While this was the last Culture through Coffee event scheduled for this semester, more will be planned for the fall. “Culture through Coffee is a great way to get LHU and the community collaborating on events. It’s been a very successful program and we definitely look forward to continue having our students get out into the community to share their experiences from abroad,” said Gradel.

Maggie Oliver is a graduate student majoring in alternative education and can be contacted at mco7491@lhup.edu.


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