To emphasize a crucial aspect of Brazilian society to the class, this research project will emphasize the importance of the Festa Junina, or June Festival in Brazil. On the surface, this is just another aspect of culture well known for its festivities. However, just like carnival, this festival carries heavy social themes of class and race which infiltrate all interactions during the celebration. This research project aims to explore how the Festa Junina perpetuates racist and classist sentiments in a Brazilian urban environment. To better convey these issues to an American audience,
To understand the Festa Junina, an acknowledgement must be given to the traditions within the festival that will be explored. Using sources that trace the history of practices such as bonfires and São João to their European origin, a foundation can be created for understanding Brazilian versions of this Midsummer celebration. Thus, other primary sources can provide clarity to the specific practices unique to Brazil. From there, various secondary sources will serve as critiques of the aforementioned traditions, analyzing the executions of the festival in Brazilian metropolitan areas. Although the tradition is centered around a celebration of rural life, these scholarly sources expose the festival as an exclusionary practice that prevents those being celebrated from participating, simultaneously demeaning non-white Brazilians in the process. This research is to discover more of how a seemingly lighthearted event carries dangerous implications for Brazilian society itself.
The act of maintaining a major tradition for fair-skinned and middle class Brazilians results in the intersection of identity in the nation. A major focus of this course has been to outline the lived experiences of Brazilians, and what aspects of the culture allow individuals to identify with the nationality. Understanding how this tradition, which has existed since the colonial area, has emphasized the class and racial dynamics in Brazil is crucial to analyzing how the society is structured. Knowing the development and modern practices of the festival can provide insight into knowing the true face of Brazilian society is like.
This research project integrates various interpretations of the Festa Junina ino a single presentation, providing an overview of how this festival sustains a culture of class and racial exclusion in a nation which prides itself on equality. Designed for an American audience, this project will illuminate issues within an important Brazilian festival, breaking down preconceived notions that Brazilian culture is simply a tourist paradise for innocent excitement. This is a culture with complex and deep rooted issues, problems which will be understood through the context of the Festa Junina.
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- Campos, Judas Tadeu de. 2007. Festas juninas nas escolas: Lições de preconceitos. Educação & Sociedade 589-606
- Roth-Gordon, Jennifer. “Fears of Racial Contact: Crime, Violence, and the Struggle over Urban Space.” In Race and the Brazilian Body: Blackness, Whiteness, and Everyday Language in Rio De Janeiro, 95-127. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2017.
- Castro, Jânio Roque Barros. “The Promotion of Big Parties During the June Festivities in Private Arenas in Reconcavo Region: An Analytical Assessment.” GeoTextos, 2011.