6 October 2013
It was something quite baffling that the fifth largest country in the world did not have a society to represent them here in the bubble. This had to change. Those of you visiting the Fresher’s Fayre this year may remember seeing a new society in it: the Brazilian Luso Soc, bringing a portion of carnival into the Union. The society’s president, Bia Carboni, has agreed to tell us more about the exciting plans they have for this year – apart from confessing her admiration for Kaka and how much she misses Brazilian caipirinhas.
The Interpreter Magazine: Just to have a rough idea, approximately how many Portuguese native speakers are studying here at the moment?
Bia Carboni: There must be about 40 native speakers in St Andrews. The majority is Brazilian.
T.I.M: Why did you feel the need to create this society?
B.C: We have been an unofficial society for a while. We thought that it would be a great idea to make our community an official society and be able to use the benefits of the union. A lot of the members miss speaking Portuguese and love the opportunity to get together and talk about all sorts of things.
T.I.M: What kind of events will the members be able to enjoy?
B.C: We have a coffee meeting twice a month on Thursdays. We are also planning to host an event with the Hispanic society like a Sangria/ Caipirinha night. Other events include: barbecue at the beach (when the weather permits), a carnival party, movie screenings and friendly football matches.
T.I.M: Brazil has been demanding a lot of international attention lately… the massive street protests happening in June/July and Dilma’s harsh speech against Obama in the UN’s meeting are just a few examples. What response do these events generate in Brazilians living abroad like you?
B.C: Dilma has the lowest presidential approval rate in the Brazilian history. She has spent over 10 billion dollars on the World Cup alone and has not yet finished all the stadiums. It is understandable that Brazilians are finally protesting. We don’t have public education, healthcare or transportation, which basically means that we are a country without infrastructure so why are we spending money that we don’t have on such a huge event?
T.I.M: Who will win the next World Cup?
T.I.M: Do you think the Brazilian authorities will be able to attenuate the current social conflicts for the World Cup to take place without major problems?
B.C: Yes, they need to. There has been such an investment in the World Cup and in the Olympics that if the government does not see them through it will face ridiculous debt and even higher levels of public dissatisfaction.
Favourite all-time Brazilian football player? Kaká
Best Brazilian singer/band? Marisa Monte
Nicest Brazilian city? Bahia, Salvador
Favourite Brazilian drink? Caipirinha
Best Brazilian film? Tropa de Elite