Sunday, June 27, 2010

Festa Junina with friends

Festa Junina is a time to celebrate the harvest (it's fall-winter here); but in reality it seems it is a time for city folk to poke fun at country folk. OK, maybe that’s not fair. Country folk are also poking fun at country folk. It’s a time to celebrate how things were, back when folks lived on a farm.

Think Li’l Abner and Daisy Mae. Think Jethro, Elly Mae, granny Moses and J. D. Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies. Think shotgun weddings.

There is always a country band, a bon fire, an old aunt looking to hook you up with that nice single girl, and surely in the background there is the distinct smell of corn cooking in all its variations.

Our group of friends just celebrated Festa Junina. We rented a small farm, paid for a band, supported all the women elders to cook traditional foods, heated up a big pot of Quentão, had space indoors on the floor for almost everybody to spend the night (some pitched tents) – and threw one heck of a party.

I must confess that I have yet to match my Brazilian friends in their ability to party for 17 hours straight. We left our house at 11:00 a.m., joined a party in progress, drove to the sítio (small farm), hung out at a nearby barzinho, warmed up the party grounds, welcomed our visitors, danced, ate and laughed for hours and hours.

In full tilt the party consumed a river of beer, ate everything in sight danced to traditional music and even brought everyone together for a traditional quadrillia (square dance).

Then after the band left at 3:30 a.m. we sang together with Wellington playing the guitar for another hour and a half.

Honestly – It’s hard to keep up! I must admit that I took two one hour naps during the duration of this party. Natives older than I plowed through with gusto!

The next morning we shared coffee, bread and cheese, leftover corn sweets and sat in the sun while Victor played the guitar.

Ahhh – qualidade de vida. (And we have been invited to another party next weekend in another town.)

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