Sunday, April 3, 2011

Brazilian BBQ birthday - but different

We just spent the afternoon and evening at Luiz’s cousin’s birthday party; BBQ, more like it. It was a classic Brazilian family gathering, except in this case Gernaldo did not invite any family, except his mother and Luiz and I.

There were probably 60 people there eating, drinking, dancing, showing off newborns, and otherwise having a great time. But siblings? – nope. It kinda reminded me of my own birthday parties over time. I have traditionally invited my “chosen” family to these events.

But this struck me as odd for a Brazilian gathering. No family? It was weird.

What wasn’t weird was how the young children ran wild and occupied themselves in all corners of the space; how the youngest in the crowd were being carried around by the beaming oldest in the crowd; how the teenagers were finding their space to drink and kiss; and how the food was endless, salty, sweet and otherwise freshly picked.

Brazilian family (or chosen family) celebrations please everyone, coach the young regarding how to move into their role at a later date, absolutely focus on the tiny babies, and provide for the alcoholic indulgences of most everyone who wishes to go there. At the best parties (IMHO) the folks hired to help (the guy working the BBQ, the woman washing the glasses and or frying appetizers, the waiters passing the food and keeping the tables clean, the DJ keeping everyone on the dance floor…) they are given multiple chances to enjoy the party/food/drink – as was the case today.

But today was a bit different. Where were the siblings and their families? I can’t say for sure. I am not a fofoqueiro and I do not lean over to listen to gossipy conversations. But it was plain to see that the people present were members of the Macumbeira community where the birthday guy and his wife celebrate meaningful rituals. His siblings are rather ardent Christians. Herein could be the rub. But – none of my business.

It was a great party with fun people, terrific food, non-stop music (this middle-aged crowd of Brazilians really lit up to a little Donna Summer!) visions of future generations, and no drama from contrarian siblings.

We had a great time and were invited back for a celebration of São Jorge’s feast day.


Meredith said...

São Jorge

Salve Jorge
Salve Jorge
Salve Jorge
Armas de fogo
O meu corpo não alcançarão
Facas e espadas se quebrem
Sem o meu corpo tocar
Cordas e correntes arrebentem
Sem o meu corpo amarrar
Porque eu estou vestida com as roupas
E as armas de Jorge
Oxossi aylodá yamalabê
Yambelequê yorô
Odé matá coroná

Rachel said...

Come on, you have to get the gossip! One of the best part of these parties, other than the beer, food, people, music, and babies.

I love these kind of parties! Even kid's bday parties are like this. :D

Gil and Ray said...

I miss these kind of parties!
Miss Brazilian Barbecue and he family gossip too...
My sister called today to share the family gossip once everyone was gathered at my parents...
I miss being close to family, can you tell it's time to get back home asap? :)

Jim said...

Luiz goes in for the gossip. I get the condensed version on the way home.

Gernaldo's sister was the big topic of conversation. She is a cosmetic dentist in Rio -- but her mother has the ugliest teeth. She has never offered to be of assistance. Apparently everyone had an opinion..

Anonymous said...

maybe the mom doesnt want to have her teeth fixed...who knows

i love those kind parties....everybody just chilling!! i dont like when parties have to end at a certain time...i prefer "stay as much as you want" parties :)

Meredith said...

I can't wait to go to one of those parties, and my husband is dying to go to one of those parties :).