Florida, april 7 2010. The Brazilian Consulate has announced the winners of the 3rd Annual Poster Contest for Broward County public schools. The topic was “How Have Brazilians Added to the Quality of Life in Broward County?” Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of the top three poster entries: 1st Place, $500; 2nd Place, $300; and 3rd Place, $100.
The 1st pace winner was Raffael Oliveira and this is what he wrote:
The Transformation Of Ordinary Into Beautiful
Nova High School - 11th Grade
Broward County is a melting pot for a plethora of different cultures. It's a perfect example of the demographic diversity that is America today. While walking down the street. it's not uncommon to hear many different tongues being spoken, some of which aren't even recognizable. Every group of people who immigrate to Broward County brings their cultural traditions and moral values from their homeland, and implicates them in their new homes, which leads to a beautiful web of intermingling as immigrants share their culture with their new neighbors, who in turn begin to adopt some of these traits. According to the National Census, 23 percent of Broward County residents were born outside of the United States, so it's easy to infer that these residents have greatly influenced the quality of life and way of living in our cities.
The Brazilian population has increased rapidly over the years and there are now 22,087 Brazilians living in Broward County. Portuguese is now the third most commonly spoken language in the county. In every good sense of the meaning, Brazilians have made their mark and created a niche, bringing unique characteristics to Broward and contributing to the well being of its citizens. From those who come from the concrete jungles of Sao Paulo, bringing their city bustle, to those from Rio de Janeiro, who bring a refreshing outlook on life, Brazilians have contributed immensely to Broward County and facets of their culture have become an integral part of the society.
The way in which Brazilians have made the biggest contributions in terms of improving the quality of life is through their demonstrations of "0 Jeito Brasileiro " which literally means the Brazilian way. The Brazilian Way encompasses every aspect of being, from demeanor and outlook on life down to interpersonal relationships. Regarding relationships, common behavior in the United States is generally more formal and rigid. People tend to be more paranoid in this day and age and therefore refrain from revealing themselves completely in fear of being exploited in some way. Perhaps because of the diverse groups of cultures living together in Brazil during its formation, Brazilian behavior developed a unique and warm way in dealing with others, and this "Brazilian Way" is recognized and revered throughout Broward County. Brazilians pride themselves on toleration, conciliation, and helpfulness to all people, even complete strangers. They value how others perceive them, so extra effort is exerted to make a good impression. Life is without a doubt more comfortable and joyful when people are courteous to one another, and Brazilians, whether it is in schools or in the workplace, are showcasing their art of warm communication with their peers and coworkers.
Brazilians also have a way of not taking life too seriously. Through all of their daily trials and tribulations, Brazilians tend to always look ahead to the next day and live life to the fullest, never sweating the small stuff. They have an incredible knack for using an outside stimulus to function as a comforter and alleviate their daily troubles, and music is without a doubt a major asset. From the soothing sounds of Bossa Nova to the upbeat and joyful rhythms of Samba, people have been using music from Brazil as medicine to lead them through hard times, and see the light at the end of the tunnel. "He who sings chases all of his troubles away." This is an old Brazilian saying that sums up the spirit and resilience of the culture. In Broward County, a duo of Brazilian women formed a female vocal group in 2001, fittingly named Brazilian Voices. Beatriz Malnic and Loren Oliveira, who were both successful singers in their respective careers, put the group together. The formation of this group grew from a love and passion for music, but their contributions to the Broward Community exceed just the musical aspect. Brazilian Voices offers seminars, workshops, and vocal training to anyone who loves music. Katia Iole, a member of the group expressed her feelings about the impact on the Broward community through their music by saying, "Through these successful events, we noticed we had reached another dimension-not only vocally, but in the way we touch our community." Malnic testifies that " ... It's refreshing to see people joining forces, spreading harmony, tenderness and joyfulness." The impact of this group has not gone unnoticed. Brazilian Voices was awarded a Cultural Diversity Program grant from the Broward Cultural Council. It's clear to see that Brazilians use music as a powerful vortex to attract people from all walks of life to assemble and enjoy life.
Another event in which Brazilians have contributed to the quality of life in Broward County is through "The Brazilian Carnival", which has been an annual event in Deerfield Beach since 2003 . The Carnival brings Brazilians together from all corners of the world, and brings a piece of their beloved country to South Florida. Brazilians celebrate and rejoice for hours on end while drums and guitars saturate the atmosphere, as well as the smells of traditional dishes. The most spectacular part of this festival, however, is the sighting of non-Brazilians, some who come from other lands to experience the beauty and delight of Brazil. Americans pace the Carnival back and forth, smiling from ear to ear, anxiously awaiting to sample an exotic food or tap their feet to the mesmerizing melodies. It now seems that this really isn't a Brazilian carnival as much as it is a cultural and human reunion. All of the people in attendance are one, moving together to the cadence of Samba. It's a breathtaking experience and for those few hours all of the evils in this world are put aside, only peace and harmony transpire. The Brazilian culture has an unexplainable ability to attract people and have them fall in love with life, as if they had been experiencing it for the first time.
I can attest to the ways in which my life has been made better because of my Brazilian heritage. The values which were instilled in me while living in Brazil and when I moved to Broward County have helped me enjoy every instance of my being and allowed me to be a tolerant person, who is always open and excited to learn about others. Even when on my journey through life I encounter roadblocks, I always see the better times which lay ahead. I am proud of the green, yellow, and blue blood that flows within my veins and I am eager to humbly share my culture with my fellow citizens of Broward County. Brazilians have used their easygoing and kind ways to improve the quality of life in Broward County, welcoming all who are willing to board the train to peace and unity.
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Foster, Helene., "Brazilian Voices Captivates Community Through Song." Cultural Closeup.
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(December 12, 2008).
Graber, Ben., "Broward County's Brazilian Population.". Broward By The Numbers http://broward.orglplanningserviceslbbtn45.pdt (Jan. 12, 2009).