For the past 8 weeks, a dedicated group of Gozamos readers spent Tuesday nights at an artists’ studio in River West learning Brazilian Portuguese. Our profesora, Soraia Oliveira, a Rio de Janeiro native and experienced Brazilian Portuguese instructor, led a class of 15 students of various backgrounds. Reflecting the diverse Gozamos readership, the class represented various Chicago neighborhoods from Bronzeville to Rogers Park, Lakeview to Humboldt Park, and ranged in age from college undergrads to a mom of teenagers. Though the number of students tapered off after the first few weeks, there remained a core group of 8-10 students who came back week after week.

This was a serious language course–we not only worked on dialogues and exercises in class, but also had homework! But we also enjoyed fun activities which intensified our interest in Brazilian culture. We broke up into groups and assigned presentations on the various regions of Brazil. We learned (or tried to learn) the lyrics of a bossa nova classic, Ela é Minha Menina. Another week, Yaasha Abraham of Passistas Samba taught us several kinds of samba dances. After another class, Soraia showed us how to make a perfect caipirinha by muddling lime and adding the perfect amount of sugar and cachaca. One of my favorite class activities was movie night, when we watched Ó Paí, Ó, a film about the preparation of Carnival festivities in a small Bahia town, centered around the colorful characters living in one tenement building.

Last Tuesday was our last class… so what will we do this Tuesday evening? It just so happens to be Brazilian Night at ñ bar, and also Soraia’s birthday on Wednesday. Everyone should come on out to celebrate the arrival of our profesora’s birthday at ñ! Otimo!!

Tuesday, August 17th
Celebrate Brazilian Night with Gozamos at ñ bar
2977 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

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