Tag Archives: Brazil

Brazilian Day in NYC

The event is celebrating its 27th anniversary, with the Lavagem da Rua 46 on Saturday September 3, and Brazilian Day on Sunday, September 4, at 46th Street, also known as Little Brazil, and 6th Avenue, near Times Square. Presently the event takes over 25 blocks surrounding Little Brazil.

The festival began to celebrate Brazil’s Independence Day. Since 1984, that small celebration has only grown, up to the point of attracting over1.5 million people in 2010, according to official information from NYPD.

Brazilian dayPeople come from as close as Connecticut and as far as California. Perfectly bonding with the diverse population of New York City, people also come from Europe, Asia and Africa, to join in the festivities. Some travel in groups, they commute by bus, some fly in, and others simply drive hundreds of miles. No one wants to be left out of this party, which is now considered the world’s biggest Brazilian event outside Brazil and one of the greatest ethnic events in the Big Apple.

The organizers of Brazilian Day, The Brasilians Newspaper, The Brazilian-American Cultural Center (BACC) and TV Globo Internacional, are expecting a record number of participants for the 27th celebration.There are no precise estimates of how many Brazilians live nowadays in the United States. However, the Brazil Information Center (BIC), a non-profit poll organization based out of Washington, D.C., estimates that there are over a million Brazilians throughout the entire country. Of those, 300 thousand live in the three-state area of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. The NGO also estimates that 100 thousand alone live in the Borough of Queens, New York.

The Brazilian Day festival is not simply a party celebration; it has become an opportunity to reach out to the Brazilian community in the United States. On that day, Brazilians join each other from different parts of the world, many coming from Brazil just to attend the festival, show their pride, advertise their culture and live their nostalgic and anonymous feeling of being an immigrant away from home.

Second Graders Experience Brazil!

Bruna Effting from Brazil, an au pair with Au Pair in America, taught an lesson on her country to second graders at the Wenonah Elementary School in Lake Grove, NY.  Bruna is a teacher in Brazil and enjoyed being back in a classroom sharing her country with America students. 

Bruna lesson included locating Brazil on the world map.


Then she taught the students how to say “Qual e’ sue nome?”  Portugese for ‘What is your name?”  They learned to answer “Meu nome e’ _______” or “My name is _______”, they each had a chance to answer.

Bruna explained that seasons are opposite in Brazil and the students were surprised that the kids in Brazil go to school from February till early December.011

  The most exciting part of the lesson was about Folklore.  Bruna explained that in Brazil folk stories are very important and are explanations of how things came to be, many are about the beautiful fauna and flora of Brazil.  The children were enthralled in Bruna’s lively storytelling of “The Legend of Iguazu Falls!”



Her lesson was a required Global Awareness component of her UCLA college class, an online course exclusively offered to Au Pair in America au pairs.  

Each au pair must enroll  in and attend courses at a post-secondary institution during the exchange program,  Host families on the Au Pair and Extraordinaire programs pay tuition and fees (books, etc.) up to $500  Host families establish agreeable time frames to attend classes, assist with course registration and provide transportation to and from classes.  Au pairs must complete no less than six hours of academic credit or its equivalent during the first 12-month exchange.


Each student wrote a sentence about what they learned about Brazil.  They then drew a picture about what they learned.  Several drew the Brazilian flag.  They learned that the green on the flag represents the forest, the yellow is for the gold that was discovered in Brazil, the blue for the sky, the white stars represent the 27 states in Brazil.   Bruna and the students attached their work to a poster board and they kept it for the classroom.  

What is Global Awareness? www.globalawareness.com 

Global Awareness is an educational program designed to promote multi-cultural understanding and appreciation in elementary and middle school classrooms.  Global Awareness is sponsored by the American Institute of Foreign Study www.aifs.com, Founded in 1964, the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) is one of the oldest, largest and most respected cultural exchange organizations in the world.  Au Pair in America is a division of AIFS.  www.aupairinamerica.com

Mardi Gras Fun With Kids

March 8 Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday” marks the end of Carnival and the beginning of the Christian fasting of Lent.  The biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the US is in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Rio de Janeiro in Brazil also has a huge celebration.  Find a Brazilian au pair in your cluster and ask her to tell you all about it.

Make Mardi Gras Pasta Necklaces

Coloring pasta is easy to do and gives kids something bright and beautiful to work with. Once the pasta is colored and dried, necklaces can be made by stringing on yarn.

colored pasta necklace

Supplies for Colored Pasta:

  • Dried Pasta – any pasta works, but for stringing you will need tubed pasta. I used macaroni, penne, and wheels.
  • Food coloring
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Plastic baggies
  • Paper towels
  • String or Yarn

Place your dried pasta in a zip plastic baggie. Pour in 3-4 drops of your food coloring. Pour in 1 Tablespoon of Rubbing Alcohol. Now seal the bag and shake it all together. Make sure each piece of dried pasta gets coated.

Pour your colored pasta out on paper towel lined trays. Food coloring can stain, so be careful. You’ll want it completely dry before you start to work with it again, as you don’t want any color to drip. I put mine out in the sun to dry faster.

Get out your string or yarn and cut the length of a necklace for your child. Then tie a knot at one end, big enough that the pasta will stay there. I like to tie pasta in my knotted end so the others won’t fall off. I also like to put a little tape around the top of the string so it won’t fray as you string. 

Have your child string on pasta, all sizes and shapes. You can introduce patterns or do counting with your child.  Once they’ve hit the end of their string, tie the two sides together for a necklace around your child’s neck.

Make Mardi Gras Paper Plate Masks 


Supplies for Masks:

  • Paper plates
  • Color construction paperPlastic baggies
  • Markers and/or crayons
  • Glue
  • Stickers
  • Glitter
  • Craft feathers
  • Hole punch
  • String


Cut a paper plate in half (you can make two masks per plate this way).

Cut eye holes in the half plate.

Shape the mask by cutting around the edges–scallops, points, curves or whatever suits you. Be sure to cut a curved groove between and beneath the two eye holes for the nose.

Place a line of white glue around the eye holes and along the edges of the mask. If you want, you can also create swirls or other patterns with glue on the mask.

Sprinkle glitter on top of the glue while it is still wet. Allow the glue to dry.

Decorate the mask as you see fit once the glue is dry. Use markers to color the white paper plate; glue feathers, beads or cut-out construction paper shapes to the mask; or add anything else that might make the mask colorful and festive.

Punch one small hole on each side of the mask and tie a string into the holes.