Um Pouquinho de Brasil
 
     
 
 
     
  One of the classic sambas by Ary Barroso, the composer of 'Aquarela do Brasil', Brazil's second national anthem,begins with the following phrases:  
       
   Isto aqui, ô, ô,  This, ô, ô,  
   É um pouquinho de Brasil, iáiá  Is a little bit of Brazil, iáiá  
       
 

This was the song from which the group took its name. 'Um Pouquinho de Brasil' is made up of members of the Brazilian community living in the Belfast area. The group meets informally once a week to sing and play Brazilian music.

Today there are around 40 Brazilian nationals living in Northern Ireland. However, the Irish Brazilian community also includes the families of the Brazilians living here, so there are well over 100 people in the community as a whole. Some of the Brazilians are permanent residents in Northern Ireland and others only here for a short stay, often to perfect their English or to gain work experience. For this reason the membership of 'Um Pouquinho de Brasil' is continuously changing.

Brazilians are, on the whole, great lovers of music, and music making is an important part of many social activities. For Brazilians abroad, Brazilian music is a way of reminding them of home. Even before 'Um Pouquinho de Brasil' began meeting regularly as an ensemble, whenever the Brazilians in Belfast got together, the guitars would come out and much of the evening was spent singing. On many occasions someone would suggest meeting to actually rehearse a piece or two, but it never quite happened. It wasn't until a few people were invited to perform in public in 1998, that a few rehearsals were organised.

The invitation came from Alvina and Diarmaid. They wanted some Brazilian music at their wedding ceilidh to mark both the Brazilian and the Irish dimensions of their marriage. A few Brazilians - along with a few of their relatives and friends - met several times to prepare a few pieces for the occasion. The experience was so enjoyable that they decided to keep meeting, and now the weekly 'rehearsals' are a central part of the social life of the members of the group. By meeting regularly, the Brazilians in the ensemble re-create a little bit of Brazil for themselves each week.

 
     
 
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