Graduate student shares culture, food of Brazil at International Coffee Hour

Samples of food typical of Brazil were served after the presentation on Brazil at the International Coffee Hour on April 13, 2018. (Sarah Millard | Collegian Media Group)

Students and staff gathered in the International Student Center on Friday afternoon for another installment of the International Coffee Hour lecture series, this time focused on Brazil.

Amanda de Oliveira Silva, graduate student in agronomy and president of the Brazilian Student Association, started her presentation by sharing photos and a brief overview of her home country.

“Brazil is a mixture of everything, and that’s why our traditions are very rich,” Silva said. “Our food is also very rich, very different across regions.”

Silva introduced the different regions and cultures of Brazil along with various facts and statistics about the country.

“We have five regions, so it seems like we have five different countries within a country,” Silva said.

Silva said Brazil is divided into the north, northeast, south, southeast and central-west regions. The regions vary in customs and food, and their climates range from deserts to wetlands and mountains.

Over the last 30 years, Brazil’s agriculture industry has grown by 150 percent, Silva said. Currently, Brazil is the second largest producer of soybeans and the largest producer of sugarcane in the world.

The lecture continued onto topics regarding metropolitan cities like São Paulo, cultural dances and the symbolism of the Brazilian flag.

The lecture also allowed for audience questions on topics such as education. Silva said that, like in the United States, there are public and private schooling options. Silva added that public universities are harder to get into, but are paid for and last five years.

Silva said Kansas State currently has around 30 Brazilians in the university community, mostly faculty. K-State has had more Brazilian undergraduate students studying abroad in the past when the “Science Without Borders” program was available, she added.

The International Coffee Hour series will continue April 27 at 4 p.m. with a presentation on Colombia in the International Student Center.