The culture of Brazil has proven to be very different from that of home but in some way it is inexplicably similar. The day has proved that music is one of those connections that the two cultures share.

The group started the day with a capoeira workshop where the leaders shared the heartwarming story of how the dance style began and why it continues to be such a massive part of Brazilian culture. The story is about the slaves of Brazil using capoeira as a way to practice self-defense while hiding it from their masters. It has continued to honor their ancestors. Though none of us knew the moves and could not communicate directly with the instructors, there was a rich bond that was formed between all of us. I would find it hard to believe that there is a single member of our group who did not feel the respect and support we all shared.

This musical connection did not end with the capoeira workshop. Amelia, Christina, Emma, and I were fortunate enough to attend a choral performance. My host mom, a tour guide, has been leading a choir from Indianapolis since our arrival on Tuesday. The choir performed a multitude of pieces including songs from the United States and Brazil as well as worship songs. The choir sounded amazing, however, the most beautiful part of the entire program was the worship song at the very end. Brazilian or American, audience or performers. Every single person was clapping. We were all connected. We were all one.

Though this connection may seem so small and silly to some, it means so much to me as someone who struggles with homesickness and being an introvert. The musical connection feels like a slice of home, a reminder of where I came from and everywhere I am going. A warm hug to keep me pushing through. This connection was a reminder that “ubuntu” (“I am because you are”) is a real feeling that is alive in every place that I am.


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