The Role of the Nossa Senhora Aparecida Festival in Creating Brazilian American Community
Once a year, the Brazilians who live in the Boston area come together at St. Anthony Church in Cambridge to celebrate the festival of Nossa Senhora Aparecida (Our Lady who has Appeared), view the statue of the Virgin Mary that has brought miracles to the people of Brazil, and honor to this patroness. The festival, attended by hundreds, is primarily religious but also seems to have important cultural aspects. Is there a Brazilian community? If so, what role does this festival play? The researcher attended the festival in 1997, providing questionnaires in Portuguese and English, taking photographs, and arranging to interview the parish priest. With references to studies of the Brazilian community in New York city, he determined that the festival plays an important celebratory role for a Brazilian community that is mostly hidden but not nonexistent, a group of people who maintain ties to Brazil through interacting with each other, worshipping together, and speaking Portuguese, carving out a distinctive space despite issues of immigration law and the influence of the other Luso-American communities in the Boston area.
Adam Arenson. "The Role of the Nossa Senhora Aparecida Festival in Creating Brazilian American Community" New York Folklore Journal 24.1-4 (1998): 1-30.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/adam_arenson/7