São Paulo – Lebanon will be paid tribute in next year’s Carnaval by samba school Império de Casa Verde. The school’s parade designer Flávio Campello spent a week in the Arab country going places to get to know the country well. The São Paulo-based school will compete in the A-group for the next Carnaval. Império de Casa Verde’s parade last year was themed around cinema (pictured above).
Preparations for next year’s parade are beginning for Império de Casa Verde. In an interview with ANBA, Império vice president Fábio Leite said that June 25 will see a synopsis of the theme submitted to the songwriters, so they can work on a theme song. Several sambas get composed and recorded over the course of one month, and the winning one gets picked in a contest.
Leite explains that the idea to focus on Lebanon came up in conversations he and Império president Alexandre Furtado had with Lebanese-descendant friends. The school never had a samba about any country, and the idea was met with enthusiasm. “As we learned a bit about Lebanon’s history, we were fascinated,” says Leite. The research proved that the theme would yield a good samba and a good parade, according to him.
The vice president relates that one of the challenges is getting the history of a 7,000-year-old country to fit into 26 or 28 lines’ worth of samba lyrics. The songwriters are given ample material on the subject before going to work on the sambas that will later rock the Anhembi sambadrome.
The parade designer was accompanied in his trip by Lebanon’s honorary consul to Brazil, Miled Khoury, and got input from historian Roberto Khatlab. “We were unveiling new mysteries for the theme somg,” explains Leite. The vice president reveals that the parade will showcase Lebanon’s cuisine, culture, construction and the civilizations that the country was home to.
Império is planning to integrate with the Lebanese community in Brazil leading into the 2020 Carnaval. A special area will be created to welcome Lebanon natives and descendants during rehearsals. The samba school is also willing to join the community’s events up until next February.
One of a handful of details Fábio Leite discloses about the actual parade – which is yet to be created, and schools will usually keep secrecy – is that a Lebanese-only section is being considered.
The summary released by Império de Casa Verde states that 22 civilizations made contributions to building Lebanon, which is known as the country of millennial cedars. At the junction of three continents, it features an ethnic multiplicity that reflects a past forged by the Phoenicians, Hittites, Assyrians, Hebrews, Arabs, Egyptians, Kurds, Turks, Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, Europeans and Latin Americans.
“The people are hospitable and gregarious. At night they will get together to chat, paly cards, tell stories and what happened during the day. They’ll have tasty fruits, sweets, dishes from the unique local cuisine, and some good ‘Super Brazil’ coffee, which is a tradition in this magical land that’s home to 7,000 years’ worth of history” the summary reads. Entitled “Marhaba, Lubnãn,” (Arabic for ‘Hello, Lebanon’), the text asserts that Brazil is the country that’s home to the most Lebanese people in the world.
“We will have a great parade that will conflate the grandeur of Império de Casa Verde and Lebanon, whose migrants brought so much to Brazil – their culture, art and customs,” Império’s president was quoted in a press release as saying. Império de Casa Verde is seeking out additional sponsors for Carnaval 2020.
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum