October 6, 2022
by Kate Brockmeyer
CultureALL recently participated in the World Food and Music Festival in downtown Des Moines. We staffed the cultural activity pavilion with our Ambassadors who led culturally authentic activites and shared about their cultures. Other staff members not only talked with attendees about the mission of CultureALL, but we also gave Brazilian wish bracelets to children and adults of all ages!
These bracelets are colored ribbons called fitas. On each ribbon is the phrase, "Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia" (Remembrance of the Lord of Bonfim of Bahia). This tradition dates back to 200 years ago in Brazil. The ribbon is typically tied around the wrist, making three knots, each knot representing a wish. Some even assign deeper characteristics to the ribbon color. The wishes are said to come true when the ribbon falls off on its own. The ribbon is hoped to bring good luck and faith. In Brazil, they are even tied around doorknobs and on the gates of a famous Catholic church.
We had fun encouraging others to take a moment to think of any three wishes. Some younger participants expressed wishes of toys and treats. From adults, we heard anything from winning the lottery to going on a much-needed vacation. We hope that the participants will remember their experiences with our Ambassadors, connect with this Brazilian tradition, and reflect on practices from their own cultures.
Do you have a unique tradition from your culture you’d like to share with us? Email Explore@cultureall.org to be featured in a post!
Color meaning of Brazilian wish bracelets:
Rainbow – Good luck & Happiness
Brown – Grounded & Simplicity
Yellow – Success & Intelligence
Purple – Spirituality & Sophistication
Light blue – Love, Tranquility & Understanding
Dark Blue – Comfort & Security
Green – Money & Growth
Neon Green – Health, Fertility & Hope
Neon Pink – Friendship, Acceptance & Sensuality
White – Wisdom & Inner Peace
Red – Passion & Strength
Neon Orange – Courage, Energy & Confidence
Black – Patience & Understanding