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"Supporting regional culture means respecting people"


Four years ago in Pernambuco Jeep created a cultural agenda to support and promote "one of the most diverse and rich" traditions of Brazil

April 4, 2019 - It was impossible for Goiana (PE) to receive the Jeep Automotive Plant in 2015 without noticing changes to life and its surroundings, as it happened with education and the environment. Located on the border between the Metropolitan Region of Recife (area which was added in January 2018) and the Zona Norte Mata de Pernambuco, Goiana and other neighboring municipalities had their cultural patrimony valued: Jeep created a cultural agenda for 2019 with the objective of promoting the traditions of Pernambuco by supporting regional cultural manifestations and events that are part of the State’s official calendar.

"As corporate citizens of Pernambuco, we know well the importance and value that popular culture has for the State, which is one of the most diverse and rich in the country," says Fernão Silveira, director of Corporate Communication and Sustainability at FCA for Latin America. "Supporting these manifestations has an important meaning for us, because it not only demonstrates our great interest in Pernambuco but our respect for people as well".

As it could not be otherwise, it was in the city of Goiana, where the Jeep Automotive Plant is located, that the brand began this cultural relationship. There, a series of actions were developed for the benefit of the community, such as the harmonica workshops and roundtables to discuss topics such as the differences in cultural expressions within the regions of Caboclinhos, Tribos de Índio, Maracatus de Baque Solto and Pretinhas do Congo. These roundtables also addressed the topic of cultural identity preservation. In addition, Jeep sponsored the School Project, designed to bring students from Goiana's Elementary and High Schools closser to the local culture, by providing exchanges and courses outside the classroom.

Maria José Vasconcelos, a 45-year-old teacher from the Zilma Gemir Baracho Municipal School, was responsible for bringing 5th grade students from Sesc Ler Goiana to the school project where they learned about the culture of their region in a practical manner. "Many have neighbors who dance the Caboclinho, for example, but have no idea of the importance of this cultural manifestation", she says. "After this experience, they got to know each other better and started to value the culture they live in".


Within these actions, 15 carnival associations (a group that parades in the Carnival, usually wearing a same costume) from the municipalities of Goiana, Itaquitinga and Itambé participated in an embroidery workshop with Mr. Manoelzinho Salustiano, a craftsman from Pernambuco. Through this activity, the groups had the opportunity to parade alongside their own creations in the 2019 Carnival under a new banner. The workshop ended with the exhibit "Goyanna Terra Indígena" or "Goyanna Indiginous Land" presented at the Sesc Ler Goiana between December 2018 and February of this year.

President of the Leão de Fortaleza group, Erivaldo Francisco de Oliveira, known as "Peu do Maracatu", said that the workshop and the exhibition strengthened the work of the members of the associations. "The banner is like the flag of our country. So, we are very happy with this work, which has given us more the motivation to parade during carnival to show our art to everyone", he says. "In addition, without the workshop, many groups would not have new banners because of the high cost of production", he adds.

On the way to the capital of Pernambuco, Jeep stops at Itamaracá Island, on the Northern Coast of the State, to enjoy the "ciranda", a cultural expression represented by a dance in which a large number of people hold hands and move in a rhythmic way forming a huge circle. Symbol of the ciranda, Lia de Itamaracá has been responsible for showing this dance to the world, leading the manifestation in countries like France, Portugal and Germany.

Known as the "Queen of the Ciranda" and holder of the title Living Cultural Heritage in Pernambuco, Lia, besides having a historical importance for promoting the dance around the world, has transcended the artistic milieu to work on social issues. This is because, amidst the difficulties to support herself due to lack of public funds, she is trying to preserve the structure of Espaço Estrela de Lia, located in Itamaracá. There, the "cirandeira", preoccupied with the education of youngsters and adolescents, used to offer percussion, ceramics and candy making workshops, among other activities. The relevance of this great artist caught the attention of Jeep who, in commemoration of her 75th birthday this past January, transformed her life into a book: “Lia de Itamaracá: 75 anos cirandando com resistência, sorrisos e simplicidade” or "Lia de Itamaracá: 75 years of life with resistance, smiles and simplicity". The sponsorship went beyond the printed work by becoming a photo exhibition held at Espaço SinsPire located in the Recife neighborhood. Creator of the actions, Maria Luciana Nunes emphasizes that Lia is the force of the "ciranda", taking, wherever she goes, part of the popular culture of Pernambuco. "Lia is the force of renewal and social support".

Arriving in Recife, one of the most important events of carnival in Pernambuco is the Galo da Madrugada (The Rooster of Dawn), also supported by Jeep . The brand has its signature on the giant Rooster float, mounted on the Ponte Duarte Coelho, in the center of the city, days before the Saturday of Zé Pereira – date in which the parade takes to the streets. A great representative of the culture of Pernambuco and one of the biggest reasons for people's emotional ties to carnival, the Galo (Rooster) has sung for more than 40 years and was recognized for being "the parade with the largest number of spectators on the planet" according to the Guinness Book of world records when it gathered 2.5 million people in the streets of Recife in 1995.


Arriving in Recife, one of the most important events of carnival in Pernambuco is the Galo da Madrugada (The Rooster of Dawn), also supported by Jeep. The brand has its signature on the giant Rooster float, mounted on the Ponte Duarte Coelho, in the center of the city, days before the Saturday of Zé Pereira – date in which the parade takes to the streets. A great representative of the culture of Pernambuco and one of the biggest reasons for people's emotional ties to carnival, the Galo (Rooster) has sung for more than 40 years and was recognized for being "the parade with the largest number of spectators on the planet" according to the Guinness Book of world records when it gathered 2.5 million people in the streets of Recife in 1995.


This year, the symbol of such celebration was nicknamed the Rooster Craftsman. "The idea is to highlight the importance of what is 'hand-made', a very important skill for our culture, which by nature is an artisan," explains the artist Leopoldo Nóbrega who signs the 2019 Rooster of Dawn. In addition to highlighting the manual artisan work, the Rooster also brings sustainability to the fore. This is because, according to Leopoldo, it’s made with low environmental impact materials. "In addition, we are creating a rapport with the garment pole between the cities of Caruaru and Toritama so that scraps of clothing can be used to produce the outfit of the Rooster", he explains, describing that costumes form a starry blanket resembling cacti as a reference to the landscape of Pernambuco’s countryside.

Words: Isabela Alves

Pictures: Marketing

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