A little bit of free-spirited Brazilian culture visited UT through Clube da Lingua Portuguesa's Brazilian picnic Thursday.

The first CLIP event of the year, the picnic offered insight into the culture of Brazil through games, food and music.

Allie Symonds, junior in pre-pharmacy, attended the event and said it brought understanding into a culture that can sometimes be hard to pin down.

"It allows us to interact outside of the classroom, so it's more of a personal interaction and we're just having fun and hanging out," Symonds, a first-year Portuguese student, said.

Brazilian versions of hopscotch and jump rope were featured games for students to play.

Wannessa Martin, Portuguese lecturer, taught American students how to jump into the rope while it moves, a must in Brazilian double dutch.

Hopscotch, or "amarelinha," which means "little yellow one," gave students a new take on the classic sidewalk game, while giving a cultural lesson from Brazil.

Martin, who grew up in Brazil, said these kinds of learning experiences are some of the most valuable.

"One of the most important things is that I am trying to show them how we play these games in Brazil," Martin said. "Like hopscotch, for example. Here we have Heaven and on the other side is Hell, so because of Catholicism in Brazil it's like we associate this with you when you're growing up."

Symonds said she played hopscotch and found this version shows the vast cultural difference between Brazil and America.

"I think (Brazilians) have more of an emphasis in their culture on religion, where here there are so many different religions," Symonds said. "So here it's kind of hard to unify a nation with Heaven and Hell in children's games and it be OK."

The picnic also featured a "capoeira" demonstration, which is a Brazilian fight dance. This was demonstrated by Joe Williams, professor of evolutionary botany, and two of his "capoeira" students, Nate Barrett and Andre Hayter.

The "berimbau," a Brazilian instrument, was played during the demonstration while students formed a circle, clapped and sang along.

"I really like the aspect of cultural exchange," said Williams, whose "capoeira" name is Contramestre Avestruz. "I would like to see ('capoeira') maintain Brazilian roots.

"I think it has a lot to offer the U.S. It is all about community and people relating to each other inside a circle."

Different variations of "caldo," or soup, were made by Martin for the picnic.

Among these were a pumpkin, vegetarian and bean caldo to be topped with "cebolinha e salsinha," or green onions and parsley. The featured dessert, "brigadeiro," was made by Portuguese students and is comparable to a thick chocolate pudding.

Paton Fellows, executive board member of CLIP, welcomed members old and new, as well as nonmembers.

CLIP hopes to grow as a club and plans to host events including a tailgate, a soccer tournament and a celebration for Carnival.

"What's in it for members is you get to meet Brazilians and it's a great network experience to meet people," Fellows, a graduate student in French and Portuguese, said. "We want to spread awareness about Portuguese culture through the community."

Anyone is welcome to join CLIP. Visit CLIP's Facebook page or their website for more information.