"Embassy of Brazil holds function in honour of Pakistan athletes"
February 18, 2015. Appeared in Daily Times (Pakistan).
ISLAMABAD: The Embassy of Brazil in Islamabad on Tuesday held a ceremony in honour of the Shayan Ali and Mirwais, Pakistan athletes, who recently came back from Brazil. These athletes were sent to Brazil by the Embassy of Brazil for an advanced three-week training course in Capoeira at ABADA Capoeira Training Centre in Rio de Janeiro. Capoeira is the traditional wrestling sport of Brazil or the Brazilian martial arts. In his opening, remarks Mr Alfredo Leoni, the Ambassador of Brazil to Pakistan, briefed about the Embassy’s efforts in promoting Capoeira in Pakistan. He stated that Shayan Ali and Mirwais` trip to Brazil was a significant additional step in making Capoeira known in Pakistan and, at the same time, establishing another important bridge between Brazil and Pakistan.
“I believe in people-to-people diplomacy. Capoeira is not only a sport but also an education and culture. During their stay in Rio de Janeiro, Shayan and Mirwais improved their knowledge of and training in Capoeira. They also experienced life in Rio de Janeiro and became friends to a number of Brazilians.” Mr Leoni hoped that Shayan and Mirwais` trip to Brazil would help in promoting the Capoeira classes, given at the Embassy of Brazil in Islamabad on regular basis and free of charge. Mr Leoni expressed his gratitude to Master Canguru, the head of ABADA Capoeira Training Ccenter in Rio de Janeiro, and to Ms Iara Lee, a Brazilian national who is the founder of the non-profit organisation ‘Cultures of Resistance Network’ (www.culturesofresistance.org) who sponsored Shayan and Mirwais` Capoeira training course in Brazil.
A video documentary, made by Shayan on his experience in Capoeira training in Brazil, was shown to the public. After the screening of the video, Shayan and Mirwais spoke about their trip to Brazil and answered questions of the audience. Shayan said: “Pakistan is now affiliated with ABADA Capoeira in Brazil and for the first time Capoeira is officially going to start in Pakistan. I feel honored to be the part of it. All credit goes to the Embassy of Brazil in Islamabad for its efforts to promoting Capoeira, the Brazilian martial arts, “he said. Mirwais said: “I am very hopeful for the future of Capoeira in Pakistan. With the help of Capoeira we are engaging our young generation to healthy activities. Capoeira not only builds self-confidence but is very helpful in developing social skills”.
Capoeira is the traditional wrestling sports of Brazil. It combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music. It is known for quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins and highly mobile techniques. Originally from Africa, Capoeira was taken to Brazil by African forced labour (slaves) from 17th to 19th centuries. Capoeira no longer exists in Africa. On the other hand, it flourished in Brazil. Today, Capoeira is practiced all over the world.