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Brasil – An overview at Roama

3rd Northeast Carranca Boat Festival

Submitted by Maria Alice Selicani Perfetto

Roama is a word with an indigenous origin, which means remain upright´. Writing Roama back to front we read Amoar > love´. And it is not by chance that this word came up – Love – because this is what we noticed and felt in this 3rd edition of Roama Festival in Paulo Afonso, BA – which was held from 25th to 31st July.

Paulo Afonso is a picturesque city and its major attraction is the famous and majestic São Francisco River, also known as Old Chico. Soon after we arrived, we discovered that Paulo Afonso is an Island surrounded by this famous River. Its geographical situation fosters the development of several water sports. There are also many competent professionals to help whoever wants to take up any of the chosen activities.

What can be said about a Festival that was very successful!

Having a look at it and taking into consideration the time in which the festival happened, it started by the welcoming from the organizing group. It was late in the evening, chilly and there were those who would take the participants to their hotels. That was priceless!

Those who looked for knowledge and refinement related to Dragon Boat (Carranca Boat) had the crème de la crème in relation to paddling techniques and practices, drummers, and helmsmen. All delivered with professionalism, expertise, love, and dedication in all situations.

The Dragon Boat is a vessel used by Dr Donald Mckenzie – a Canadian doctor – in a programme devoted to survivors of breast cancer. Why dragon Boat and not any other kind of vessel? Because paddling the Dragon Boat brings many benefits to a breast cancer survivor: it helps activate circulation, it helps lymphatic drainage, it also helps in the lymphedema (arm swelling) due to lymph nodes withdrawal, it increases the movement range of upper limbs, and finally, it also improves the self esteem of these patients.

Those who were afraid of water, that is, those who feared the Dragon Boat turning over, could also defeat their demons following the instructions of the highly qualified team of coaches. Participants dove down into the water to put into practise what they had learnt. Total success!

If we leave the technical part aside, there were fun and relaxing moments in the boat races that took place on Saturday and Sunday morning. The winning team was a mixed team, but the syncrony and energy while paddling was a high point which made them come first. Who won? Everybody!!! An activity that brought back the sense of harmony and good will, caring about one another, confidence and above all, the team spirit and focus because that´s how a breast câncer survivor sees herself. Focussed on her health, in her well being and in harmony with those around her. That’s what makes them ‘remain upright”.

Those who came looking after cultural aspects in the festival, took home a lot: There was a fair specially prepared for the visitors including drama and singing covering all the Northeast regions folk movements. Great presentation!!

There was also the visit to São Francisco Hydroeletric Plant – CHESF. A whole world to be discovered and admired due to its beauty and efficiency.

If you missed this edition, don´t worry! 2023 is coming! Get ready to enjoy all the beauty and energy of this Festival. The next Edition of Roama Festival is coming in 2023!

Pink Paddlers that took part in the 3rd Roama Festival: Canoha Dragon Team, Canomama Team, Força Rosa Brasil, Girassol Rosa, Lisa Flor, Mamacaru, Mulheres de Peito Aracaju, Quartzo Rosa e Rosa dos Ventos.

The festival was organised by Associação Carranca Boat.