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  Topic: What do you know about Brazil, except capoeira?
  2007-10-14 18:45:22
Brazilians receive turists with open arms. The most hospitable people in the world:)
  2007-10-14 23:04:32
How dangerous is it really? is it like wot every1 says it is? and is it in the favela's is where you'll find the real brazil and not just some fake tourist hang out? ( when i say the real brazil, i mean the real cultural stuff.you know?)
  2007-10-14 23:07:09
Sorry i dont know alot about Brazil accept for capoeira. so i thought i might drop a few questions that have been on my mind. please any1 feel free to hav a yarn
  2007-10-15 10:11:09
As a Brazilian I can answer that question for you. As everyone know, Brazil's got a reputation of being a violent country. I don't blame it though..that's what the media shows on tv, internet, etc. Violence, crime, drug lords.
There's crime everywhere in the world of course but as a Brazilian I think the crime in Brazil is getting out of control. Rio de Janeiro is an example. All you hear is fights between police and drug lords and the poor people from the favelas (slums) who pay the price. Anyway, if Brazil is dangerous? Yes and no. It's dangerous in the poor places such as favelas but a tourist would be fine in the wealthy areas though you have to be careful as crime happen everywhere.
I wish people could also see the bright and good side of Brazil such as capoeira, samba, soccer but not only these things. There're a lot about Brazil that people don't know and you just get to know about Brazil when you go there. That's when you find out what's Brazil about.

I didn't understand what you meant about "real people of Brazil".
  2007-10-15 12:47:11
hi again.please dont think was taking a stab at 'the real people of brazil'. i was more going for the locations of where brazil's culture is most rich, and not just some stuff they show tourists. i guess its like saying 'where can i find a good roda as appose to show capoeira'. does that make sense?
  2007-10-15 13:59:42
Don't worry. I don't think you didn't mean to judge or anything like that. It's just that I didn't understand your question.
The real Brazil is everywhere. From the jungles of Amazon to people in the northeast who play capoeira; from the german colonies in the south to the samba of Rio, the colonial towns, etc.
What I can say there're lof ot different "real Brazil". It's like every region is a country with it's own culture and people.
In the favelas you find the most powerful drug lords, the poor people, crime, etc. If it is the real Brazil? Yes. Though is a sad reality. Happily not mine...I wasn't born in the favelas and never been there. It's a reality that Brazilians don't like it and make them scared, especially the people who live there because they live with fear because of the violence.
Anyway, lot of tourists who visit Brazil like going to favelas because is new for them. It's a different reality.
You can find a good roda in any town of the Northeast of Brazil, especially in the state of Bahia where there're lot of capoeira happening. If you decide to go to Brazil oneday, you should go to Salvador so that you can watch capoeira and of course to Rio, the home of samba.

  2007-10-15 17:09:40
Sorry, I made a mistake. You can actually find roda anywhere in Brazil. Capoeira is practiced in universities, schools, clubs even on the streets, especially the ones of Salvador:)
  2007-10-15 21:06:45
hmmm...what do i know about Brasil?
a few facts i remember from geography @ school

1 - Brasil covers nearly half the South American continent.

2 - correct me if im wrong,but im sure its the fifth largest country in the world.behind R.federation,canada,china,usa.

3 - their are two countries out of ten that dont border Brasil.
Chile,Ecuador.In the continent of sth america i mean.

4 - the capital of course is Brassilia and its shaped like an aeroplane!

5 - Belo Horizonte has a high ratio of women to men,by the way i didnt learn this at school.,found out while over there.

Brasillians do sober what english do drunk!
this was a slogan i saw in Salvador and thought how true.Because they really do know how to have a good time with out the aide of a couple of cool ones.In saying that though,watch out for the infamous cachaca! boy that stuff will put you on your ass!

churrasco- Brasillians do that better than us for sure!
Picanha,linguessa,coracao,caiparinha,musica,Vanessa Da Mata,Gilberto Gil,Forro,samba...boooooaaaa!
TIP:their is a very tasty thing called 'acaraje'.basically its a fried bun with spicy sauce,shrimp,and a tasty paste of vatapa,damn good and the best by far is in Bahia!!!wash that down with coco de agua oooh i miss Brasil.

I know at night in big cities,Rio in particular and i assume Sao Paulo,your not expected to stop for red lights in central districts.Brasileiirinha can explain why im sure.

Im not going to fabricate a story about seeing it all because in truth that was not the case.

I did get a chance to experience both ends of the economic scale .and while the under priveleged i mingled with in Bahia were by no means suffering the crime and terror of the drugwars ongoing in favelas of Rio etc,they were simply poor.

During my time i met and played and hungout wiith some kids.i thought about home and started to hear all the whinging and moaning about stupid shit like;the price of milk,or making a law to ban talking on cell phones while driving.I thought about folks i stayed with in Rio and how comfortable their life was,how uncomfortable i felt having a young girl serve me breakfast,clean up after me...unfortunately the reality i learned is,she was born into it...Brasil doesnt have a generous system,[which we all know is no fault of the average brasillian]where she could go sign up for automatic weekly payments.From what i saw if not to make matters worse,she was unable to read or write!

I could nt help but feel like an arsehole.

Dont get me wrong,the family i stayed with were very nice people and like you say Brasileirinha,very hospitible! They taught me i was shit at footbol but good at drinking![ haha one thing we do better at] im just not a person comfortable with being served.

i think i spoke about my experience way way back in the forums with the kids i hungout with and basically apart from a few standout moments not to mention, i had a good time hanginout on the street!

It is very ignorant and naive to believe that Brasil is all together a dangerous country built up on what the media chooses to publish or screen.we all know something geographically about Brasil and the rich and vibrant cultures that thrive within.We know the corrupt history because as capoeiristas we would have read the books by Nestor.

i learned very quickly it was important to blend in while staying in Salvador.this way i could pass through crowds with out someone trying to sell something to me.I imagine if your blonde and blue eyed you will have some trouble blending in.
Still,start to think like the locals,spend some time somewhere and learn there ways and youll be sweet as!

Brasil is a must see!

how else are you gonna taste the dende?

thats enough typing for me this year i think?

  2007-10-16 11:38:36
The reason cars don't stop for red lights at night is security. Not saying you would get robbed or something but there could be a possibility....you never know..especially if you're woman driving alone. Though you have to pay attention to other cars..to avoid crashs.

In Brazil there's cheap labor. That's how poor people survive. An example, you said you had a young lady serving you, making you food, etc and that she couldn't read or write. That's very common in Brazil. They're called " empregadas " or maids in english. What's their job? They work for a family. They cook, they clean, they wash and iron clothes, etc. They do everything and not for much money. Unfortunately that's the reality of many poor women in Brazil.
  2007-10-16 11:49:12
I think the reason foreigners have trouble blending in is because the locals see them as tourists and try to sell things which I annoying I have to say. They do it especially to foreigners but they actually do it to everyone, even Brazilians.
The thing is, like Putumuju said. Just relax, enjoy yourself and forget you're a tourist.
I've been living in NZ nearly 2 years. I have permanent residency. I don't see myself as a kiwi to be honest because I'm not. I'm from Brazil but I like calling myself a Brazilian Kiwi because was born Brazilian but have decided to make NZ my home, though I miss Brazil a lot.
I know people when visiting places such as Brazil try to blend in but in the end, just be yourself and have fun:)

  2007-10-16 20:19:31
heres everything u could ever want 2 no about brazill i been there


  Pegou geral
  2007-10-17 10:45:27
You gotta watch City of God (cidade de Deus) then you'll know Brazil's reality in the slums. Fascinating but shocking. Don't recomend for sensitive people.......
  2007-11-07 09:30:00
I spent the first half of this year in Brazil, and it was quite a learning experience. It was difficult in a lot of ways, but a lot of that was more personal than to do with Brazil. Firstly, I had a lot of expectations about capoeira in particular, that was my main reason for being there, and I found that a lot of them had to be re-evaluated. For instance, I thought originally that if I spent a long time at the group I was at, I would eventually be regarded as less of a tourist and more of a dedicated person. It didn't really turn out that way; I think largely because I'm not very advanced in capoeira, so while I learned *heaps* from everybody, it was probably difficult for them to regard me as an equal. Plus, even though I was speaking reasonably good portuguese by the end of the 6 months, at first I was a bit of a gibbering idiot, and I think that counted against me too :)

Beyond that, the people in Salvador aren't *overly* friendly to foreigners; and even when they are, I felt a kind of... hard to really say. There was a certain disconnect between me and the average Brazilian psyche that I never quite managed to figure out. I do remember though crossing the border to Bolivia and feeling a wave of genuineness wash over me, from basically everyone I met. I would never dream of saying that it's a universal thing in brazil or ANYTHING like that, it's just a thing that I personally never quite seemed to manage. I'm sure it was tied up with everything that was going on at the time, but I never quite felt like people were being quite relaxed, somehow. There are a few exceptions of course, you can't live 6 months in a place without ever meeting anyone cool, but... in general.

I was staying at first in Barbalho, 20 minutes away from Pelourinho, the tourist center, and then for the last couple of months I was staying in the affectionately named "hippie house" which attracted a wide variety of down-on-their-luck artisans, capoeiristas, and musicians. It was mostly spanish speakers, but we spoke a fair bit of portuguese. Not much English though, which was good -- only way to learn properly is to force yourself, I always find :)

Um, what else. For sure there were a lot of good receptions from the capoeira community. I think this post might sound really down on Brazil, which I don't intend it to -- just there was something that prevents me from really saying I loved the place. I reckon I would say, one thing that could really have made a difference in my case at least would be to go with a couple of people from home, or it can be a bit overwhelming. For a month or so I was staying with Ina from Wellington; and even though we weren't training the same things, it was really nice to have a good gripe about stuff and reassure ourselves that we weren't going insane :)

Let me say some good things about Brazil. Firstly, while this is more a general thing than particular to Portuguese, and it's also a personal thing, I really enjoyed learning to speak properly in another language, and seeing the ways the language reflected the way people think and stuff like that.

Secondly, the food really is good quality, even if there's almost no variation (ooh, I'm sure there will be arguments about this, everyone I asked swore up and down that the food from their state was "basTANte differente" ("WELL different") but I swear, apart from the fact that you can't get a good acaraje outside of Bahia, I never saw a difference. In the south the beans change colour. That's about it. But especially cooking up your own stuff every now and then for a change, you can eat like a king in Brazil. Man, I miss Brazilian hot dogs. No one knows how to make them round here. And farofa!!! man when I first got to Brazil, I was cooking for myself for the first time in a year, pretty much, and my meals would contain, on average, 4-5 carbohydrates. Rice, beans, potatoes, bread, pasta, farofa, mandioca, kumara... and I'm sure I'm forgetting things, I used to have a list that was at LEAST 13. Most set lunches you'd get in Brazil come with rice, beans, and spaghetti, plus whatever you ordered, your steak or whatever. Oh god and the cured meats! Calabresa, bacon, barriga salgada, costella, linguicaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghargghgrr... homer, you're drooling on the mike again

As a gringo, I would say that people don't judge you that much. This may seem strange coming after what I was saying before, but I think that's an unconscious cultural difference rather than actual malice. I didn't feel like I stood out that much, after I'd been there for a while. Sure, people still hassle you in Salvador, but people hassle *everyone* in Salvador. In general I reckon you are pretty OK as a gringo, compared to some of the other places I've been. It wasn't one of the things that bothered me about the place.

Salvador as a place, especially the older parts like Santo Antonio and Barbalho, is pretty pleasant, really. In Pelourinho, you can meet plenty of people who'll make you ashamed of your own kind, for sure, but outside of there, it really does perk up.

Um, I guess since this is the capoeira board I'll say, there is heaps of cool capoeira going on and I would say, based on my limited experience, that I never felt at ALL unwelcome at a roda, and that in general you are welcome up to a point, beyond which you need to be better than I was at portuguese, capoeira, or just jibing with the culture in some undefinable way. It can be a bit hard to get started, both for reasons of personal intimidation and also because there really isn't a huge group of people sifting around going to rodas that you can sort of join. That surprised me; seems to me that all the groups would be visiting each other all the time, to play more capoeira. Foreigners aside, I only saw Brazilians visiting outside rodas once in a very rare while... like once per person per month, per two months. It did happen, which is why it seems strange to me. Maybe if you're Brazilian you get enough of capoeira and you can chill out about it. I know there's lots of group politics, but it's not that people never visited, just it happened very infrequently. When it did, there certainly didn't seem to be any problem; often the mestre or a contramestre would play the visitor. Anyway. Salvador and Rio, of the places I visited, are by far the most concentrated venues for capoeira. Everywhere else, you'd find like a Senzala group training three times a week, or something. Nice when you're there and lusting for some training, but not really the same thing. If you knew a particular group to visit, you'd get on differently; but it being very much an unadvertised thing, you'd have to be pretty lucky to get to a given place and subsequently find the good angola there, as opposed to being told that there's so and so training in such and such a town if you ever pass through there.

What else about Brazil? People have a pretty good attitude to drinking there. I'm not sure if everyone's going to say "whaaaaaaaat" to this as well, but in my view it seemed like most people weren't getting too wasted to be fun to hang out with, just well drunk. Of course there are still town drunks everywhere, but in general the slice of the population that's getting a good burn on and having a good time is far greater in proportion to the annoying alchies than in most other places I went. And beer is cheap, good, and on every corner. Good lads! Unfortunately, and I know this is going to sound arrogant as hell, but I stopped buying caipirinhas because they were never as good as the ones I made :P that's probably cos they were made on the street and who cares how it tastes if it's got a double cachaca in it. I did learn one good trick off a bartender in Rio, though: while caipiroscas, caipirinhas made with vodka, are in general a horrible and inferior concoction, if you tip a little drop of vodka in the top of the made caipirinha, it gives the whole drink a little eu nao sei que.

That'll do for now, would definitely recommend the trip, of course, but the main things I learned, personally speaking, were: if you go alone, you might not meet other likeminded people for a while and it might hurt your state of mind; and also, I think I sort of took the whole capoeira scene too seriously. Train hard and train with different groups (THERE, I SAID IT) -- unless you're a god or there for a year or more, in my opinion you're not going to get a lot out of your devotion to your group. Better to sow your wild oats far and wide, be respectful as to everyone, and just hope to get a good reputation for what you were while you were there.

That said, that's my take on it based on training with a group that sees a lot of foreigners come through. Probably there are people who've trained a bit with other groups who were a bit more welcoming.

So that is what I have to say off the top of my head about Brazil while it is pissing down outside and I can't go home! hehe. I have blisters on my hands from doing handstands in the plaza outside my hostel, though... missing playing with all you guys, hope to see you all real soon!
  2007-11-08 14:34:31
i went to brasil a few years ago, to see a friend, not for capoeira. i had the best time, and wished i'd gone straight there instead of peru and argentina. We stayed at my friend's cousin's house in a tiny fishing village south of recife. the beach was incredible, and there was a huge mangrove swamp with the biggest crabs i've ever seen in it. most people were fishermen or caught crabs - they would stick their arms down the holes to get them. people there were pretty poor but seemed to have really full lives - lots of sharing with friends, hanging out at the local (crab) restaurant, fishing. when my friend's cousin left to go to the city, the neighbour's two 10 year old kids came to protect us for the night!! so that was beautiful.

sao paulo was pretty awful, but my friend had a great apartment and we just hung out there. rio was great, but driving back my friend was freaked out that the gangs would come on to the motorway and force cars to stop so they could rob them.

I didn't see much capoeira, just some kids playing on the beach. Didn't drink much caprihinia (sp?) either, except in a tourist bar. The food in brazil blew me away.
  2007-11-09 10:52:37
What do I know about Brazil?

Well I've never been there but I saw the Brazilian womens beach volleyball team on the telly a while ago....what else would you need to know really?
  2007-11-09 19:59:52
Yeah Matt!!!! now your talking!!!!!
  2007-11-21 19:41:28
I lived in Brasilia from February last year until early January this year. Like all countries it's plauged by generalities and unfair steriotypes. Not to say that crime, soccar, favelas and samba dont have their own place, but theres just so much more. Most people from Brasilia told me to get out and discover other parts of the country cause Brasilia isnt really a good representation of the country as a whole, but in my opinion, every part of the country has a unique quality. Its such a diverse place and is so rich with culture, and i guess, i fell in love with it!

I think you really have to go and experience the culture, the places and most of all the people for youself cause its the only way to truely appreciate it. Really, no matter how much you practice capoeira or watch Cidade de Deus, you just wont learn about what it place is really about.

I'll be going back as soon as i can as I still feel like i know so little about it, and like most gringos, i've caught the brazilian fever, and honestly, i wouldnt have it any other way : )

Oh yea, and the girls are the best...my girlfriends coming over in three weeks, im so excited!

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