Posts filed under ‘Brazil’

Brazil not such a haven for immigrants

It was on the news: Brazilian students at the University of Brasilia set fire to the student residence where African students lived. The criminals emptied fire extinguishers, piled bricks against the exit doors, waited until the foreign students were asleep and poured gasoline on their doors. Luckily, a student from Guine-Bissau was able to extinguish the fire before it consumed the building and no one died.

I often hear from Brazilians abroad that it’s not fair that they are discriminated against in places like the US and Europe when they are so nice to the foreigners going to Brazil. Sure. If you are a white, blond foreigner, maybe… If you are African or Latin American it seems Brazilians can be just as xenophobic as anybody else…

For those who read Portuguese, check Denise’s very thorough post on the situation of immigrants in Brazil.

April 2, 2007 at 9:46 pm 7 comments

Internet censorship in Brazil (again)

© GlobalvoicesIt’s becoming eerily common – Brazilian authorities are once more trying to censor info on the internet. This time it’s the Brazilian Olympic Committee who is prohibiting all the athletes participating at the Pan Am Games 2007, hosted in Rio, from maintaining blogs, photo logs, and personal websites during the games. They also want to prevent any digital coverage of the games to be available online. Apparently, the BOC wants to please the television broadcasters sponsoring the event… You can read more about it here.

What’s wrong with these people??? First of all, when is the tv industry going to stop trying to compete with the internet and decide to fully embrace the technology (i.e. making their services available online)? More importantly, when will Brazilian authorities stop trying to meddle with what people choose to make available on the web and what they can access?? Unfortunately, the country is beginning to be associated with attempts to censor the web… Is this how the Brazilian Olympic Committee wants to make a case for hosting the Olympics?

We’re becoming more and more a Banana Republic…

February 2, 2007 at 6:02 pm 4 comments

Stories of Lorena

Lorena is my priceless two and a half years-old niece. She started talking when she was about 12-13 months and haven’t stopped since. My brother posted this little vignette in his blog and I couldn’t help but translate it:

We were watching Shrek on the weekend when Lorena commented:
“That donkey doesn’t stop talking…”
I couldn’t resist: “You are right! Like Lorena!”
“It isn’t Lorena who doesn’t stop talking, it’s the donkey! The donkey doesn’t stay quiet. Doesn’t stop talking. Lorena stays quiet. It’s the donkey! The donkey who doesn’t stop talking! Not Lorena daddy! It’s the donkey! He doesn’t stop talking… “

I guess after that monologue, my brother was able to stay “I have no further questions your honour”

October 31, 2006 at 9:44 am Leave a comment

Familia Trapo in Europe

After a whirlwind three-day tour of Paris and two days in Rome, my parents, brother, sister-in-law and three-year-old nephew arrived last saturday afternoon.

Familia in Plaza Catalunya

They were tired but seem to be enjoying their trip immensely. We were amazed at how well the little guy is coping – he basically sleeps every time they get into a bus or subway and has been quite a good sport in the many visits to museums and sights. They sometimes have to carry him – he doesn’t have a stroller anymore – but overall he’s pretty good.

Matheus

October 10, 2006 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

Family on its way

My parents, my brother, his wife and three-year old child have just left Brazil on their wayto Europe. They arrive tomorrow in Paris, via Madrid, where they’ll spend three days before moving on to Rome for two days. They’ll finally arrive here in Barcelona on saturday. My parents were in Paris last year but my brother and his family have never been to Europe and are VERY excited. Looking forward to their visit…

October 1, 2006 at 9:26 pm 4 comments

Jabuticaba

People often ask me if I miss Brazil. I don’t really miss places but I do miss family and friends, and also the food. Particularly the fruits. I miss having my papaya at breakfast (I tried it in Canada and Spain and it tastes like crap in both places) and some of the more exotic fruits like acerola and jabuticaba. Jabu-what? You heard it right – jabuticaba. It sort of looks like a grape – same principle, seed in the middle wrapped by this succulent flesh – but the skin is a little tougher and it can be much sweeter. It also grows differently. Instead of coming in a bunch that hangs off a plant, jabuticabas grew right from the bark and when it’s season it can cover the whole tree. My grandmother has two trees in her backyard and every year the family has a few weeks of jabuticaba-picking bonanza. My brother sent the recent pictures of this year’s events:

Picking jabuticaba

Jabuticaba

September 24, 2006 at 11:24 pm 10 comments

Chatting at the archives

Today I had an interesting chat with Quino, one of the young archivists at the ACA. It started with my innocent question on when school starts again and ended up in a big discussion on job opportunities (or lack thereof) for young academics in Spain and the fierce rivalry between Valencia and Catalunya.

While Alan would no doubt love it if I got a job here, Quino has confirmed my impressions on the possibilities. Catalan universities had its boom – in terms of enrolment – in the 1970s and 1980s and this led to the hiring of many professors. Now, the number of university students are declining and most of the faculty hired in the boom years are now in their 40s, with lots of years left at work. No new faculty will be needed for the next ten years at least. Plus, academics here tend to be overworked and underpaid. As a friend recently suggested, the best deal is to get a job in North America and spend half the year in Spain doing research.

As for the rivalry between Valencia and Catalunya – Quino is from Valencia – it stems from a certain inferiority complex felt by the former in relation to the latter. This has led some Valencians to adopt an alternative view of its history and culture. One example is the creation of a Valencian language. Some people, in their effort to stress the difference between their homeland and Catalunya, maintain that the language they speak is “valenciano”, which has nothing to do with Catalan. This is like suggesting that the language spoken in Brazil has nothing to do with Portuguese. Or that the Castilian spoken in Chile and Spain are intrinsically different. It all reminded me a lot of the feelings of hostility I encountered in the north-east of Brazil (Recife) for the wealthier south (Rio, Sao Paulo, etc).

It seems to me that the more you travel the world, the more you realize how similar we all are…

September 7, 2006 at 4:24 pm 2 comments

Barcelona 4 x 0 Bayern Munchen

Tuesday night we went to the mythical Camp Nou stadium to watch FC Barcelona play the current German champion Bayern Munchen for the Gamper Trophy. You can see some comments on the events of the night and the pictures we took in Alan’s blog. I’ll focus here on translating the comments I wrote in Portuguese at my brother’s blog:

I’ve been following Ronaldinho’s career since he arrived in Paris to play for Paris St Germain, a few years ago. It was a cold winter night and I was catching the metro in Paris – where I was accompanying Alan, who was attending a conference – when I saw him at the frontpage of a local newspaper. Living in Canada, I was a bit out of touch with what was going on in the football (soccer) world and wasn’t aware Ronaldinho had left Gremio, his home team in Brazil. And then we had the 2002 world cup, his fame reached new heights and he moved to FC Barcelona. Coincidently, I started studying Spanish history, particularly the Catalan part of the country. And my interest for Catalonia, football and Ronaldinho have merged into a passion for the local team, FC Barcelona – better known as Barça.

Barça reminds me a lot of Flamengo, my Brazilian team. It has a great history and very passionate supporters. The team proudly boasts homemade stars such as the capitain Puyol and the midfielder Xavi, as well as international players such as Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Deco and the recently-hired Gudjohnsen, Thuran & Zambrotta.

Yesterday was the final of the Gamper Trophy against Bayern Munchen, one of the very top European teams and current German champion. Since there were good prospects of a competitive game, tickets were cheaper than usual, and there would be a big party to celebrate the beginning of a new season, I decided to treat Alan to his first football game. As I said above, check his site for his impressions. The party was pretty cool, the environment very festive and full of families, and there were fireworks and light shows for the introduction of each of the players that form the 2006/07 team. Ronaldinho was the last one to be called into the field and the most applauded.

As for the game… Barça showed the kind of game I would like to see the Brazilian national team playing. Group spirit, almost perfect control of the ball, incredible passes, unrelenting pressure (I must say it annoys me to no end when Brazil and other good teams stop playing as soon as they have a favourable score), and a good defense. Bayern showed some battle spirit during the first 20 mins, but there was no way around it. It was a master class and Barcelona was giving it. Ronaldinho open the score board with a perfect free kick and Eto’o scored twice within the following 10 mins. The second half brought in an entire different team – literally, the coach replaced all 11 players to give a chance to the others and to preserve them for Friday’s game – showing that Barça has no B team. The team continued to pressure Bayern and Saviola scored another goal for Barça. Oliver Kahn – the famous German national team goalie – left the field looking pretty sad. And Barcelona showed that which we, Brazilians, respect in a football team: that one can win playing a beautiful and aggressive football.

Gol de Ronaldinho

Sunday they play Seville in Monaco for the Supercup. Visca Barça!!!!

August 24, 2006 at 8:56 am 8 comments

Farewell to a great companion

Tequila came into our lives in 1996. She was born in May and came to live with me when she was only 51 days old. She was the cutest puppy in the world and soon amazed us by her quiet demeanor, innate good manners and sharp intelligence. She was a true people dog and would rather sit on a park bench beside us and people watch than run around with other dogs.

Watching the world go by

She was also a world traveller. From Recife she went to Resende and then to Rio and Brasilia. From Brasilia I took her to Montreal, where we lived for 3 years and then to Toronto, where we stayed for another while. Tequila loved Canada. She relished the cold and snow. I was always amazed at how much energy she had at minus 20 celsius. The happiest I ever saw her was when we took her hiking into the mountains north of Montreal, in the Fall. She  must have zigzagged a good 20 km that day, but she had us, she was free and it was cold. She ran the whole way up the mountain and down. Needless to say, she slept for 3 days afterwards.

When Alan first came to Brazil to meet my parents, in december 1997, she didn’t like him. She knew he meant a lot to me and was jealous. But he would put her on top of the wall that surrounded my parents home and together they would sit there for hours watching the world go by. Once Alan retired, they became best buddies and she would call him for a nap every afternoon. He would be working on the computer, she would come, nudge his hand and then point towards the couch, where she would lie at his feet.

Best buddies

When it came time to come to Spain, I had to bring her back to Brazil. I knew her health wasnt the best at that point and I wanted her to be in a place where she would get the best care and attention. That she did. Today my mom called me to let me know they had to put her down. She now rests in a quiet little plot by the river, across from my parents’ home. Here are some recent pictures from when we lived in Toronto:

Summer walks thru U of T

In the ferry to Toronto Islands

She stayed out of the way when I cooked

You were the best buddy I ever had. You’ll live forever in my heart….

July 13, 2006 at 11:33 am 4 comments

A day to forget…

Now… this one I didn’t foresee:that no only would Brazil forget how to play football but that we would have to be reminded of it by the French. It serves the Brazilian team right for not taking the competition as seriously as they ought to… And that’s all I’m saying here.

July 3, 2006 at 8:25 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


May 2022
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Flickr Photos

Blog Stats

  • 124,898 hits