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March 06, 2011


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She is absolutely correct!
I have to agree with 100% with Rachel, I am biased against Carnaval anyway, can't stand it, never liked it, always thought about all the points she mentioned on this report.

The Gritty Poet

I don't like Carnaval yet think the reporter is quite silly. She makes many assertions, all under the guise of questions, to then pontificate about each and every one. What is lacking here is homework. She claims that ambulances abound during Carnaval and yet are absent during the rest of the year when, indignation mode on: a worker suffers a stroke, a desperate mother needs care for her child etc etc.
There are answers to these "questions" but they are seldom researched by the media in Brazil. Case in point: the ambulances. When aproaching this subject she should first find out the number of ambulances made available during Carnaval, and where, to then interview a logistics specialist how many there should be and the how they would best be used (location, afflications attended vs routes to hospitals that treat those afflications etc). Also, do this in a way which is interesting for the viewer.
The vast majority of reporters in Brazil want none of this. They prefer to state observation as fact to then spout the usual "é um absurdo bla bla bla".
Pathetic, just like Carnaval.


I have never even been to Carnival in New Orleans, but maybe it is something everyone should experience at least once(?).

I'd love you to join me for my Expat Linky Party on March 19th :)


I´m Brazilian and I hate Carnival. It really makes me feel sad to see so many people proud of this pathetic party and also claiming that this is the best and most beautiful part of our culture. Conversely, I think that so much violence, traffic accidents and sexual tourism related to Carnival should be regarded as the ugliest part of Brazilian culture.
And to top it off, let´s just remember that this party is full of hypocrisy since Brazilian society is not so liberal as it shows during Carnival celebrations, specially towards gay and black communities, which are praised during Carnival, but target of violence and prejudice during the rest of the year.
So, Carnival just underscores all those Brazilian myths of "Cordialidade" and "Democracia racial" which are of course just the mask of a very conservative society.
I really hate Carnival!!


"let´s just remember that this party is full of hypocrisy since Brazilian society is not so liberal as it shows during Carnival celebrations, specially towards gay and black communities, which are praised during Carnival, but target of violence and prejudice during the rest of the year."

I agree 100% with it !

And actually... its overly hyped. It became and is a financial trap for many tourists. Most of my carioca friends travel during carnaval. And let's face it; Its ok to see carnaval in Rio for some hours (sambodromo) but gets boring after. Its great to go to a street party to have a drink with friends, but hey... I know many other places to do that. Ohw well, luckily we don't all have the same taste :)


Carnival is supposed to be a time of play, fun and mischief for young and old. Its supposed to be a time for letting go of your routines and inhibitions and basically having a frivolous time - in advance of the discipline of Lent.

There should still be space for a such a festival in modern society and Brazil and other countries that still celebrate carnival are right to continue these traditions. Indeed there are few outlets for' play ' of this sort for adults anymore anywhere and this is something unique and special.

The commercialization of carnival and the social problems it can generate or exacerbate are real issues but the real reason and soul of carnival are still worthwhile surely.

A good day at carnival with friends old (and new!) is a day to be remembered. A bad day at carnival in a sweaty crowd of people acting aggressively and selfishly and with everyone frantically searching for 'the party' is a day to forget.

Sitting here on a dank dark evening in the northern hemisphere, I know where I'd rather be!

Pedro Mundim

Outro dia eu li, na Biblioteca Nacional do Rio de Janeiro, um guia da cidade para turistas impresso em 1936. Não continha uma única referência sobre carnaval, da primeira à última página. Pode-se ver, por aí, que o carnaval nem sempre teve a importância que tem hoje. A elevação do carnaval a ícone máximo da cultura brasileira vem dos anos 1940, época de Getúlio Vargas, sob pesada influência dos regimes fascistas europeus, com sua carga de nacionalismo e nativismo. Naquela época, os brasileiros ansiavam por renegar sua herança ancestral e resgatar manifestações culturais que presumivelmente representassem um Brasil nativo, despido de influências alienígenas, que fosse reconhecido como tal em todo o mundo. O carnaval foi escolhido para este papel. Vem também desta época a fama internacional do carnaval brasileiro, por obra de Orson Welles, que esteve no Brasil em 1940 como "embaixador cultural" e encarregado de realizar um filme que se chamaria "It's all true".

Orson Welles chegou ao Brasil justamente na época do carnaval e deixou-se fascinar pelo que viu. Gastou boa parte de seu tempo filmando o carnaval e as favelas. Mas - contrariando o nome do filme que tencionava realizar - nem tudo era verdade. Por exemplo, Welles não permitia que personagens brancos aparecessem em suas filmagens: todos os figurantes brancos tinham que ser pintados de preto, pois ele desejava mostrar o carnaval como uma festa apenas de pretos. Ao final, ele deu uma direção tão confusa e sem sentido a seus scripts, que o material que ele enviou de volta terminou por ser rejeitado pelos produtores, e o filme jamais foi terminado. Recentemente, parte do material filmado foi recuperado por pesquisadores e reunido em um documentário lançado nos cinemas com o nome (bem adequado) de "Nem tudo é verdade" link http://www.meucinemabrasileiro.com.br/filmes/nem-tudo-e-verdade/nem-tudo-e-verdade.asp) A impressão que ficou, foi de que Welles deixou-se levar pela utopia de um mundo tropical onde as pessoas vivem sem trabalhar, apenas dançando, comendo, bebendo e fazendo amor, sob o domínio de seus instintos básicos. É essa utopia a fonte do fascínio que o carnaval brasileiro, até hoje, desperta em muitos estrangeiros: não existe pecado do lado de baixo do equador.

De resto, para os brasileiros em geral, o carnaval é apenas um fim de semana prolongado que as pessoas aproveitam para viajar, ou para ficar em casa descansando. A maneira enfática como você citou que são "os ricos" que viajam durante o carnaval, sugere que você acredita que o carnaval seria festejado sobretudo pelas camadas mais pobres da população, vistas como genuínas mantenedoras da cultura popular, ao contrário dos ricos que a rejeitam. Isso é falso: historicamente, o carnaval sempre foi festejado tanto por ricos quanto por pobres, embora de maneira distinta. No momento atual, dada a extinção gradual dos festejos gratuitos, como os blocos, o carnaval tem se tornado cada vez mais uma festa exclusiva para aqueles que podem pagar: atualmente há mais ricos do que pobres celebrando o carnaval. Mas a maioria do povo simplesmente o ignora. A visão do Brasil como o "país do carnaval" é muito mais prevalente fora do Brasil do que dentro.

Rio Gringa

Pedro, I think we're on the same page. The whole premise of this post is that Carnival isn't as popular as you'd think. That said, I don't think the majority of people "ignore" it per se, but it would be an interesting survey to do. Just because some of the wealthy and middle class flee the big cities doesn't always mean they're not going to another Carnival celebration; they could be going to Salvador, or one of those overpriced techno Carnival parties in Buzios. I don't think the nation's poorest are the only ones celebrating, but I do think the less money a family has, the harder it is to travel on Carnival, hence the distinction. But just because they don't travel doesn't mean they're necessarily celebrating. Anyway, it would be nice to have numbers, but I'm not sure there's been a kind of study to determine this on a national scale.

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