I know , it sounds a weird question to ask , but you have to admit it attracts attention and curiosity. But this particular query means so much to me, that i wanted you to make a little time of your lives, and read about this bunch of marvelous people.
My question has it’s purpose.
When people hear the word Brazilian, there’s a load of words that runs over their minds, like football, samba, Rio, sun, beach. While all those words are not always inadequate to Brasil, after meeting a few Brazilians i came to the realization that all those are considerably poor to describe this huge country.
Let me walk you through my messy thoughts,
In the past 4 years i’ve met a number of proud citizens of Brasil who came to Europe to study, learn, discover people and countries and mostly laugh and enjoy each and every moment of their stay.
It all started a hot summer afternoon at a public kitchen in the student dormroom, i went to cook my daily meal and honestly i just wanted to be quick and go back to my room and chill in front of my TV. But my Brother’s new Brazilian classmate had other plans. I should mention that at the time even though i wasn’t introvert,i still wasn’t entirely open and comfortable when meeting new people. But Samuel didn’t let that stop him.
He immediately started chatting with me and, well i stayed longer that i previously planned. We exchanged stories and i was intrigued because it was the first time i met someone from latin America, and at the time if i wanted to carecterize his country, i am almost sure i will have used those words i mentionned earlier.
To make a long story short a few months later, my courses at the University started, and i moved closer to where my studies took place, so i lost touch with Samuel, but that wacky full of joy guy manage to find me again. More than that he introduce me to some fellow Brazialians who coincidentally lived on my floor. Those guys all came from the beatiful city of Belo Horizonte.
That’s where my trip to the Brazilian culture really started.
After countless conversations, parties, games, walks, diners and generally every interaction i had with them only my first year here’s what i learned. They are an incredibly diverse country, they all have ancestors from almost every corner of the planet, from italian, portuguese, spanish to polish, russian and even greek. I personnally think that’s a country who has found Unity in Diversity. And we all most definetely could learn something from them.
Brazilians have suffered in the past, and this is exactly why there are an incredibly optimistic people to be around, they are joyful, they smile almost constantly and engage with strangers with absolute politeness and genuine interest. My friends used to make me laugh and forget every issue i had despite the circumstances. They all came from different families and backgrounds but the “Brazilian spirit” was always the same. They were always thoughtful, passionate, understanding, they asked wanting to listen and not to respond eager to learn and always surrounded with people who enjoy life as much as them and bring out the best in them.
It’s shames me to say that before i started hanging out with thelm, i wasn’t interested in the city i was living, i was just a spectator to my own life. The days went by and i was solely thinking about my courses. Their ridiculous desire to explore the city, the country and the continent taught me a thousand things about myself, the town, the country and the continent i live in. And believe me when i say i was already a curious person longing constantly to discover new places, but now it’s an unstoppable craving.
You can not be bored around those people.
The year went on and soon after the beginning of the next semester new Brazilians started coming. There were coming from places like the capital Brazilia, Pénapolis Fortaleza, Ubatuba, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Itajuba, Florianapolis and of course from Rio de Janeiro.
A whole year….and i still knew nothing, like the half-Blood jon Snow i needed more than one season to grow and learn to be the commander….oops sorry i am going out of subject , but i trust you all got my geeky point.
What i mean by “nothing” is that in spite of the incredible amount of time i spent with my brazilians friends i stll haven’t learnt much. The year that followed was enlighting in several ways. I may stating the obvious here but bare with me, not all Brazilians like football and dancing samba, there’s a important part of the population sure but not all, in fact there a lot of them who are fond of Volley and UFC fighting. I wont lie i was suprised as well.
In addition to that, we rarely think of Brazil like that, though Brazil is actually that depends much on agriculture and cow breeding. As thing stand right now it is one of the biggest producers of meat. Regardless of what we often see there’s so much more to this country that we generally see. For exemple there are many regions that actually have more rainy days than sunny days. May sound peculiar but once you take a moment a consider it you’ll understand that Brazil is an enormous piece of land and is even more diverse and beatiful than it’s people.
There even tribes in Brazil, who while they know the existence of the modern western way of life they choose to continue their own way of life.
That’s just few of the things i picked up from my friends, but i can guarantee you that one things that stays with you when you are around them , is their food. Just thinking about it i wanna travel back in time and taste all over again for the first time.
But before i give you a few of the names of some known brazilian food, let me describe to you how i came to taste all of their recipies. As i was saying before the Brazilians are an extremely open-hearted people and they welcome every oppportunity to interact with other people. So pretty much every month at least one Sunday, we all came together and cooked traditionnal food from their homes and sat around eating, talking and telling jokes or stories about our week. They were numerous times that another neighbor will pass by and guess what , they will almost instantly invite him to join us and offer him food. And those lucky neighbors got to taste things like Brigadeiro ( an outstanding chocolate flavored gift from god, if you don’t believe you definetely believe after tasting it ) or Farofa ( there’s so many things inside that i can not posibly name them all, but i can tell you there’s bacon….i think it’s enough to convice you ).
During their time here they travelled as much as possible in France, UK, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and many countries that i never been. They used to say to me “We dont know when we are gonna get this chance again so we are taking advantage of our stay in Europe to see everything there is to see”.
I don’t know maybe it’s just me , but i found them adventurous, always trying to better themselves and even the difficulty they had to communicate in French at first, they never hesitated to go ahead and communicate, thinking their were learning from me or others when in reality they were teaching us how to live.
Some of you may wonder, “all this time and you didn’t learn their language?” , well i managed to pick up some vocabulary. Small phrases to help me intriduce myself and some more innapropriate ones. I can assure you that brazilian portuguese and original portugeuse are quite different, and no offense to Portugal but i prefer the latin american version.
Nevertheless portuguese has a few words, that i found “stronger” when spoken in portueguese and some we can not accurately translate with one equivalent word but a whole text is needed. The two words that impressed me nearly all the time in a profound way were , “Maravilhosa”, it translates magnificent and is usually used to compliment a lady. Why i can really tell you maybe i like giving out compliments, nonetheless one thing is sure it sounds a lot better to hear than others languages i’ve came across.
the other one is really special ,after so many moments good and bad with my Brazialian friends we became more than that irmaos=brothers and when the time came for them to go back home, it was tough and every single one of them told me one word…
(n.) a nostalgic longing to be near again to something or someone that is distant, or that has been loved and then lost, “the love that remains”
So all in all what i am trying to explain in this hazardous and unorganized representation of my thoughts, is that if you haven’t met a Brazilian you are missing something and if you have,then you know precisely what i am talking about. It’s an unprecedented experience and it can truly change you for the best. Whether you meet them in their home or travelling it’s irrelevant you will soon find that they have a way to bring “Brazil” with them wherever they go.
there is not enough time or space in this blog for me to explain how unique, exotic and wonderful those people are. I can only hope to have awakened an unatural thirst to visit this country.
And maybe then you will be able to grasp the meaning of “Saudade”
Until then i wish you all “ordem e progresso”, considare this your first portuguese lesson and dont forget…All You Need is Dopamine
Saudade to my friends Fabio, Guilherme, Vilmar, Ana Julia, Domicios, Gabriel, Rafa, Pedrao, Julia, Samuel, Maicon, Thais, Lucas, Pedro, Lucinha, Thales, Ricardo, Cassiano, Marco Tulio, Rafael , Victor, Susu, Rui, Bruna, Jessica, Junior, Dora, Felipe, Pedro Paulo …and every single one i may forgot , muito obrigado.