By Lindenberg Junior
Few years ago, the Newsweek magazine has published an article about the Brazilian culture that now is reaching nearly every corner of the world. The contagion goes beyond the familiar enclaves of fashion and soccer, and the Brazil’s turn that was bound to come. The article wrote by Mac Margolis and titled “Everyone Loves Brazil”, was one of the best articles I have read about Brazil during the last years. I will highlight part of the article in the next five paragraphs, and will finish this article including extra facts from the country that brings to the world the eclectic art form of capoeira, the refreshing caipirinha, and a black bean & pork stew called feijoada.
“Forget Gisele or Ronaldo, who are well on their way to becoming universal properties. Whether it’s the caipirinhas flying off the bar at Sushi Samba in lower Manhattan, samba diva Elza Soares bringing down the house at London’s Jazz Cafe, capoeira classes in Toronto or the sun-kissed sylph dominating catwalks from Milan to Guangzhou-almost anywhere you turn, there’s a bit of Brazil in the air.
In May, Selfridges, the London department store, turned over its entire building to Brazilian food, fashion, music and art-and crowned it all with a four-meter replica of Rio’s art deco Christ the Redeemer statue. Through September, London’s Design Museum will feature the rococo creations of haute furniture makers Fernando and Humberto Campana – including the favela chair, patched together with sticks like Rio’s shantytowns.
Brazilian fashion models are the workhorses of today’s Asian fashion industry. But to an unprecedented degree, Brazilian culture is now rubbing off on the locals. On the last Saturday of every August, Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa district reels with the cacophony of a full-blown Brazilian carnival- and it’s the native Japanese wearing the feathers and paint.
Fogo de Chão, which pioneered “rodízio” barbecue franchising, has launched four restaurants in the United States since 1997, and plans to open one each year for as long as the market bears, “said co-owner Ari Coser. And American and European women bought $13 million worth of Brazilian bikinis last year – not to mention the “Brazilian” waxes necessary to show them off.
São Paulo now hosts one of the world’s top five biennale, and Brazilian art is on display everywhere from the Guggenheim to the Russian State Museum. “It’s like new friends,” says Edemar Cid Ferreira, director of Brazil Connects, a cultural promoter. “The world has started to ask, ‘What country is this?”
Five hundred years ago, when a Portuguese fleet disembarked its troops in Porto Seguro, Bahia, certainly its commodore did not dream of a country that would become, five centuries later, the fantastic kaleidoscope which is now Brazil. Frequently referred to as the “sleeping giant”, it is the largest Country in Latin America, one of the most incredible eco-nature-tourism destinations in the planet…and there you will find the most ethnically diverse people in the world.
No language is more sensuous than Portuguese on the lips of a Carioca (native from Rio de Janeiro), no people are sweeter or more generous than the “gente humilde” (humble/native Brazilian), no culture has such a mischievous sense of fun or such a highly evolved sense of the absurd. The fusion of Indian, European and African elements, with zero interest in the past (what really matters is the present…the now) gives to their people a special dynamic quality.
And it may explain the high spirit of this people and why Brazilians are more spontaneous, warm, and fun-loving than other nationalities. The real truth is that in this new century and era of globalization, where stressless, love, peace, creativity, spirituality, awareness of nature, sensuality, and happiness is so Important…we will for sure hear more and more about the “Brazilian Essence”.
**Special Thanks to Emanuela Correia.