Revivers Of The Past – Know Anyone?

Over on my Eyes On Portugal blog, I have written twice about what I consider to be an excellent business which involves reviving the past by bringing back products of days gone by. In Portugal, the woman behind it is Catarina Portas and her main business is called A Vida Portugesa. I just translated an interview featuring her.

Do you know of anyone in Brazil who does similar work?

Talking About Brazil With Lilia Schwarcz

“I think all kinds of racism are equally terrible. I am just saying that the Brazilian kind is different. For example, in 2000 we completed a survey research project that consisted of three seemingly simple questions: Are you prejudiced in any way? 97 percent of those surveyed answered no. Do you know anyone who is prejudiced? 99 percent answered yes. If you had said yes to the second question, you were asked to describe the relationship you have with this person. We did not ask for names, but people often gave them, naming friends and relatives. We concluded that every Brazilian thinks he is an island of racial democracy surrounded by an ocean of racism.”

– Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, a professor of anthropology at the University of São Paulo, is known in the United States as the author of The Spectacle of the Races: Scientists, Institutions, and the Race Question in Brazil, 1870-1930 (English edition, 1999) and The Emperor’s Beard: Dom Pedro II and the Tropical Monarchy of Brazil (2004).

Read the rest of a short interview with her.

Study on the ‘Language of the Youth’

The following is an article/interview taken from the Brazilian magazine ‘Língua Portuguesa’, which I have translated below. For the interview (in PT), see the link above.

– by Luiz Costa Pereira Junior

“The youth of today are children of their mother. With all due respect. The observation, resulting from one of the most interesting pieces of research on Brazilian youth, indicates that the mother figure has become the highest reference of those born in the 80’s and 90’s. In a country in which 20 million families are run by women, values which are considered maternal (affection as a vector of happiness, the cultivation of friends, doing what one enjoys and taking care of who one likes) have come to substitute those which were formerly “masculine” (earn money, build a career, be better at any cost), that have predominated in the previous generation.

The intention of Novos Consumidores 2, a study conducted by Studio Idéias between July and October of 2008 with 1,623 adolescents throughout the entire country and launched at the end of the year, was to measure the relation that the youth maintain with publicity. But, at the request of Núcleo Jovem from the editor Abril, which solicited the study, it was formed into a study of how the urban youth between the ages of 13 and 24 express themselves.

“We took caution to not speak with opinion-formers, in order to portray the average Brazilian, with a minimum of access to the Internet,” said Brenda Fucuta, the director of the Núcleo Jovem from editor Abril, who was responsible for the research.

A journalist since the 1980’s, Brenda has worked with adolescent readers for over 10 years. She was the director of the magazine Capricho and today comands an array of publications for young people, which make up 7 million monthly copies. Under Brenda’s command, the study compared behaviors that explain in part how young people express themselves. On the Internet or during a regular conversation, they dictate the language that will be absorbed in the work place and during family reunions.

Brenda knows that the entire study suffers the risk of generalizing what may be just a partial tendency. But she believes her research brings generational markers that will be incorporated into society. “The generation of peace and love was a minority, but it impacted an era,” she says. Brenda shows here how, by maternal influence, the youth of today is feminizing their vision of the world and shaking up their idea of language.”

Caipirinha – Leblon style

Over at Cachaçagora, Phil scored an interview with Tony Abou-Ganim, who is well-known in the world of mixology and also as a consultant for big-named brands such as Leblon Cachaça. Click the link above to read the interview in full and click play on the video below (which is included within the Cachaçagora interview) for a few tips on how to make great caipirinhas and batidas (ba-chee-dahs) from cachaça

I’m beginning to think I should work for Leblon as I’ve had many run-ins with the brand on various levels. I bought a bottle right when it came on the market in the US and I know a Leblon brand ambassador in São Paulo, among other encounters.

Clarice Lispector – Interview

An interview with famous writer Clarice Lispector, before she passed away, in which she also seems quite annoyed. 

Programa 30 Anos Incriveis da TV Cultura, apresentação de Gastão Moreira. Última entrevista com Clarice Lispector dada ao jornalista Junio Lerner para o programa Panorama em 1977.

Parte 1

Parte 2, Parte 3, Parte 4, Parte 5

Carandiru Massacre – All but forgotten

The third most searched for topic on my blog is Candiru, the vampire fish from the Amazon. Often times, I think people meant to type Carandiru instead…but maybe not, as it is being forgotten.

“The Carandiru Massacre, considered a major human rights violation in the history of Brazil, happened sixteen years ago (October 2, 1992) after a riot broke out in the 9th Pavilion of Carandiru Prison Complex in São Paulo. The riot went out of control, which led to the elite force of the Military Police being called in and a confrontation which resulted in the reported death of 111 prisoners. No police were killed.

Human rights groups claim most prisoners were unarmed and offered no resistance, and that the police also fired at inmates who had already surrendered or had tried to hide. Regardless of this, no one has ever been punished, and the only person to be tried was the commanding officer of the operation, colonel Ubiratan Guimarães (assassinated in September 2006 in a possible crime of passion). He was initially sentenced to 620 years in prison but the conviction was later revoked after mistrial claims.”

More can be found on Global Voices, written up by Paula Góes.


Follow the link below for a subtitled short interview on the subject from someone who was there.

HUB interview with a witness and former inmate.