Brazil: A Country of Constrasts, as seen through Carla’s Eyes
Carla, our regional contributor from Brazil, is a proud Brazilian, an English as a Foreign Language teacher, and a “world citizen.” Read more about why Brazil is such a pleasure to the senses, and how this country of contrasts will surprise you!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Where do you live? Where are you from? If those are different, can you tell us a little about what inspired your move?
I’m now back to Brasilia, my hometown in Brazil, but I’ve lived for two years in Key West, Florida. When I was a teen, I lived as an exchange student in a small town near Seattle in the U.S., and also in Mestre, Italy, a 10-minute train ride from Venice.
I guess I’m just an intrepid, curious traveler and world citizen who wants to learn more about other cultures and explore new perspectives.
If you would describe yourself as multi-cultural, tell us a bit about what culture you most identify with and why.
I’m totally Brazilian, but can’t deny my Italian traditions as my dad is Sicilian. I’m loud, laugh a lot, love to cook Italian food, and I just get thrilled when I can gather family and friends around a big table and spend the day just chatting.
Why did you decide to become a Pocket Cultures contributor?
I decided to become a Pocket Cultures contributor because I wanted to share with the world a bit more about my country and to dispel some myths and stereotypes about it, as well as become part of this multicultural group from which I can travel the world without even leaving home.
Can you describe a typical day for you?
Brasilia is still an atypical city, for we take our kids to school, go to work, then we pick them up at school and have lunch altogether at home. Lunch is all fresh and prepared at home. Then, back to work (I’m responsible for the Educational Technology area of the Bi-national Center I work for and the e-learning program) around 1:50 pm. I stay there until around 6:30 pm, I pick up the kids at the club where they practice sports. We have dinner (generally something light) around 7:30 pm, we watch TV and chat, the kids do their homework. Then, we watch the 9:00 soap opera (very popular in Brazil). The kids go to bed, I stay up with my husband, check my Facebook account, do some work on the computer, blog and go to bed.
What is the best part of living in your country? The worst?
The best part about living in my country? It’s people and the quality of life we have around, plus all the fun we have with friends and family.
What books or films would you recommend to someone who’d like to know more about your country?
In this post about a very famous Brazilian movies “The City of God”, you’ll see in the comments, some of my favorite Brazilian films and a great discussion about Brazilian movies http://brazilandbrazilians.blogspot.com/2007/05/city-of-god.html
What’s something that visitors are often surprised by when getting to know your country/culture?
Some visitors still have the stereotyped view of Brazil being simply a developing country made of social problems and poverty. This is certainly true. However, many foreigners get to understand that we cannot define Brazil by being this or that because of its regional contrasts, and mainly because of its economic contrasts. On one side you do see a Third World country, but on the other, there’s a well-developed country with one of the most modern banking systems in the world, electronic ballots that are a model for the world every time we have elections, among other aspects that surprise the ones who visit us. Plus, its cultural diversity and culinary richness is alluring to visitors. Their senses are always surprised by so many things around to explore.