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Patinho



Junior Member
   
ok... I asked this same question on the old forum, and I thought I'd bring it back for any new members. Plus, I just like reading about them.

So... another open question. ok.. so I am sure we've all heard the term BrazilNuts when it comes to we Americans and others who are crazy in love with Brazil and her culture. What I am want to know are your stories... Why do you come to this site? What first sparked your interest in all things Brazilian? Basically I am asking the question my freinds have asked me a hundred times.... Why Brazil??

Also, when I posted this before, I think we know there are several out there who simply love the "women". That's great, me too.... but can we get a little more creative this time and try to keep it clean? Thanks


-----
"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 3:22 pm on Jan. 19, 2003 | IP
Paulista



Newbie
   
Patinho,

people don't seem too excited about telling their reasons to love Brazil. Maybe if you started by telling your story some people would get inspired to tell their own. I'm for one I'm very curious about the blooming of your love affair with Brazil and Bazilians.


Total Posts: 12 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 5:58 pm on Jan. 21, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   
Paulista,

I actually thought about deleting the entire thread since no one has responded. I figured several of the people here were similiar to myself and would be more than happy to have an excuse to post on this. The "Old Forum" responses were pretty good. So, I should "lead by example". Well... here it goes.

Short Version:

When I was a senior in high school I saw this girl standing alone at lunch one day. I learned that she was our school's exchange student.  Apparently her English was not too good and everyone else I had asked about her gave me a different name. I saw her again a few days later, alone again at lunch. I simply could not understand why this beautiful girl was always alone. She was a short little "tanajura" and when I finally got the courage to ask her name, she replied "Marly".
When I repeated the name to her for clarity, she was astounded that I got it correct. She said no one else could get it. I know it looks simple... but saying "Mah le" through a thick accent wasn't very clear to us Americans.
We started eating lunch together everyday.
We became better freinds than I ever could have hoped for. See, since her english wasn't too good, combined with the fact that she lived in a really bad neighborhood, and her host parents were in their late 60's with no kids... we began to hang out togther like shadows.
I love to talk and she would listen for hours on end. She learned alot of english from me. She uses alot of my unique speech patterns still to this day. As her english got better our freindship got better. We had so many experiences, just the two of us. She learned from me, and I know I never learned so much about life and about myself from another person.

When it came time for her to leave, this left a huge void in my heart. We still talk every Sunday at 8pm. I call her for 30 mins and she calls back for 30 mins.
I guess I became interested in Brazil and Brazilian culture to feel closer to her. I began to read books on Brazil, study portuguese, I ended up meeting my Brazilian freinds here in America and playing capoeira. Eventually I fell in love with the culture itself. The women, the food, the music, the way of life. I love it all. Marly is the main reason my life has changed so much. I have been there to visit her and Brazil 3 times and she has returned twice.

I no longer consider her my Brazilian freind. She is just my freind. I remember the last time I left Brazil, I said to her "You know, before I met you, the world was so small to me. The world seems so big now, almost too big. I don't know if I like it." She replied "Don't worry, it's a good thing."

ok... so that's it people. That's what I am looking for. Of course... if you thought this was just a bunch of meaningless emotional garble... let me know and I will delete the thread. I hope I did not bore anyone too much. You know it's always hard to share with the world (especially on a forum) your innermost thoughts... but I did it.. so now I want to hear from some of you!


-----
"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 1:00 am on Jan. 22, 2003 | IP
Tais


Newbie
   
I am very interested in this topic. I would like to know myself. I will have to come back with why I am now starting to learn about my parents country. I have college classes. I hope to learn about Brasil on this board.

Total Posts: 8 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 6:57 am on Jan. 22, 2003 | IP
Jo


Newbie
   
Patinho.....Oddly enough my obsession  with Brazil also started with a Brazilian foreign exchange student.
I had had a good Brazilian friend in the 70's and my husband almost took a job in Brasilia in '73, but  when we called to confirm the job when he had another job offer, no one answered the phone at the university.  Years later I figured out that it must have been carnaval week, but then we thought....what goes?  And we took the other job in Minnesota.

Then, in '97 this bright-eyed, tall Brazilian from Mato Grosso showed up at our high school unable to speak much more than a word of English....though he'd had several years of English classes.  (I asked him later how he had passed English without learning anything.  He answered, "I copied.")   He was in my Reading Lab which catered to ESL students a couple of hours a day since he couldn't do too many other classes with the limited English.  He got depressed and his Rotary hosts for the second term left town, so I took him home to stay with my family.....and essentially adopted him.  My son (16 at the time) went home with him when he returned and we've all been close ever since.  We all sort of adopted each other....and I just now spoke with his mom on the phone.  (I think wanting to communicate with her was my real reason for wanting to learn Portuguese.)

To make a very long story short, I decided to see what it was like for my students when they ended up in a country not knowing the language at all.....and attended a language school (Fast Forward) in Maceió.  I had so much fun (I was there at São João and went to the festa in Campina Grande, Paraíba , June, 2000).  I absolutely fell in love with the country.

Now I'm living and working in the Northeast and trying to convince my husband to join me.  He's about to retire, but really reluctant to do more than visit.  I honestly don't want to go back....but....don't want to abandon  him either.   So, I'm  here for sure through June and will probably return for months at a time as long as I'm able.

That's my long story much shortened.

-----
Jo

Total Posts: 8 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 4:36 pm on Jan. 25, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   


(Edited by Patinho at 10:42 am on Jan. 27, 2003)

-----
"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 1:32 pm on Jan. 26, 2003 | IP
Popozuda



Newbie
   
I love Brasil because its my country and still I havent found any place like it. The energy that you get from the people and being there is something undescribable. Brasil isnt just a place its a way of life. I mean ... everyone has a way of living that is unlike any other place in the world. Many people are poor yes but we are all happy. And we realize that the LITTLE things in life is what makes life a BIG adventure.
I am very passionate about my country and everything it has to offer. So if I went on to talk about everything I love and miss it would take forever.... Being only 17 and being away from Brasil has made me realize what a magica, beautiful and amazing country it is.

Total Posts: 7 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 3:37 pm on Jan. 27, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   
Popozuda-

I am not Brazilian, but I must say I feel alot of the same things. I am curious, what are you doing in California? Exchange Student? And you said you were interested in Capoeira... me too! Do you still play?


-----
"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 12:02 am on Jan. 28, 2003 | IP
Popozuda



Newbie
   
Oi Patinho  
Tudo bem?I live in California because I was adopted. Last year I went back to meet my real parents WOW ! But anyways, Yes I play capoeira. Where do you live? There are many wonderful places that teach it.

Total Posts: 7 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 8:37 am on Jan. 28, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
Actually, I don't "love" Brazil so much as I'm devoted to it, the way a man might be devoted to his wife of 15 years while ocasionally wanting to strangle the bitch.

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 11:05 am on Jan. 28, 2003 | IP
Adam


Junior Member
   
A brasilian asked me once, "are you brasilian?" Without processing the question, I said, "no, but I wish I was." To which she responded, "I hope not." Later when I thought about this, I realized I dont want to be Brasilian, cuz if I was, then I would understand the culture already. Ironically, thats the last thing I want to do. Understanding Brasil is an ideal for me, a goal. So as long as I continue to learn something new every day, I am right where I want to be...a student of Brasil.

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Tchau

Total Posts: 64 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 1:10 pm on Jan. 28, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   
Popozuda-
I live in Memphis, TN. There is no official school in my city. I met a group of Brazilians that played capoeira with a professor to instruct. There was about 4 of us in the beginning and we grew to almost 20. One by one, most returned to Brazil, fell out of the group, or moved away. The group disbanded. But the few of us that remain are really close and sometimes we get in a little practice.
I remember before my first trip to Brazil, my Professor (an American) said "When you go to Brazil, I want you to represent.... you're gonna show them that we respect the roda and teach it right over here."
Then he made me "play" with everyone in the group... about 17 people and then finally with him until I was ready to drop.
The next closest school is a 5 hour drive from my city.

Macunaima-
I guess we can all understand that....

Adam-
isn't it more fun to be a student of Brazil? (rhetorical)
We think so much alike that I am starting to think you are my long lost brother my mother never told me about.

Anyway.... how are your plans going for visiting Brazil? I am planning 2 weeks in June or July. Let me know when you are going and if for sure you will be visiting Fortaleza or not.. That will definitely be one of my stops and maybe we can get together and drink some cachaca.

-----
"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 1:53 am on Jan. 29, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
Adam, not to call you out, old shoe, but are you nuts?

Do you really think "understanding Brazil" is something that comes with birth or citizenship here? Do you really believe that most Brazilians have any notion at all of the wide variety of cultures, environments and histories found within their nation?

NO ONE "understands Brazil". We all know a little bit about this and that and have great, whopping holes in our knowledge elsewhere.

Furthermore, there's nothing that can be described as "essentially Brazilian", that every Brazilian likes or even knows about.

Finally, Capoeira, Cachaça, Samba... Yes, these things are good. But as Brazilian cultural items go, they are all relatively recent inventions. 80 years ago, none of these things would have been pointed out to you by Brazilians as "essentially" representing Brazil.

Guys, if you really want to understand this country, you're going to have to study it as well as experience it and that goes for everyone, gringos and native-born Brazilians. And that means cracking the books, which means LEARNING TO READ AND WRITE FLUENTLY IN PORTUGUESE.

If you love this country, becoming literate in its language is the logical first step to take.

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 10:36 am on Jan. 30, 2003 | IP
Adam


Junior Member
   
Im doing it everyday, "cracking the books" that is. Try not to take things so literally. I understood before I wrote that post that there is no one thing that makes something Brazilian. But, on the other hand, there are things you do that are representitive of or commonly done in your home country.  Personally, its very easy to point out who in a room is Brazilian and who is not, but thats just me. I'm here for one reason, you'll find out why if you look in the top right hand corner of the screen. (Brazzil-Trying to understand Brazil) Tchau

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Tchau

Total Posts: 64 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 12:42 pm on Jan. 30, 2003 | IP
Ze


Junior Member
   
The generation of 80 years ago is dead.

(Edited by Ze at 3:30 pm on Jan. 30, 2003)

Total Posts: 93 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 3:17 pm on Jan. 30, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
Ze,

Yes they are. But if what they believed was "Brazilian" is different from what we believe (and it is), then "Brazilian" itself has no natural content. It is, in short, whatever we believe it to be.

Adam,
Again, I really don't see much that Brazilians do that one could extrapolate off to even the majority of the nation. What are you looking at here that you find so Brazilian?

That said, I play the "spot the gringo" game with my fiends all the time. I'll say this: the best marker for gringoness (or Brazilianess) in Brazil is shoes.

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 4:00 am on Jan. 31, 2003 | IP
Ze


Junior Member
   
As it is for many countrys nowadays, yet there is a skeleton culture that still exists, and influencesthe more proeminent aspects.

Total Posts: 93 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 12:26 pm on Jan. 31, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
OK, Zé. I'll buy that, given proof.

If a "skeleton culture" really exists, then you should be able to point out some of its bones for us.

So what are they?

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 2:24 pm on Jan. 31, 2003 | IP
ELEGANTGENT



Junior Member
   
macunaima, what barrio are you in rio? are you any where near jacarepagua? if you bought a home there, what area or barrios would you prefer? i ask because my brasileira wants me to move there with her.

Total Posts: 53 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 2:37 pm on Jan. 31, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   
Macunaima-

I think Adam has a good point. No one thing, or even a combination of things can fully encompass an entire culture. When we talk about cachaca, capoeira, samba, etc.... these are just a few of the major things that many people can relate to when discussing Brazil.

You are right about learning Portuguese. When I first became interested in Brazil, this was one of the first things I began to learn. Although I am far from being fluent, I feel that it is ok to take several "next steps" in learning and understanding a culture like Brazil's. Perhaps it will take a lifetime to get there... but remember "it's the journey that's important, not the destination."
I see your point clearly. And I know where it comes from. If I heard all of these people on a forum talking about the U.S. like we do with Brazil... I would wonder what is wrong with them. Yet, I find that our strange love affair with a country and culture no different from idolizing a favorite actor or singer. It's not common, true... but I guess it does exist. I've said several times to my freinds "I don't know if it is possible to fall in love with a country, but if it is.. then I've done it."

As far as the culture 80 years ago. While learning about it and remembering history is something we should all do with even our own cultures, otherwise it is not very relevant to todays culture. Todays culture is what lured us and kept us here in the first place. I mean, isn't ok for me to like bread without knowing everything about yeast?

I hope I don't sound like I am arguing. I am not trying to. But there are certain things that are essentially "Brazilian". Cachaca and Capoeira are 2 of them. Yea, Capoeira has it's roots in Africa, but it did not become what we see today until it was fused into the Brazilian culture by the slaves in the 1800's. It was against the law to practice until the 1930's, when it was legalized and the 1st school was opened. So as for these being "new" aspects of the culture, I wouldn't go quite that far.

Either way... I am getting off the subject. The point is; you and Adam made the best points.... you want to understand Brazil, learn Portuguese, but remember that no one thing can embody an entitre culture.

Some things are esentially Brazilian, some things are essentially American... albeit most are stereotypes, but aren't alot of the things we see.... just essentially human?

It is rather easy for someone that has experienced both cultures to point out things that are Brazilian.... whether it be something physical like Brazilian Beer, or something cultural like the idea of "ficar" with someone.

One last thought, it seems we are heading towards that whole "Brazil is a state of mind...." kind of an outlook. Are we?

-----
"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 3:00 pm on Jan. 31, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   
oops..... I just read your post on "How hard is to be Black in Brazil "..... I guess you already knew that about Capoeira. I liked your thoughts on it, but whatever the reason it is here today..... I am just glad that it is.

-----
"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 3:06 pm on Jan. 31, 2003 | IP
Adam


Junior Member
   
Macunaima-

What shoes in paticular?... so I can work on this, lol.

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Tchau

Total Posts: 64 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 4:49 pm on Jan. 31, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   
I would like to know this too. Last time I visited Brazil, my freind and I had a huge laugh because it turned out we bought the exact same style of NIKEs and there was no "pre-planning" involved.

-----
"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 12:45 am on Feb. 1, 2003 | IP
Ze


Junior Member
   
Can't point you the bones myself unless I get regional, and then my limited knowledge cannot discern what composes the national.

Or do you have another theory?

Total Posts: 93 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 2:16 am on Feb. 1, 2003 | IP
cabecao


Newbie
   
wow. i think this is the best post i've read here yet. kudos to you patinho. that story in the beginning got its hooks in me. i'm a newbie to brazil. i've fallen in love with a brazilian woman and we will be married in June. so to answer your question in the post it is because of one particular woman. that is what i love about brazil. altho i am learning more every day. and it is overwhelming at times. such as pinga or cachasa or whatever you prefer to call this sweet brazilian nectar. i am feeling it now, once again

I've been here for one month now, and will stay much longer. and this brings me to the 3rd thing i love so far: the language. its melodies and its rhythms keep me studying every day (almost and if it wasn't for its fucking verb conjugations I would feel even better.

and of course the padarias

that is #4

don't you think a padaria in n.america (i'm canadian) would be a hit?

so anyway, here is my list to date:

1. my woman
2. pinga
3. portuguese
4. padarias

ciao for now

Total Posts: 18 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 9:46 pm on Feb. 8, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
Brazilians keep their shoes clean and in good repair and most gringos don't.

I think it's a carry over from slavery. Slaves were prohibitted from wearing shoes. The first thing a freedman did, then, upon getting his papers, was buy himsef shoes. Shoes became the first consumer item that conferred status in Brazil and the paranoia about them bit so deep that we still see it today.

Next time you're in a mixed crowd of Brazilians and gringos, just check out the shoes. I guarantee that the Brazilian's will be much cleaner and better repaired.

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 6:01 am on Feb. 9, 2003 | IP
Patinho



Junior Member
   
ok... you have a point there. I smile when I think about this because I remember my first trip to Brazil, my freind's mother was telling me to give my tennis shoes to the maid and she would clean them. I lightly protested saying "these are stained, they are as clean as they will get." (Plus I have never had anyone clean my shoes and I felt a little uncomfortable) But amazingly the next day when presented with my shoes again they looked totally new... I couldn't believe it! And on my second trip, I spent 2 days looking for my generic black shoes only to find that they had cleaned them again without me knowing it, and this fresh clean pair of shoes that had been sitting in my room those 2 days turned out to be mine. I had thought they were my freind's brother's shoes. lol

The history of Patinho's shoes. Anyway... I know it's not all that interesting but I was just helpig to prove your point. Good point again, I say.

-----
"Quem quer viver faz magica"
--Guimaraes Rosa

Total Posts: 67 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 3:07 pm on Feb. 10, 2003 | IP
Sick



Newbie
   
I guess along the lines of clean presentable shoes, one thing I was really impressed with in Brasil was how people dressed, especially when they went out. No blue jeans or T-shirts or baseball hats, which is very much in vogue in the US even at the finer establishments. Minus an instance or two of classist snobbery by the group I was with (yes I know that can be found in the US as well) it seemed like everyone was impeccably dressed within their means. I was impressed nonetheless. I was in Sao Paulo, so I am curious if perhaps I was in a bubble of unreality of sorts or if that is the general truth throughout the country? And, is this a European influence that has held over or purely Brasilian, assuming my impressions are for the most part correct?

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I have the best hair on this website.

Total Posts: 27 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 3:46 pm on Feb. 10, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
In Rio, people dress down and comfortably. I went to a churrascaria yesterday, one of the 20 reais a head variety, and everyone was in t-shirts and shorts. There were a few swim suits, too.

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 5:34 pm on Feb. 10, 2003 | IP
fernandobn


Junior Member
   
When I came to US five years ago, I was affraid that my kids would have adaptation problems, but I was surprised that in a short time they were able to get through. Today, they forgot the Portuguese Language, they know very little about Brazil, when they talk they speak only english. When we have Brazilians parties and people are singing or talking about things they missed in Brazil, I can see the expression in their faces showing that is a whole new world for them. I am going back next july and I was wondering about the problems they are going to face there. So I started to talk about  how is life there. I need to remind them that they are not Americans that they need to read more about Brazil and ask more about our things. Sometimes is funny to hear their questions about everything. At the end I think that all of this experience going to make them stronger to the rest of their lives.  

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Fernando B.

Total Posts: 55 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 5:48 pm on Feb. 10, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
Fernandoboh, I have some good news and some bad news for you.

The bad news is that your kids ARE American. That's reality for them, not where you grew up.

The good news is that it's been scientifically proven that culture is not genetically transmitted. It is learned and one can have as much of it as one wants - or as little. This means that your kids will learn about Brazil. Presuming, that is, you don't try to force it down their throats by telling them they are Brazilian, thus giving them something convenient to revolt against.

Culture shock is hard, and one feels it more the older obe gets. Your kids will probably resent this change like hell, so speaking as someone who's gone through it let me suggest that you go easy on the "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" of culture when you come here. Just because they are your kids doesn't mean they know a single thing about Brazil and if you act as if they should, they'll probably resent it.

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 3:34 am on Feb. 11, 2003 | IP
Adrianerik


Newbie
   
@sick - I went out with some friends in Sao Paulo and was embarrassed.  They were dressed to the nines (dressed well) and based upon my Rio and Salvador friends I was a bit casual.  I mentioned this to my friends in Rio and they said "Yeah....Paulistas are so phony.  They were just showing off for you.  We don't that"

Cariocas!  

Total Posts: 50 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 10:31 am on Feb. 11, 2003 | IP
fernandobn


Junior Member
   
Macunaima thanks for your comments, I agree, but when I said that I was remainding them about their identity, it was only because they do not have the option to become American citizens, or leave here, I bet if they could they would choose to become one. I was trying to tell them things about life in Brazil just to get out of the problem: how to convince my family that they need to go back.  My family was divided, but no option to stay, only in illegality, and this I do not want to do!

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Fernando B.

Total Posts: 55 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 12:23 pm on Feb. 11, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
Adrian:

We have a saying here...

"Cariocas são uma belza na praia e um desastre na noite. Paulistas são uma beleza na noite e um desastre na praia."

Fernando:

How many years have your kids lived in the States and when did they arrive there?

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 1:28 pm on Feb. 11, 2003 | IP
fernandobn


Junior Member
   
Macunaima
We arrived in 1998 with an H-1B visa, my kids were 10 and now they are 15.

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Fernando B.

Total Posts: 55 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 2:08 pm on Feb. 11, 2003 | IP
Macunaima


Member
   
They've been in the States for only five years and act as if they've forgotten Portuguese? you're right: they are copping a 'tude.

Se te faz sentir melhor, vi a mesma coisa acontecer aqui no Brasil com os filhos de trabalhadores americanos. durante minha pesquisa de mestrado, fui a festa de 4 de julho da American Society of rio de Janeiro. Não é que quase todas as crianças falavam português quase exclusivamente, particularmente quando os pais estavam falando em inglês?

É uma maneira fácil de criança mostrar que é diferente e "superior" aos pais. Deve ser um síndrome universal.

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Brazil is the country of the future and always will be!

Total Posts: 147 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 2:07 am on Feb. 12, 2003 | IP
fernandobn


Junior Member
   
Glad to hear that! LOL

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Fernando B.

Total Posts: 55 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 9:15 am on Feb. 12, 2003 | IP
 

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