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Subject: Questions from my first trip to Brazil


Posted by Patrick
On Friday, April 05, 2002 at 13:04:43

Message:

My wife and I just got back from our first trip to Brazil. We were in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais for two weeks. We had a great time. Brazil is a wonderful place, and we look forward to going back as soon as we can. I noticed a few things that made me wonder, and I hope someone out there can elighten me:

1)I noticed that all hotel bathrooms had a bidet. Do Brazilians use them or are they mainly for European tourists?

2)I noticed lots of British and French tourists, but very few German tourists. This was surprising because given the high salaries and ample vacation time granted to the German worker, German tourists are almost everywhere. Where were the Germans?

3)Most of the music we heard on radios in buses, taxis, or malls was in English. I found this ironic because Brazilian music was one of my main attractions for visiting Brazil! Obviously, Brazilians also listen to their own music, but I was surprised to suddenly hear Ray Charles and Ozzy Osbourne on the same radio station! Any comments?

4)The waste baskets in the airports are shaped like conga drums! (The Cuban variety, which I presume is not indigenous to Brazil, although obviously the standard LP conga is now globally ubiquitous for almost all types of music.) Am I just halucinating or is the resemblance intentional? As a music lover, maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see. Do they look like conga drums to Brazilians, or just like waste baskets?

5)My wife is from Japan, so of course we enjoyed dining in Liberdade. Am I correct that most Japanese in Sao Paulo don't actually live in Liberdade anymore; they have suburbanized after two generations? Is it fair to say that the Japanese Brazilians have now fully assimilated into mainstream Brazilian culture, or are they still marginalized in any way? I assume the majority society considers them to be fully Brazilian, and that they are not the subject of any significant descrimination. Is that accurate?

6)The tourist literature would have you believe that Brazilians hate Argentinians. One website for North American business travellers warns against even mentioning Argentina! Obviously they are major football rivals, and have their share of economic and political disputes, but I couldn't detect any ill will in Brazil toward any other Latin Americans (or Gringos for that matter!) Where does this idea that Brazilians hate Argentinians come from and does it have any substance?

7)Does the average Brazilian understand Spanish?

8)What percentage of Brazilians speak English to any signifcant degree?

9)Like other Latin American countries, Brazil has experienced an explosion in evangelical forms of Christianity in the last 30 years. At this point I believe that Evangelicals are roughly 20 percent of the population. Has this phenomenon been a source of social division in Brazil? It seems like Brazil is more like the United States than some other Latin American countries in that conspicuous religious symbols seem to be kept out of the public sphere, so perhaps religion is considered a private matter and is not the subject of much public debate. Any comments?

10)Sao Paulo seems to have an Orthodox Jewish community, at least in the neighborhood near Paulista Avenue. Is this true or are the people I took to be Brazilian Orthodox Jews actually other tourists like me?

11)When Brazilians refer to post-graduate ("pos-graduacao"?) does this refer to schooling after college or after high school?

Anyway, those are my questions, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Patrick

RE: Questions from my first trip to Brazil
Posted by braslvr
On Friday, April 05, 2002 at 18:44:25

Message:
I think I can answer a couple of your questions.
The travel agencies in Germany and especially Scandinavia, market the Northeast of Brazil very heavily. You will see hundreds in most any of the coastal cities. I'm surprised that you saw many tourists at all in Sao Paulo. It's really not a "touristy" city, but more of the business hub.

The average Brazilian can understand Spanish if it is spoken by someone as their first language..that is, if the person has many options of how to say something. If Spanish is your second language, they will have problems.

As far as percentage of English speakers, it varies widely depending on where you go. In the Northeast, it is extremely rare.
RE: Questions from my first trip to Brazil
Posted by daniel
On Saturday, April 06, 2002 at 14:39:41

Message:
1- we use bidet too!
2 - there are many German tourists, unless in rio de janeiro.
3 - we are not used to listen Ray Charles and Ozzy Osbourne, and we listen more brazilian music than world music but depends on the radio station, some of them is specific to brazilian music.
4- the shape is normal, unless in the rio internacional airport
5- i dunno about sao paulo, but there are many "japas" there
6- weīre rivals in many things, thatīs all! we "hate" them when weīre talking about soccer, but itīs like rio de janeiro and são paulo, there is the same problem, these cities are the major rivals.
7- weīre able to understand spanish but itīs similar.
8- depends on the region
9- religion is not my business
10- the same
11- after college
any question,send me a email, danieldbr@ig.com.br ah iīm sorry but i donīt speak english very well, iīd rather spanish. enjoy your trip when you come to brazil, and 1 more information, Rio is the state that receive more tourists in brazil, almost 40%, you know where you should go then.
RE: Questions from my first trip to Brazil
Posted by Tina
On Sunday, April 07, 2002 at 17:58:21

Message:
1) yes, a larger number of brazilian houses have a bidet.

2)I think braslvr answered your question

3)Iīll disagree with Daniel now, no, I think international music is more listen... but Patrick, is not hard to find brasilian musics... Iīm surprised that you havenīt hearded... there are a lot of good music.. espeacialy mpb, but you Iīll also hear trash music...

4) I cannot say about it, but in all airports that I was.. the shape is normal

5)I never heard of a Japanese or their decendents being discrimined... but I canīt talk about SP.. but I still donīt believe..

6)hehehe, Argentina and Brasil are rivals and partners at the same time ... so is far to be hate... I donīt think that talk about Argentina would be a big problem...heheheh

7)Speaking slowly... of course.. but be careful with some words... some are equal but with diferent meanings... sometimes with oposite meanings..

8)Yes, depends..

9) huummm.. here we say to not discuss religion, politic or soccer... why? because this discussion will take you to anywhere... well.. itīs not so radical, because your opinion will be normally respect... just donīt try to impose any...

10)I donīt know

11)after college
RE: Questions from my first trip to Brazil
Posted by daniel
On Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 20:21:47

Message:
tina, brazilian music is more listen here, if you donīt know i tell you that 80% of cds sold in brazil are of brazilian singers, and there are many radios that just play mpb and brazilian songs.
RE: Questions from my first trip to Brazil
Posted by daniel
On Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 20:21:58

Message:
tina, brazilian music is more listen here, if you donīt know i tell you that 80% of cds sold in brazil are of brazilian singers, and there are many radios that just play mpb and brazilian songs.
RE: Questions from my first trip to Brazil
Posted by daniel
On Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 20:23:41

Message:
tina, brazilian music is more listen here, if you donīt know i tell you that 80% of cds sold in brazil are of brazilian singers, and there are many radios that just play mpb and brazilian songs
RE: Questions from my first trip to Brazil
Posted by daniel
On Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 20:24:22

Message:
tina, brazilian music is more listen here, if you donīt know i tell you that 80% of cds sold in brazil are of brazilians bands, and there are many radios that just play mpb and brazilian songs
RE: Questions from my first trip to Brazil
Posted by daniel
On Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 20:24:23

Message:
tina, brazilian music is more listen here, if you donīt know i tell you that 80% of cds sold in brazil are of brazilians bands, and there are many radios that just play mpb and brazilian songs

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