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Brazzil - Behavior - May 2001



The Right to Bare Arms
and All the Rest

rpdmay01.gif (66086 bytes)After six years of fighting in the Justice system, Rio's naturists are ecstatic since winning in March the right to call Abricó, in the Recreio dos Bandeirantes area (south zone), their own place for baring it all on the sand. Even though the fight went on for so long, the naturists were caught with their pants down having to improvise cardboard handwritten signs placed on sticks buried in the sand, so people inclined to sunbathe on the nude would find their new sanctuary in Rio and those wanting to keep their clothes on wouldn't be shocked.

"Our intention now is to create an infrastructure in the area," announced Pedro Ribeiro, 42, president of the Associação Naturista de Abricó. "The first thing we will do is place an official city sign, indicating that this is a naturist area."

Defending his naturism views, Ribeiro wrote in Rio's daily O Dia: "If we really followed the Brazilian tradition, we'd all be naked, because the real Brazilian, the Indian, already practiced naturalism long before Brazil was discovered, as reported by Caminha. Today he is dressed, languishing in a culture that is not his own. Clothes are only for shelter and protection against bad weather. Why wear clothes on a clean beach with a hot sun? There is nothing in the Brazilian law saying it is a crime to be naked. The Penal Code talks about "public indecent assault", but doesn't define it. The legislature understood 60 years ago that customs change with the times and cannot be tied by permanent laws. And costumes only change when taboos are broken."

In 1994, Rio's Diário Oficial (Official Daily), the paper in which the city's new laws are published, announced that Abricó had become officially free territory for nudists. But lawyer and ex-seminarian Jorge Béja took it upon himself to fight against the naturist space. He went to court and won an injunction against the nude beach. Alfredo Sirkis, who as Environmental Secretary had encouraged the creation of Rio's nudist area, commented about the court injunction, "these people are exposing Rio de Janeiro to ridicule, they want to transform the city into an Islamic province.

Béja says that he is ready to wage more battles against the naturists and the Municipal Secretary of Environment. He has already appealed to Rio's 7th Court, which authorized the nude bathing. "Let them enjoy themselves for now because this immoral bash is coming to an end very soon," Béja says. "My new appeal will be heard in September and my chances of success are almost 100 percent." rpdmy01a.gif (51199 bytes)

To celebrate the victory, on the first weekend after the good news was announced, there were around 50 nudists, in appropriate attire, occupying the sand space among rocks and vegetation in a little corner bordering the clean, isolated Grumari beach, for some the best beach Rio has to offer. The first test to see how the new law was holding worked fine. A sunbather who felt offended and called the police to remove the naked bathers was told by the officer that there was nothing he could do since the place was to be shared with the nudist crowd now. At Abricó most visitors are couples and approximately 90 percent of the men and women are more than 40 years old.

Despite the Carnaval image of everything goes in Rio reflected in news, Cariocas (Rio's residents), and Brazilians in general, have had and are having a hard time establishing nudist beaches and a nudist perspective in the country. Europeans are much more open to the concept and even the repressed and Victorian Yankee society offers more opportunities for naturists than does Brazil. The pioneer work of AAPP (Associação Amigos da Praia do Pinho—Association Friends of the Pinho Beach), a group of naturists from Santa Catarina state, started in 1986. FBN (Federação Brasileira de Naturismo—Brazilian Federation of Naturism), the organization that coordinates the development of Brazil's nudism movement, was only created on January 15, 1988. All of this stresses even more the importance of Rio's nudists' victory in the courts.

According to the FBN there are 350,000 Brazilians who practice nudism among the 70 million who have adopted it around the world. The pioneer of nudism in Brazil was actress Dora Vivacqua, better known by the nickname of Luz del Fuego. In 1949, del Fuego, who used to walk naked in Rio, created the Partido Naturista Brasileiro (Brazilian Naturist Party). In 1954 she founded the Clube Naturista Brasileiro, in Ilha do Sol in Baía da Guanabara. She was killed by her home's caretaker.

Nudist Beaches, Places, Clubs, Associations

Here's a list of all the few places in Brazil where people are encouraged, welcomed or just merely allowed to take off their clothes in public.

Santa Catarina, in the south, which received a strong influence of European immigrants, offers the most options for nudists. It has Praia do Pinho, the first official naturist beach in Brazil as well as the beaches of Galheta and Pedras Altas. Despite the tropical temperatures of the northeastern beaches, the options in the area are few and with Tambaba, in the state of Paraíba and Massarandupió, in Bahia state.

Official nudist beaches:

Praia do Pinho, http://www.praiadopinho.com.br, Santa Catarina state: Brazil's first official nude beach.

Galhetas, http://clientes.brasilnet.net/alles/, in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina.

Olho de Boi, in Búzios, Rio de Janeiro.

Abricó, www.abrico.cjb.net, in Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Rio de Janeiro.

Barra Seca, http://www.barraseca.com.br, in Linhares, Espírito Santo.

Pedras Altas, http://www.quicknet.com.br/qn0690/, Santa Catarina.

Tambaba, http://www.tambaba.com.br, in João Pessoa, Paraíba state.

Massarandupió, http://www.naturismo.hpg.com.br/, Bahia.

Non-official nudist beaches:

Most of the non-official nudist beaches are in the Northeast, mainly in the states of Bahia and Pernambuco. In the Southeast, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have the most to offer.

Arraial d'Ajuda, close to Porto Seguro in Bahia. Two options: Taípe and Pitinga.

Berreiros, Pernambuco. Three beaches available: Gravatá, Várzea do Uma, and Praia do Porto.

Ilha Cocaia, in Cabo de Santo, Pernambuco

Ilha da Coroa Vermelha, in Nova Viçosa, Bahia state.

Ilha da Croa, in Barra de Santo Antônio, Alagoas state.

Praia do Alto, in Ubatuba, São Paulo.

Praia da Figueira, in Trindade, close to Parati, Rio de Janeiro.

Praia Princesa or Faroll, at Maiandeua, Pará state.

Praia Brava, in Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro.

Praia Seca, Araruama, Rio de Janeiro

Praia das Fontes, in Beberibe, state of Ceará

Praia Muro Alto, in Ipojuca, Pernambuco.

Praia de Americano, in Fernando de Noronha, state of Pernambuco

Praia Madeiro, in Tibaú do Sul, Rio Grande do Norte.

Praia Abais, in Estância, state of Sergipe.

Quinta Praia, in Morro de São Paulo, Bahia.

Trancoso, also close to Porto Seguro. Nudism is practiced at Praia da Pedra Grande.

The Clubs: Where you Pay to Get Naked

Most naturist clubs will only accept couples or families as members.

Colina do Sol, in Taquara, Rio Grande do Sul, 40 miles from Porto Alegre - www.colinadosol.com.br

Paraíso da Tartaruga, close to Praia do Pinho, in Santa Catarina.

Recanto Paraíso, in Piraí, 40 miles from Rio.

Rincão Clube Naturista, in Guaratinguetá, 100 miles from São Paulo.

Amazonat Resort, jungle area, 100 miles from Manaus, Amazonas state.

Rama Nat, in Extrema, Minas Gerais state.

Solar de Guaratiba, www.solarguaratiba.com.br, in Pedra de Guaratiba, in Rio.

Nudism Associations

FBN (Federação Brasileira de Naturismo—Brazilian Naturism Federation), www.naturis.com.br, created January 15, 1988 to coordinate the naturism movement in Brazil.

AAPP—(Associação Amigos da Praia do Pinho—Association Friends of Pinho Beach), created in 1986. They meet at Praia do Pinho in the Camboriú resort, state of Santa Catarina. More than 200 members. Address: AAPP, Caixa Postal 272, Balneário Camboriú/SC - CEP 88.330-000.

APENA—Associação Pernambucana de Naturismo. Address: APENA, Caixa Postal 7485, Recife/PE - CEP 50.722-970.

CAN—Associação Carioca de Naturismo. With more than 100 members, they meet in a ranch in Rio de Janeiro. Address: ACN, Caixa Postal 4055, Rio de Janeiro/RJ - CEP 20.001-970.


The Stage is Widower

She is the most important author of children's plays Brazil has ever produced. But she is more than that to the Brazilian theater, being responsible for the nurturing and formation of several generations of actors at Tablado, a theatrical group and school created by her. That's why there were so many celebrities and anonymous people, young and old, in the cemetery São Francisco Xavier, to say their last goodbyes to Maria Clara Machado, who died on April 30, in Rio, from lymphatic cancer. She would have been 80 on May 3.

The playwright learned of her cancer 18 months ago, and only stopped working two weeks before her death. The last show she directed, Jonas e a Baleia (Jonas and the Whale), written by Machado and her niece Maria Clara Mourthé, is still being shown at Rio's Teatro Tablado.

Actress, director, playwright, teacher, Machado was born in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, in 1921. She was 4 years old when her parents moved to Rio. Her mother died from complications of giving birth when Machado was nine. Neither she or her five sisters were told about the death. Their mother simply never came back from the hospital and her pictures and clothes suddenly disappeared.

Her father was Anibal Machado (1894-1964), author of A Morte da Porta-Estandarte (The Death of the Standard-Bearer) and João Ternura (Tenderness John), a great writer that Brazil has forgotten. She grew up in constant contact with her father's friends: artists, writers, painters, and all kinds of intellectuals (including poets Pablo Neruda, Manoel Bandeira, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, and Vinicius de Morais; writers Rubem Braga, Clarice Lispector; painter Di Cavalcanti and French actor-director Jean-Louis Barrault) who used to frequent her parents' home at Avenida Vieira Souto, in Ipanema.

Maria Clara's work will not end with her passing. Maria Clara Mourthé, 42, her niece who adopted the Cacá Mourthé sobriquet, seems interested in continuing the work of her aunt at the school-theater Tablado, which has taught acting to more than 5000 students. Among those who practiced their craft on that stage are the likes of Fernanda Torres, Leonardo Brício, Marcelo Serrado, Cláudia Abreu, Guilherme Fontes, Malu Mader, and playwright and actor Miguel Falabella. From previous generations there are Maria Padilha, Louise Cardoso, and Marieta Severo.

Maria Clara was still a little girl when she started playing and experimenting with marionettes. One constant presence among the puppeteers was a friend named Maria Antonieta Portocarrero, who would become one of the finest Brazilian actresses under the name of Tônia Carrero. In the '40s she directed marionette plays and wrote her first book: Como Fazer Teatrinho de Bonecos (How to Make Marionette Theater)."

Commenting on the death of her old friend, Carrero said: "She is more immortal than anyone of us. Maria Clara will stay."

Having won a scholarship from the French government, she went to Paris in 1950 to study theater. From there she traveled to London with another scholarship given by Unesco. In France she studied with mime Decroux and director Jean-Louis Barrault. She returned to Brazil in 1952. Initially she worked as a nurse and realized she felt great among kids. From this came the idea to create a theater group to perform children's plays.

She started an amateur theater group for workers, but he project didn't succeed since the workmen had no time for rehearsal. The failure, however, taught her things for what would become her enduring legacy to the Brazilian theater and culture: the school-theater Tablado (Stage). Fifty years later the experience is still alive where it began, at Patronato Operário da Gávea, on the south side of Rio. The Tablado has also become a school and passport to the novelas (soap operas) of Globo network, a most desirable acting career in a country where stage actors make so little and movie making has become so rare.

Machado's first play, O Boi e o Burro no Caminho de Belém (The Ox and the Donkey on Their Way to Belém), was written and staged in 1953. The following year saw her O Rapto das Cebolinhas (The Green Onions Kidnapping) performed. Maria Clara's most famous text, Pluft, o Fantasminha (Pluft, the Little Ghost), was written in 1955. Pluft has other unforgettable characters besides the hero who names the play. There are uncle Gerúndio, who lives in a trunk; the talkative mother ghost always chatting with cousin Bolha (Bubble); the little girl Maribel and the son of the Opera's ghost, who has become cellophane paper.

Pluft has become a child classic being staged all over the world. Among the 29 famous plays written and directed by Machado there are A Bruxinha que Era Boa (The Little Witch Who Was Good), A Menina e o Vento (The Girl and the Wind), O Cavalinho Azul (The Blue Little Horse), and Caça às Bruxas (Witches Chase). Although Pluft was her most famous work, Machado preferred O Cavalinho Azul (1960).

As an actress, Machado appeared in plays by Garcia Lorca, Tchecov, and Thornton Wilder in the first ten years of Tablado, but she eventually dedicated herself to playwriting and directing. In the '80s she returned briefly back to the stage playing in the comedies Arsênico e Alfazema (Arsenic and Lavender) and Ensina-me a Viver (Teach me how to Live).

Besides her children's plays, Maria Clara, who was never a mother but wrote inspired by childhood memories, also created five plays for adults and wrote 30 books. The playwright was called bossy and authoritarian by some who worked with her, but it seems now that her character and determination was decisive in preserving the Tablado experience for many decades. She had to approve everything and all changes, be it in the stage, in the building, in the way classes were ministered or in the bylaws that govern the Tablado organization.

"I am not an authoritarian kind of person, or a big mother," she told once a reporter, "but there is that time when you need to give a good scolding. Once, during the '70s, I went into the dressing room and the actors were smoking pot. Of course I prohibited them from doing this. Not for me, but for the institution."

Maria Clara used to wake up at 7 a.m. to walk on Ipanema beach, close to her residence. She walked alone, because it was "the time to think, to watch the sea." "Every morning I go out and observe the sea," she said. "The sea is there, and it will continue there. I am the one who is going away. I would love to be well prepared for death, but is anyone able to do this? Young people learn how to grow, but nobody teaches us how to be old."


Dunce Festival

In Brazil, getting into college used to be a very serious business. It wasn't enough to produce school transcripts, grades, etc. Each candidate had to sit for a long complete examination for each course targeted. It was an expensive, painful, and elitist system of separating the goats from the sheep. Or the cabras from the carneiros.

Now, the entrance examination—called vestibular or introductory—has been "democratized" and magnified. Practically anybody with some schooling and the required fee can register for it. However, results are mixed blessings. In view of the low number of vacant slots, only the top vestibulandos, the cream of those for the catch-all examination, get accepted. If they are lucky.

It has become a regular press feature that the media, eager for humor and "human interest" stories, focus on the latest vestibular, each year and half-year, and pick the "gems" among the most funny, abstruse replies. Here is a sample, taken from the latest Rio de Janeiro entrance examination, according to daily newspaper Jornal do Brasil.

Lavoisier foi guilhotinado por ter inventado o oxigênio.

O nervo ótico transmite idéias luminosas ao cérebro.

O vento é uma imensa quantidade de ar.

O terremoto é um pequeno movimento de terras não cultivadas

Os egípcios antigos desenvolveram a arte funerária para que os mortos pudessem viver melhor.

Péricles foi o principal ditador da democracia grega.

O problema fundamental do terceiro mundo é a superabundância de necessidades.

O petróleo apareceu ha muitos séculos, numa época em que os peixes se afogavam dentro d'água.

A principal função da raiz é se enterrar.

A igreja ultimamente vem perdendo muita clientela.

O sol nos dá luz, calor e turistas.

As aves têm na boca um dente chamado bico.

A unidade de força é o Newton, que significa a força que se tem que realizar em um metro da unidade de tempo, no sentido contrário.

Lenda é toda narração em prosa de um tema confuso.

A harpa é uma asa que toca.

A febre amarela foi trazida da China por Marco Polo.

Os ruminantes se distinguem dos outros animais porque o que comem, comem por duas vezes.

O coração é o único órgão que não deixa de funcionar 24 horas por dia.

Quando um animal irracional não tem água para beber, só sobrevive se for empalhado.

A insônia consiste em dormir ao contrário.

A arquitetura gótica se notabilizou por fazer edifícios verticais.

A diferença entre o Romantismo e o Realismo é que os românticos escrevem romances e os realistas nos mostram como está a situação do país.

O Chile é um pais muito alto e magro.

As múmias tinham um profundo conhecimento de anatomia.

O batismo é uma espécie de detergente do pecado original.

Na Grécia a democracia funcionava muito bem porque os que não estavam de acordo se envenenavam.

A prosopopéia é o começo de uma epopéia.

Os crustáceos fora dágua respiram como podem.

As plantas se distinguem dos animais por só respirarem à noite.

Os hermafroditas humanos nascem unidos pelo corpo.

As glândulas salivares só trabalham quando a gente tem vontade de cuspir.

A fé é uma graça através da qual podemos ver o que não vemos.

Os estuários e os deltas foram os primitivos habitantes da Mesopotâmia.

O objetivo da Sociedade Anônima é ter muitas fábricas desconhecidas.

A Previdência Social assegura o direito à enfermidade coletiva.

O Ateísmo é uma religião anônima.

A respiração anaeróbia é a respiração sem ar que não deve passar de três minutos

O calor é a quantidade de calorias armazenadas numa unidade de tempo.

Antes de ser criada a Justiça, todo mundo era injusto.

Caracter sexual secundário são as modificações morfológicas sofridas por um indivíduo após manter relações sexuais.

Lavoisier was guillotined for having invented oxygen.

The optical nerve transmits bright ideas to the brain.

Wind is a very large quantity of air.

An earthquake is a small movement of untilled fields.

The ancient Egyptians developed funeral arts so that the dead could live better.

Pericles was the leading dictator of the Greek democracy.

The Third World's basic problem is its overabundance of needs.

Petroleum made its appearance in the world many centuries ago, at the time when fishes drowned in water.

The main function of a root is to bury itself.

Lately the Church has been losing a lot of customers.

The sun gives us light, heat and tourists.

Birds have in their mouth a tooth called a beak.

Newton is a unit of power and is applicable to the strength one must use to realize one meter of the unit of time, in reverse.

Legends are prose narrations of a confusing subject.

Harp is a playing wing.

Yellow fever was brought from China by Marco Polo.

What distinguishes ruminants from other animals is the fact that anything they eat they eat twice.

The heart is the only organ that does not stop working 24 hours a day.

When an irrational animal has no water to drink, it can only survive when stuffed.

Insomnia is sleep in reverse.

Gothic architecture is so famous because it built vertical buildings.

The difference between Romanticism and Realism is that the romantics write novels while the realists tell us how really bad is the country's condition.

Chile is a very tall and lean country.

Egyptian mummies had a deep knowledge of anatomy.

Baptism is a kind of detergent washing away the original sin.

In Greece democracy worked very well because those who disagreed drank poison.

Prosopopoea is the beginning of an epopoeia.

Out of the water crustaceans breath as they manage.

Plants are different from animals because they only breathe at night.

Hermaphrodites are human beings connected by their body.

The salivary gland only work when the person feels like spitting.

Faith is grace through which we can see what we don't see.

Estuaries and Deltas were the original inhabitants of Mesopotamia.

The purpose of incorporation is to own many disembodied plants.

Social Security ensures the right to a collective disease.

Atheism is an anonymous religion.

Anaerobic breathing is inhaling no air for a maximum of three minutes.

Heat is the amount of calories stored in a time unit.

Before justice was created, everybody was unjust.

Secondary sex characteristics are the morphologic changes underwent by an individual after indulging in intercourse.

Indians Indians

Not Enough Care

Throughout the first three months of this year, indigenous communities held demonstrations and drafted documents expressing their discontent over the health care model adopted for indigenous peoples in Brazil. The facts reveal a growing dissatisfaction with the outsourced model implemented by the federal government. In January, the indigenous peoples from the states of Alagoas and Sergipe occupied the National Health Foundation building in Maceió, Alagoas, to protest against efforts being made by the state to privatize the system. They spent fifteen days camped in the building until they secured a decree from the Federal Justice system suspending the outsourcing initiative and forcing the Federal Government to continue to provide health care services. At the 3rd National Indigenous Health Conference held on May 14-18 in Brasilia, the current health care model was assessed.

In their areas, indigenous peoples have been resorting to overt actions such as seizing equipment, vehicles, and occupying buildings to give visibility to their complaints about the system and to make their claims heard. The Xerente people, from the state of Tocantins, seized a district vehicle used solely for providing health care services to them within their Health District. This action took place late in January of this year as a means to call to the attention of the federal government the precariousness of the health care system, as well as a lack of medicines and vehicles to transport the sick. Only three ambulances are available in this state, where 35 indigenous communities live.

The Xerente people have already reported deficiencies in the provision of health care services to the Federal Prosecution Service, Funai and the National Health Foundation (Fundasa), but nothing has been done to resolve their concerns. They complained about the inefficiency of the Non-governmental Organization (NGO) called Amazon Health Care Foundation_ Fasam (Fundação de Assistência à Saúde na Amazônia), which in retaliation removed the Xerente Health Care District from its list of services. During the period this NGO provided services, four indigenous people died: two women and two children. The indigenous people reported cases of plain neglect. Funasa maintained a partnership with the municipal authorities, but further accusations have already been filed claiming that the municipality led them to believe that the vehicles might be used outside the village and that measures taken by Funasa aggravated internal conflicts as a result of political maneuvers aimed at gaining benefits. The seizing of the vehicles was a warning that they will not stand for abuses. The indigenous people set up a commission to monitor health care initiatives.

The indigenous peoples of Pernambuco reported their dissatisfaction with the system during a meeting of the District Health Council, on March 23rd through 25th in Caruaru. They presented a report including complaints made by several communities from the seven indigenous peoples that live in the State. The reports range from deficiencies in service provision to non-compliance with the established workload to delays in treatment and exams. They also claim that health workers have incited divisions amongst leaders of the same indigenous people. During a meeting of indigenous leaders this same report was officially issued to the Federal Prosecution Service, Funai, Funasa and to the media.

A firm posture in Mato Grosso State

The council members of the Health Districts of Cuiabá, Araguaia, Colider, Vilhena, and Barra do Garças, as well as representatives of the indigenous peoples of Nambikwara, Pareci, Iranxe, Bororo, Bakairi, Kayabi, Apiaká, Rikbaktsa, Xavante, and Karajá, held a meeting on March 9th _ 11th, in Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso State, in which they expressed their concern over the need for local control of the system. They highlighted that "in the current indigenous Health Care Model, it is not possible to carry out Social Control effectively, since the indigenous people do not take part in the District's planning, budgeting, and accounting". The indigenous people assure that the model seeks to comply with the resolutions of the 2nd National Indigenous Health Conference, which approved the creation of the Districts. However, they underscore that the Districts should have administrative and financial autonomy, receiving transfers of funds directly from the federal government.

The indigenous peoples of Mato Grosso demanded that this model be reformulated based on the resolutions of the 2nd National Indigenous Health Conference. The document also calls for the training of indigenous health workers at secondary and university levels and that a State Health Conference be held so as to enable a joint debate on the problems common to all the indigenous peoples in the state. As part of the preparatory measures for the 3rd Conference, district-level assemblies will be held. Five of the 34 districts established in the country serve to the indigenous peoples in the state.





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