Friday, 12 February 2010

abre alas pra minha folia

12 February 2010


I just realized that these are carnival days in Brazil. I believe I try not to be connected with events which are very different from here because they show me that I am in a different world. This is, at times, slightly disturbing to me.

Another thing I just became aware of, and which always make me feel heartbreaking is that today is the 12th of February. Well, the day after tomorrow – the 14th Feb – my brother Henrique would turn 49 if he hadn’t passed away at age 28. See, too bad. Maybe I have been away from this blog because sometimes the free writing leads me to pain, not to join.

Well, let’s try and come back to carnival. I don’t remember have been a super carnival enthusiast, but it is very obvious that the beauty, the joy and the good energy that it makes us all feel in Brazil these days is contagious. I like to dance, to watch the wonderful parade in Rio, to see the carnival aficionado people who fully stop leading a serious life to devote these days to, just as seriously, let go of imagination, freedom, joy, opportunity for redemption, really. I find it so healing. Honestly, going to the streets to dance and play along with your peers dressed up in whatever disguise you think fit your mood that year can only be great.

Pernambuco, particularly Recife and Olinda have a fantastic tradition of putting an enormous number of people in the streets. These people remain there for soooo many hours, standing and dancing. Yes, it ought to be a soul cleansing and spiritual development ritual. Olinda has those giant dolls, of which I used to be very afraid. The maracatu, the frevo, and the other many peculiar traces of the local history are indeed very good to see.

Ary Barroso was a very inspired man who once said the following: “Bahia, land of happiness”. I believe no one disagrees with him. In Bahia the carnival is – no doubt – everlasting. We see people squeezed in small spaces for hours but obviously having the experience that does change their life. So they say about it. My friend Fernanda Fonseca, from Portugal, visited Brazil maybe twice or three times. She said visited Rio de Janeiro, and actually travelled by bus all the way from Rio to Teresina, an adventure she insisted she really wanted to do. Well, she said to me once that after having been to Brazil, seen what it is like, and spent a carnival in Salvador, Europe for her is has become as tasteless as diet food. Bahia is magic, lazy and moving, and musical. We say bahianos are not born; they all have an opening ceremony, as they are all born artists.

Dorival Caymmi is enough to convince anyone of all that is said about Bahia. Their carnival nowadays is a vibrant, huge, and expensive event that, again, lasts forever. Every year, when all cities are already back to normal life the bahianos are still willing to dance and enjoy the languor that comes with the music and the energy.
The carnival as it happens in Rio de Janeiro alone is, as said by many, the best and biggest live show on earth at open sky. Yes, it is.

It might be true that life in Brazil starts effectively only after carnival. How cool is that?

note: all photos in this post are from the internet. none is mine.
I love this Chico Buarque tune:
"quem eh voce?
adivinha . . .
. . . .

(noite dos mascarados - wherever your imagination can take you to)

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