By Lindenberg Junior
Many people from such different cultures have made Brazil a very special place, where there is much to see, and to have a unique experience. Brazilians might be very cool, but they are also patriotic souls and prone to “saudade” when far away, a desperate longing for the homeland.
Saudade has no direct English translation; its translation is dependent on context. It originates from the Latin word solitatem (loneliness, solitude), but developed a different meaning. Loneliness in Portuguese is solidão (a semi-learned word), from Latin solitudo. No other languages in the world have a word with such meaning, making “saudade a distinct mark of Portuguese culture”. It has been said that this, more than anything else, represents what it is to be Portuguese.
Boteco is a ‘bar’” featuring delicious “homemade style” appetizers, not fancy but better stated, modest but affordable to drink and eat, and usually playing samba or Brazilian jazz. Happiness is traditional, happiness is mystical, and happiness is lyrical! Boteco is a place to go for “jogar conversa fora” (just the pleasure to talk about anything and let the time pass by), drink couple beers with a friend, meet a friends group before go to a nightclub or a live show, or just drink and taste good Brazilian “tira-gosto” (appetizers).
Churrasco (Brazilian BBQ) is just the perfect reason to bring people together in your backyard or in a park (* and definitely, we do live our lives outside in Brazil!) The Brazilian style barbecue just uses coarse salt. This is the main secret for a tender and delicious “churrasco gaucho”. The Brazilian system of meat rotating around the tables in restaurants was introduced in the 60’s in the Rio Grande do Sul state. This famous Brazilian BBQ style has crossed boundaries and reached the world.
Warm Ocean & Beach Life has a significant meaning for Brazilians. People in NY, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc, have much “saudade” of the tropical beach and what it can offer. It is very difficult to explain the Brazilian “beach life spirit” if you have never been to Brazil and don’ know much about the irreverence and life style of Brazilians. It is a place to join life, having fun under the sun, play soccer, flirting, etc. You can rent a beach chair or umbrella, you can eat and drink on the beach, your can even buy tanning lotion on the beach as you will see all kind of walking vendors offering many different exotic products from ice cream to folk art to sunglasses. What Brazilians longing is the no necessity to take anything to the beach, just a few dollars and their own beach life spirit.
“Brasil meu Brasil Brasileiro, Terra de Samba e de Pandeiro…” there is always a graceful way to progress day by day. If one path is closed, there must be another way. You just have to sway a little, to weave your way around things, to use what Brazilians call Ginga.