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Marcio Bernardo
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Carolina, I think she is correct about college in Brazil. She should generalize her comments. Puc-Rio is a top-10 University in Brazil and on some areas (Economia, Eng. Eletronica and a few others) top-5. I decided to study at PUC eventough I passed to two Federais because its economics course was the best of Brazil at the time (still is top 3) But this isn't news, many ppl pointed out that we are really outranked in education by the rest of the Brics and this should be addressed http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranking_das_Universidades http://guiadoestudante.abril.com.br/premio/premiados/vencedores-vii-premio-melhores-universidades-2011-642669.shtml
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2011 on Interview With Flora Thomson-Deveaux at Rio Gringa
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Nice post, and it clear that Brazil has the most to gain with a stronger partnership with US. But you and James Miller got me really curious about the anti-americanism you seen/perceived in Brazil... Rachel, you wrote "There's a great deal of virulent anti-Americanism in Brazil"! well it could be that I lost something in translation but virulent anti-Americanism brings images of mobs burning American flags and people actively looking to harm Americans... Did either of you experience such thing in Brazil? Were you afraid to tell your Nationality? James did you experience it during W. Bush years? Both example you used Rachel are a bit flawed in my view, The Sarah Lacy thing was hardly because she was an American and more to do with her reaction and defacing our National flag (as you know were are very zealot of the Brazilian image), I believe a person of any nation would have received the same "treatment", defacing a national flag is a no-no in our culture (never saw any flags being defaced in Brazil, not even Argentinean flags during WC) and the "Movimento o Petroleo eh Nosso" is against Private exploration of Oil in Brazil, it does not single out US interest alone but any Private interest even Brazilian private capital so their protest is hardly anti-American. That BBC survey of the popularity of countries (the one you mentioned on your post of March 08) has break down of the popularity of each individual country http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/05_03_11_bbcws_country_poll.pdf Now, it is interesting to see that 64% of Brazilians view the US as having a positive influence in the world and 21% of Brazilians view the US as having a negative influence (of the Latin American countries view of US influence Brazil had the highest positive score and the lowest negative)... this is in contrast to the Brazilian views of France 48% view as positive and 23% as negative and UK 43% view as positive and 23% as negative... SO Brazil does not seems to be particularly anti-American, that is not to say that there isn't anti-American feelings in Brazil as James said it is a convenient tool to shift blame for oneself failures and shortcomings but there is a historical component to it as-well, US gave backing/training a support for the Military Dictatorship in Brazil and Latin America and this period is generally regarded as our darkest period so we do have an issue with that you meddle in the history of our country! Regime Change isn't a very big deal for American foreign polity but it is a four letter word for us... But having said that the anti-Americanism you encounter in Brazil is from a left wing person who will give you an earful for half an hour and them invite you over for dinner with his/her family!!! Anti-Americanism sentiments were re-kindle during W years and the Iraq war but I really think it's of a garden variety than anything that should make someone worried... Did any of you had a different experience?
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2011 on Obama's Brazil Agenda at Rio Gringa
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Complicated post... I think you are right regarding the historical roots on our little rivalry, Brazil was an empire and Argentina had the same mentality in that period so conflicts over territory expansion were bound to happen... But nowadays I believe the rivalry is mainly on sports (not only soccer) it might flair up here and there but I think we both appreciate the other country, I had a blast during my limited stay in Buenos Aires and I was really well treated by our "hermanos"... (on the other hand I hear from few Brazilians that simply gave up on Buzios because it became too Argentinian), I think that due to closer contact and easy of travel the animosity between us really toned down, for example I will cheer for Argentina when they play against anyone outside SA... Portenos can be a hand full sometimes (arrogant is a common adjective used to describe them) but they act this way with pretty much everybody else and the people that I met from Cordoba and Mendoza were all really cool people... Regarding the economic impact of bi-lateral trade/economy It's really good for both countries, Brazil needs Argentina and the other SA countries to lower our dependency on US and China so we can pursue an agenda that is in our interest without worrying about commercial repercussions
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2011 on Don't Hate on Me Argentina at Rio Gringa
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Oi Gringa, good to hear that you and your Brazilian family managed to stay safe though out all that. Me and my wife followed the situation in Brazil by the hour over the phone and nternet, we found that you can watch GloboNews live which we did non stop on Saturday and Sunday We went trough a wide range of emotions following the news... from sadness in the beginning of the terror campaign by the drug-gang, to worry for family and friends when it became clear that the attacks were increasing and becoming bolder, to amazement by the quick, massive and coordinated response by Rio's police and Federal Government, to hope when it showed that even the Favela community was supporting the police actions and finally even tough we are happy that the police was able to enter Complexo do Alemao without a major battle, which could have a large number of victims, the reports of police corruption and the "escape" of a large number of drug-gang members is deeply shameful (we are herring from family and friends from Rio - of Maid and doorman reports that large number of armed drug-gang member arrived on Favelas on Sunday) It is a bit comforting that the Rio Government set-up an official channel for the Favela residents to complain and denounce police corruption and that they are adopting rules to try actively prevent abuses and corruption (just read on O Globo online version that regular police (military and civil) won't be allowed to go on duty on Complexo do Alemao with back-packs! nice one (only BOPE can carry back-packs for they have the reputation of being honest cops) Regarding the news coverage I had very positive reaction, yes the bullet proof vest were terrible (particularly when interviewing far away from Complexo do Alemao) I think they were copying the American broadcast from war region but I though it was very positive. I think it helped to consolidate the population support for the police response and , in my mind, it prevent the police from going overboard on treating the community (were there is a huge number of hard working honest people) and even the handling of the gang-members, in the past brutality toward favelados and execution of gang members were way to common for a healthy society. As you know the violence in Rio wasn't resolved on Sunday and drug-gang still control a large number of Favela communities in Rio and region so I'm a bit anxious regarding the possibility of large scale confrontation when they decide to install an UPP on Rocinha, Vidigal, Favela da Mare etc
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2010 on Notes on a Public War at Rio Gringa
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I don't see any problem with what he is doing so I don't think he is a "gringo metido" In my opinion there are two parts in this story 1) Arts/Star being political. Which I don't a problem with it. I actually enjoy it, and Brazil have a long tradition of having "artistas engajados" just think of Chico Buarque, Caetano Velosa, Gilberto Gil to name but a few (Americans seems to be irked by entertainer-political mix, at the U2 show in NJ during Bono speech about Aung San Suu Kyi I hear a group of American yelling for him to "just sing! if i want politics I take it from CNN" and that was before the "Walk On" song - not sure which was scarier the fact that someone would actually be irked by political message on a U2 concert!!! or that someone with a functioning brain would "take politics from CNN"!!!!) 2) International spot light on Brazil, you can try to became a player on international affairs (Haiti, Iran, Israel/Palestine conflict), host the Olympics and Word Cup and expect that the world won't be critical about your internal affairs, particular the Amazon I trust in democracy, using his fame to draw attention to this project will only promote more debate and democratic debate is always a good thing. (I wish he/other would question Brazil's sugar cane expansion into Pantanal and/or the Amazon basin - a more pressing environmental problem in my opinion) also the more international oversight/spotlight regarding the Amazon/Pantanal/Environment the better as far as I'm concerned. It seems that he is into Natives these days, he just made millions with Avatar so if he wants to raise the profile of Native population more power to him. I wonder if it was an European Star would we consider him/her a "grigo metido" also?
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2010 on James Cameron in Brazil at Rio Gringa
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Ernesto, did you try to asking for help? I find it hard to believe that Brazilians won't help if you asked for help... Always worked for me (I'm Brazilian), when I had to pick a watermelons I always would politely ask for help and always got And you said people would shove you aside in what circumstance? do you mean you don't get the same attention as a lost "gringo"? IF you are not comfortable with your portuguese I guess you could try to barter the way you have... But the problem with your attitude is that unless you never shop at same place you will be "caught" and the backslash will be bad... You don't want to the the "Gringo" that tries to take advantage of everyone, we had a German that used to be a friend like that in Rio he manage to live like that for 2 years, playing dumb and taking advantage of people that tried to help him out... Well is a "persona non grata" now and lost all his Brazilians friends Brazilians in general are very Friendly and have enormous solidarity so I would suggest that one traveling/Living in Brazil just try to interact with Brazilians and ask for help, I think that the majority of your experience will be very positive "Coitado do Gringo" is more out of sympathy than contempt, people will wonder how someone will navigate the traps and violence of Brazilians society is you can't even speak the language or lack the basic knowledge of our culture etc it's not the same as "Haole" for example Regards
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2010 on Guest Post: The Lost Gringo Trick at Rio Gringa
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Ray, I can't understand how using the US Census definition of Hispanic I'm mistaken or deceiving the Census, It's clear that you have an issue with the creation/origin of the term and if we were filling out a census during Reagan administration you would be right... Alas it's 2010, Russian are no longer a major treat, China is out-growing the west, City bank is owned by the US government and Disco is dead and U2 is the best rock band on earth (wait! they were the best in the 80's also) We will have to agree to disagree regarding the use of Hispanic term. About origin, well as I said its complex for Brazilians... It could be confusing for a "Gringo", maybe this would be a interesting topic for Rachel to address in a future blog. Basically Brazilians are the mix of three races European, Native Brazilians (Indios) and Africans... so we don't have a origin besides Brazil because our culture and genetic make up is the unique mixture/interaction of these three races. If you can read Portuguese check out - Homo Brasilis - by geneticist Sergio Danilo Pena about his findins about how deep we are mixed and for the cultural and Brazilian Psyche read Gilberto Freire's - Casa Grande e Sensala - (great read and up to this day the best anthropologic study about Brazil). I my case I'm proud that my family has the three races. European (Spanish, French and Portuguese), Native Brazilian (my great-great-grand Mother from my mother female line side was from Puri tribe) and African (4 generations ago the male descendent from my father male line was a Mulato), My skin is fair (I'm prob have 90% plus of European genes)and I'm a sarara (blondish with funky hair), it gets more complicated when you add the descendent of immigration to Brazil (Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, German) but they we quick to mix with the Brazilian genetic poll and fast to adopt our culture (I guess multiculturalism wasn't big back them) so instead of a mosaic like you have in the US you do have a real melting pot in Brazil. Brazilian definition of Ethnicity is more culture driven that comom back-graund etc... a Nisei (100% genetic Japanese) is a much a Brasilian as I'm in any part of our society and he will define himself as Latin American. Again, given the choice I would put Latin American, this is how I define my Ethnicity but Hispanic in my point of view is a proxy for my culture so I am OK with it.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2010 on US Census Question at Rio Gringa
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Ray, interesting info about the creation/term/original use of the term Hispanic, it explains the discrepancy on the definition and why US Census Bureau is carefull about it's definition of "Hispanic". I will keep it in mind and be careful about "labeling" other people as Hispanic; but as a Brazilian I don't share your American history/background so the work isn't loaded for me, I take the US Census definition and I'm fine with it. I define myself as Latin American and if possible I will always use it but I take Hispanic/Latino as a proxy for my ethnicity. (I sure have more cultural traits in common with them than with Anglo-Saxon countries) I did the Census yesterday and was bit desappointed by the lack of depth of the questions, there wasn't any questions about income, job, heath care nor education... you need these type of questions to have a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities in the country.
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2010 on US Census Question at Rio Gringa
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When I was filling the ppwk for my first employer in the US (large bank) I actually drew a small square and wrote "Latin American" because I couldn’t place me in any of the given categories, later a HR person called me and said that I had to use one of the given categories because it was a Government questionnaire, so I told her to put me as a Hispanic Later I found out that Hispanic is the correct answer because the definition of Hispanic actually refers to Hispania (the Latin name for Iberian Peninsula) and all their descendents, so it includes not only Brazilians but also Spanish and Portuguese people. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hispanic A lot of the confusion arises because "Hispanico" in Brazil usually refers to the population of Spanish speaking countries of Latin America, so Brazilians usually have a strong reaction to this definition Further (and unnecessary) confusion is due to excess PC in this country... US Census Bureau doesn't use the dictionary definition of the word!!! It uses “Persons of Hispanic origin, in particular, were those who indicated that their origin was Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or some other Hispanic origin. It should be noted that persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. " http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hispanic/hispdef.html The race question is complex for a Brazilian. In Brazil I'm considered as being white but I doubt the average American would consider me as white so I usually put mixed.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2010 on US Census Question at Rio Gringa
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Can't see anything good coming from Lula trying to engage Iran... He is going to be a tool for a dangerous regime and I'm afraid that any strong American reaction to this "foreign policy" will only serve to increase popular support for a Brazil-Iran engagement due to anti-american sentiment that was revived during Bush years, so this can get ugly very fast. As far as I understand the purchase of the airplanes is already set in stone, with Lula administration choosing France for political reasons. Rachel, I feel your pain. I recently "lost" a whole week trying to rescue my PC from a nasty virus/spy-ware, which blocked my antivirus software and controlled any internet browser I tried to open. In my case creating a pen-drive (from a safe PC) with these anti-malwares http://www.pendriveapps.com/software/portable-antispyware-malware/ solved my problems, if you are tech savvy you might want to create a bootable pen-drive with this program http://www.bootzilla.org/.
Toggle Commented Mar 3, 2010 on Hillary Clinton in Brazil at Rio Gringa
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Mercer Consulting has a respected and widely used rank of most expensive city in the world (http://www.mercer.com/costoflivingpr#Top_50) Sao Paulo is the 72nd most expensive city, 3rd in Latin America (but it seems there is a huge gap between 1st LatAm (Caracas) and 2nd (Sao Paulo)) Jessica, unfortunatelly protectionism is alive and well in many countries not only Brazil (check the tax Brazilian products such as OJ, sugar and ethanol has to pay to enter US market)
Toggle Commented Mar 2, 2010 on Debt and Taxes in Brazil at Rio Gringa
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OK, I will try to argue the case for Rio's Archdiocese. I think, their point of view is that: 1) They do actually have control of the Image the statue (it's really beside the point why or how strange that a Church got the rights from the Government). 2) It became a symbol of Rio, sure, but it was constructed as a symbol of the Brazilian population devotion to Catholicism/Christ (check the history behind the drive to build it). 3) "Columbia requested use of the footage to the Archdiocese and was denied, but used the footage anyway. " this does it for me... IF this is the case, I don't think Columbia has the right to use any image as they seem fit. How would you feel if they used your image in a film that you have strong feelings against or you don't want to be associated with? (Girls Gone Wild - Gringa's in Rio and have your photo on the cover. don't think you would be OK with you Rachel) So, Rio's Archdiocese is just trying to exert some control over the usage of the image. I hope they win an eventual lawsuit for if they don't what's next "Buttman does Rio" with a close up on the Cristo Redentor Statue, and what will they do when the next Escola de Samba decides to put the statue on carnaval, how can they enforce they right to veto if they don't do the same with Columbia? Should they just let a big American corporation get away with it but enforce the veto on Brazilians? Cristo Redentor is more than simply a symbol of Rio or Brazil it's a religious symbol and therefore is different than "New York landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building with big price tags on them", how would you fell if they put a price tag in the American Flag, or American Army or a human baby or a symbol of your religion... This is not clear cut as "Archdiocese's ridiculous demand " as far as I know (and Ernest corroborates my view) it's quite easy to get the rights to use the image; I'm not sure why in this case the decided to veto it, but once vetoed Columbia should have not used the image.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2010 on Cristo's Price Tag at Rio Gringa
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Oi "Gringa", parabens pelo blog que eh sempre interessante e atual (eu li sobre o caso Sean Goldman aqui). Nem sempre eu concordo com as suas colocacoes mas acredito que vc nao tem preconceito ou agenda em relacao a sua visao do Brasil. Comparacao de renda/nivel de vida entre paises eh extremamente complexo... teoricamente vc deveria que "normalizar" usando ppp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchasing_power_parity), uma renda mensal de 2,425 eh considerado Classe media baixa no Brasil e 60K por ano eh Lower Middle-Class nos EUA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_middle_class)a grande diferenca eh o acesso a procutos electro/eletronico como vc mesmo disse... mas socio-economico e politicamente eh basicamente a mesma classe economica
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2010 on Debt and Taxes in Brazil at Rio Gringa
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