AI: Carnaval

AI: Carnaval

So this next week is Carnaval here in Brasil! Since my girlfriend is somewhere in Europe right now, to me this means I get a week off to try to read and study and sleep as much as I never have time to during working weeks, but for most Brazilians it means one week of a partying – some of it involving a lot of particular cultural elements (and I think it maybe even has some religious background?), some of it just plain loud shitty music and loooots of beer, but partying either way.

Around this time, also, a nationwide phenomenon occurs: women’s bodies become the only possible subject for mainstream media! I mean, there’s as much sexism in our television regularly as there can be, and as there is, I guess, pretty much everywhere, but this is the time when a naked woman dancing the samba pops up in between shows.

And then there are one thousand different muse contests, and the stars of the parades are half-naked ladies, and 99% of media everywhere is talking about how women dress and how women prepare their bodies and it ends up sounding much more like a “let’s look at women’s bodies!” party than whatever Carnaval is supposed to mean.

And it also contributes LOADS to a complete misrepresentation of our country, specially taking into account how much people come from other countries to just watch the show. I know some good ways of celebrating Carnaval that are much more connected to our culture – the real one, not the nudity-filled culture portayed by the media – and I want to yell “this is not my country!”. But yet, it is.

So I have two somewhat unrelated questions for you guys today!

Is there an aspect (or multiple aspects) of your culture that make you feel dislocated or angry or ashamed even, either for its existence and support of for the distortion of important cultural elements it took for these aspects to form? Is there any aspect of your country that you feel is marketed and stereotyped in such ways that you don’t feel make it justice?

And, just completely out of curiosity:

Do you have specific preconceptions (if any at all) of what is Carnaval in Brasil?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.

 

Aretha is a lesbian girl born in Amazon-covered northern Brazil, and currently lives closer to the Atlantic Ocean. She is working on becoming a biologist and her interests include feminism, LGBTQ rights, particularly small soil fungi and anything Anne Hathaway does.

3 Comments

  1. As someone from the United States the fact that we are often portrayed as arrogant, loud and culturally unsensitive is very upsetting to me. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of people that fit the bill. I also know a lot of low key people that try to be understanding.

    As for Carnaval, I’ve always thought it looks like a lot of fun.

  2. As a woman from Texas . . . need I say more? I mean, don’t get me wrong; Texas IS the best, and I’ll say it loud and proud. (http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2011/08/50_best_things_texas.php) But I sure could stand to export Governor Rick Perry and the rest of the conservatives in office bent on destroying the women’s healthcare program along with the creationists and the rest who are destroying education.

    As for Carnival, I like nearly naked ladies, sequins, and shitty dance music but am intrigued by your references to “other things” that go on in celebration. I won’t be Googling it at work, though.

    • And I should have mentioned that it is fun to tell foreigners that I do wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat (rarely), ride horses, two-step, and all my friends have guns, or several of them anyway. I’ve lost count of how many times this exchange happens:
      So where are you from?
      Texas, born and raised.
      But you don’t have an accent!!
      *sigh*

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