All posts by Regina Scharf

Quick Minas Gerais guide

The New York Times published a couple of years ago The Other Brazil:  Minas Gerais. The daily calls the state, the second more populated in the country, “rural heartland”. The author, Seth Kugel, writes:

I think too many foreign travelers miss: the Brazil that lies beyond the Christ on the hill in Rio, the eco-lodges of the Amazon and the model-flecked beaches of Florianópolis. Instead of a cross on a hill, Minas has colonial towns loaded with Baroque-style churches. Instead of vast rain forests, Minas has gorgeous mountains and countless waterfalls. And instead of beaches, it’s the home of a country cooking style famed across this nation of more than 190 million.

Santa Rita de Jacutinga – Hidden eco-paradise in south Minas Gerais – Brazil

hiking at Ibitipoca State Park, famous for its quartzite caves, natural pools, waterfalls, special rock formations, great views and typical fauna and flora.

From Brazil Travel Blog – Historical cities and also Mariana, Belo Horizonte, Inhotim

BBC documentary about Brazilian music

Brasil, Brasil“, the documentary the BBC made four years ago is a great sample of the main Brazilian musical rhythms. Yes, it has cliches, is pretty mainstream and pays tribute to the old same characters (João Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Carmem Miranda) – but it is an accomplished and pleasant introduction to the topic, with great interviews and historic footage.

This is the first of four parts of Episode 1, that goes from samba to Bossa Nova.

And here are the other parts of Episode 1 – Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 – and Episode 2 (Tropicália Revolution) – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 –  and Episode 3 (the scene these days in several Brazilian cities).

Watch also: BBC documentary about Brazilian slavery and Nelson Cavaquinho at home at Mangueira and

Pearls of Brazilian humor

MillorBrazil has its own share of great aphorisms, those witty, funny, sometimes mean little phrases that prove human nature is not kind, but still quite ingenious.

Here is a small selection for your delight. Please, feel free to suggest better translations.

Vinícius de Moraes (poet, Bossa Nova composer, diplomat) – Whisky is the man’s best friend. It’s a bottled dog / O uísque é o melhor amigo do homem. É o cachorro engarrafado.

Stanislaw Ponte Preta –  Among the three best things in life, the second is eating and the first is sleeping / Das três melhores coisas da vida, a segunda é comer, a primeira é dormir.

The prosperity of some Brazilian public men is evident proof that they fight for the progress of our under development / A prosperidade de alguns homens públicos brasileiros é uma prova evidente de que eles vêm lutando pelo progresso de nosso subdesenvolvimento.

Esperanto is a universal language that is spoken nowhere / Esperanto é a língua universal que não se fala em lugar nenhum.

The Sun raises for everybody. Shade only for the smart. / O Sol nasce para todos. A sombra para quem é mais esperto.

Max Nunes – Men would lie way less if women asked less questions. / Os homens mentiriam muito menos se as mulheres fizessem menos perguntas.

Carlito Maia – Brazil? Fraud explains. / Brasil? Fraude explica.

Jô Soares (humorist, stand up pioneer, writer and TV show host) – A medical committee is a meeting organized by  doctors in the last moments of our lives to decide on how do share the blame. / Junta médica é uma reunião que os médicos fazem nos últimos momentos da nossa vida para dividir a culpa.

He was such an evil boy that he only became a radiologist because he wanted to see other people’s skulls. / Era um menino tão mau que só se tornou radiologista para ver a caveira dos outros.

Barão de Itararé – A poor man only eat chicken when one of them is sick. / Pobre só come galinha quando um dos dois está doente.

It is not sad to change ones mind. What is sad it’not having a mind to change. / Não  é triste mudar de idéia. Triste é não ter idéias para mudar.

Millôr Fernandes – Quem se mata de trabalhar merece mesmo morrer.

Democracia é quando eu mando em você. Ditadura é quando você manda em mim.

Quem mata o tempo não é assassino, é suicida.

Tim Maia – Comecei uma dieta: cortei a bebida e as comidas pesadas e em quatorze dias perdi duas semanas.

Carlos Drummond de Andrade – A minha vontade é forte, mas a minha disposição de obedecer-lhe é fraca.

Nelson Rodrigues – O marido não deve ser o último a saber. Ele não deve saber nunca.

Marta, world's best soccer player

Five times elected the best. Photo by americanistadechiapas/Flickr

Forget Kaká (midfielder now playing for Real Madrid). This week’s Newsweek magazine brings an article by Mac Margolis glorifying another Brazilian soccer player: Marta Vieira da Silva (or simply Marta). She plays for the Western New York Flash and won last month, for the fifth time in a row, the Ballon d’Or, award created by Fifa (the international soccer federation) to celebrate the best of the best in the sport.

Says Margolis:

What makes her stand out is something else, less photogenic perhaps but every bit as compelling. Call it heart or grit or fome de bola—ball hunger—as the Brazilians put it. Whatever the name, the sheer determination to play and prevail against ridiculous odds lifted her from kick-abouts with the boys on a patch of Brazilian nowhere to the commanding heights of professional football. “No one wants to win as much as Marta,” says Alberto Montoya, who coached her for the San Francisco Gold Pride, the team she led to a Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league championship in 2010. “She’s the most passionate player I have ever seen.”

You can read the whole article in Newsweek’s portal.