Personal Blog #1 – Stereotypes

Aren’t you tired of stereotypes? I am. It really bothers me when people assume things based on the little bit they know. Last week in Brazil, we celebrated “carnaval”, one of the biggest holidays in Brazil. After hearing that, people came to me and start saying crazy stuff. The way they talk it seems that Brazil could be summarized by naked woman everywhere, soccer, and violence in Rio. It is disturbing.

It is true that we have good soccer players, that on carnaval you will see people wearing different costumes, and that Rio de Janeiro is dangerous in some parts. However, who told these people that those are the only things that happen during the 365 days in Brazil?  Sorry if I`m destroying someone`s dreams but the reality is different. Even if we love to celebrate,  we don`t party everyday. We have our chores, like the rest of the world.

For example, look at my boring life back in Brazil. At 6:00 am I was awake having a quick breakfast before going to the super-crowded bus or metro. An hour later, or sometimes more than that if stuck in traffic, I would be at my job. For the next long 8 hours I would work like crazy, hoping that everything is done on time because I still would need to go to school after work, and five extra minutes means more people in the bus, more traffic, arriving late in class, lower grades. I could`t have lower grades, otherwise how would I make it to my master’s dregree? So even being tired, many times having a headache, other times falling sleep,  I was in school from 7:15pm to 11pm trying to learn as much as I could. By midnight I was at home. Usually I would go to bed around 2:00 because of my assignments. And the next day I would do the same. Does that sound like a party to you?

So please if you happen to meet me someday never say: “You are from Brazil! That is so cool. Oh you girls are something, all these little bikinis. Do you know Pele? Ronaldo? Soccer? Brazil must be so beautiful. I would love to go there but all the violence I`m scared. Sorry I can`t say anything in Spanish. You speak Spanish right?”

Please check this first:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/02/AR2010010200619.html

By the way feel free to check out more information related to Brazil.

Hope we can be friends some day.

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3 Responses

  1. Amina, thanks for your brave and honest post 🙂 It’s a sad fact that many Americans don’t know a lot about what goes on outside their borders, but that’s not everyone! (Or all Americans – I hate to “stereotype” but I miss NYC where things were a little more sophisticated than DC sometimes…) Thanks for sharing about your life and what it means to YOU to be Brazilian 🙂

  2. Welcome Elizabeth!
    I just hope that one day this situation changes.
    We should be more open to the unknown! 🙂

  3. […] reading one of my favorite blogs the other day, I came across this post by Amina about the perceptions and misconceptions she encounters as a Brazilian woman living in America. This […]

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