🇬🇧 GG: Dear reader, there is so little time for me to write, but before leaving Brazil, there are at least two more things I would like to share with you:
Smiles / photographer’s paradise
I travel a lot and I love to take pictures. All kind of pictures, pics of landscapes, of cultural appearances and of people. The latter is the most difficult, and my experience is, that people in many countries, and especially in my own, as I know as a potographer s child, do not like to be photographed.
Here it is different. In the beginning I was timid when I took pictures of the hustle and the bustle in Rio’s streets. But, to my surprise, either nobody took care about being photographed, or even was keen on being on the picture. Very soon I discovered, that people like to show themselvues (especially of corse during carneval), but in other cases, we had the same impression. When you hold the camera in somebody’s direction, people give you very often their most beautiful smile. We observed, that even little kids already know how to pose, and even our friends, who are rather unpretentious people, smile on all pictures like professionals. Any picture with Joe (German) and A & M (Brazilians) can show the difference.
What was especially curious concerning this issue was, that when people realized, that we were taking pictures of them, they asked us, to give them the opportunity to take a better posture and then nearly forced us, to take another picture of them, as for example this Mate drinking guy in a Gaucho outfit in Porto Alegre’s beautiful Redemption Park>
Or these kids partying during a Rodeo made a whole show for us with dancing and posing (they asked on what social networks the pics will be published and were extremely excited when they heard that we come from Europe)
The Gaucho culture:
Rio Grande del Sul is Gaucholand – I was surprised, when I heard this, because I thought, Gauchos belong to Argentina. The family of our friend is involved in Gaucho culture, because their 17 years old daughter is a ‘Prenda’, that means an association of woman, who preserve the Gaucho culture, their dresses and dances.
So they have shows during rodeos, and we were lucky to visit one of these rodeos and have an insight into this very authentic Gaucho tradition – by people’s reactions on us we realized that there are probably only very rarely Europeans to visit this kind of rodeo. Several people wanted to talk with us or to be on our pictures (see above).
We saw authentic bull catching with lassos and wild horse riding.
Another highlight for me was the moment, when a Gaucho style dressed man came and started to speak German with us (obviously the news that there are Germans on the Rodeo had reached him). Indeed he – I suppose he is in his fifties – speaks still the German Hunsrück-dialect of his forefathers, which has been conserved, but unfortunately, as he told us, is vanishing now. He needed much rassurarence, that we understand him and asked several times: Versteht Ihr mich? Also he told, that he was once in Berlin, 20 years ago (‚das war toll!‘) and complained, that he can only speak and not write German, and that his children learned a ‚good German‘ at school, and can write, but do not want to speak German with him.
As a concluding or summarizing impression of Brazil’s South I would like to point out that I was surprised, how little we felt alienated. (Keep in mind, that this is our very first trip to South America…). There were moments, that it felt nearly ‚European‘, when walking through some neighbourhoods in Porto Alege or driving through the hill country (Serra). That means, despite of the Gaucho culture, and – but this was not very much visible for us – probably also the fusion with the indigenious culture, the German and also Italian heritage is still very obvious there.
I think, we had a soft transition or better: introduction. And it makes me want to see more of this s huge and certainly very diverse country!