If You Can’t Stand the Heat: A Warning for Prospective Visitors to Brazil

Brazil is not a European nation. It’s not a North American nation. It’s not an East Asian nation. It straddles — jungle and desert and dense urban centers — both the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn. It absorbed over ten times the number of African slaves taken to the United States of America, and much of its aboriginal population was absorbed into the general population-at-large. Its people have lived under oligarchy, plutocracy, dictatorships and massive corruption, with elements of these still strongly entrenched today.


Brazil has buzz…not the shallow buzz of a fashionable moment…but the deep buzz of a population which in spite of — or perhaps because of — the tough slog through life they’ve been allotted by humanity’s dregs-in-fine-linen, have chosen not to simply pull themselves along but to lift their voices in song and their bodies in dance…to eat well and converse well and much and to wring the joy out of the day-to-day happenings and small pleasures of life which are so often set aside or ignored in the European, North American, and East Asian nations.

For this Brazil has a genius perhaps unparalleled in all other countries and societies, a genius which thrives alongside peeling paint and holes in the streets and roads, under bad organization by the powers-that-be, both civil and governmental, under a constant rain of societal indignities…

Which is all to say that if prospective first-time visitors to Brazil are expecting light and orderliness, they will certainly find the light! And the buzz of a people who for generations have responded to privation at many different levels by somehow rising above it all.