|26 Feb 2009 @ 17:21, by Max Sandor|
Well, I didn't kiss the flag of the Beija Flor (Rio's top Samba school) during the last 2 years (the photo is from 2003), and look what happened. Their winning streak is over. Salgueiro, after 16 years, in front. Hmmm...
A lot of Brazilians complain about the commercialization of Carnaval and think back at the exciting times for all of the past. Nowadays, it serves as an opportunity to get rich for a few people and the poor still pay their costume themselves. Politics, mass media, and modern technologies in audio and video, changed Brazilian Carnaval and is still changing it.
However, it has ALWAYS changed in his history: from the opulent feasts of the Portuguese conquistadores behind closed doors, to the permission of the slaves and common people to gather on the streets and wearing masks, to the violent game of 'entrudo' to the entrance of African culture in the late 1800's.
Samba in the Quimbundo language of today's Angola meant 'to pray' as its dance and rhythm serve as invocations of the Orisha, the Archons/Archangels, of African religion. Like Rumba and Mambo they were orginally kept secret but then they snug into Brazilian culture right in front of their slave-holders.
Slavery was officially abolished in 1888 in Brazil. So there are no slaves anymore? Everyone is equal? Right! If you happen to have enough money, you can make your own laws and make your crimes legal. It's as simple as that. In Italy and Brazil it is becoming public knowledge and more obvious every day. But what about the other countries? In the United States the consciousness of being robbed by the big companies and their (!) government is rising steadily. Makes me wonder what country is the next to discover that they're looted.
Never mind, let's Samba, Carnaval 2010 is coming up soon (in less than 12 months!), and there is still a lot to practice and to prepare for it.