Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Heart of the Rio de Janeiro Sambodromo

I've done Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro many times.  The street parties, drinking before noon, and pressed up against other sweaty bodies. All you would expect in a Catholic country.

But this was my first year at the Sambodromo. My first year seeing the big parade put on by the samba schools. And I know what you are all waiting for. You are expecting my impressions to be full of the champagne and chic food in the camarote (box).

That isn't what stuck at all.  You arrive to a place that is a container of energy. Thank goodness it's open air or I think any commoner, such as myself, would implode upon entry.  People are there to cheer, see, and enjoy.

The epitome of it all was one woman. She was in the seats below our box.  Of course, you could not tell where this woman was actually supposed to sit because she did not sit at all. She was samba-ing up and down the entire area. Not only that, she was entering into the other little seating area and encouraging everyone else to dance.  And they did, down to the security personnel.

Excuse the blur as I was trying to catch the ever moving woman in white

She was not a traditional perky-tooshed samba dancer, nor was she some exotic picture of a Brazilian woman that we see overseas. She was a real Brazilian woman, with a real Brazilian ass, shaking it up and down wherever it would take her.

I loved her! For me, she was the heart of what this entire holiday is about. It is a countrywide celebration in a way that only Brazilians can do it.  And in the face of the fires 3 of the schools experienced, the heart of Carnaval was really shown.

Yes, they put on a good show down here. The women are beautiful, the music intoxicating, and the colors seizure inducing.  Then you look deeper.

This is the heart of Brazil. Not Carnaval, but the joy. Brazilians can take a lot of what life throws at them and turn it into a barbecue, street party, and world-renowned parade.

They will smile, shake their ass, and drink a beer.  Who's life isn't hard sometimes? Why not enjoy the things you can. Carnaval is just putting that frame of mind under a microscope for the entire world to see.

And that energy carried me through a night of samba dancing in a boot. Of course, the champagne did help. 


  1. Great get it, you got it, and experienced it! This lady, the awesome lady in the white pants, she's the star, too bad she doesn't know, at least not yet. But I've seen this lady/man before, such joy, such really embodies what the whole (positive) carnaval message and experience is: Fun, smiles, enjoying time off work, music, SINGING, DANCING, people, drinks, drunks, straight, gay, kids, old people, and everything in between! Viva!

  2. I love your photos and words - very descriptive. Sounds magical! Hopefully one day I can experience the real thing :) XOL

  3. Good Job!! nice look and lovely recently post so thanks

  4. "Brazilians can take a lot of what life throws at them and turn it into a barbecue, street party, and world-renowned parade."

    Yes. This was what I was trying to say when I posted about getting soaked at the bus stop, and the guys there were singing and dancing. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks for the glimpse Rachel.

    I have long said that Brazilians have a commitment to joyfulness. No matter the strife - they insist on smiling.