While I only know a small handful of people who have returned to Rio de Janeiro from abroad, I can say that I have seen an attitude change in the Brazilians here.
When my husband and I first visited in 2003, the general consensus was that we should live in the US. Of course that does not include my Mother-in-Law. She is a believer in working to live not living to work and is also very Brazilian in that "ahhhh, everything will work out here. It always does."
Mr. Rant's and my motives were still questioned when we officially moved here in 2006. Even though Mr. Rant had a good job upon arrival, people still questioned our decision. Since he was legal there, why move back? Weren't opportunities better in the US? You can buy everything there! Isn't it also safer?
Those questions always led into some story about someone's cousin or best friend's brother who was making it big American style. As if Guilherme's (or whomever) story would just push me over the edge and make me pack my bags.
Regardless of other personal issues bringing us back to Brazil, Mr. Rant also wanted to be a part of changing his country. We had a whole conversation about it before our move. Just like this article, Mr. Rant said that all the young educated workers have left or our leaving his country and that they needed to return in order for Brazil to become great.
Fast forward to around 2009 and people stopped asking about why we chose Brazil over the US. This was big being that a foreigner's living status here the #1 conversation starter for all people you cross paths with. Even taxi drivers would turn to me and say that I did good choosing Brazil and that life here is better.
While I know part of this new way of thinking are the new developments in business down here, I'm thinking there's more to it. There is something about the US economic crisis that hit home for Brazilians. They are no stranger to this kind of thing. Actually, in comparison to what Brazilians have dealt with in the past, what the US is going trough is is merely a kick to the balls. You recover eventually from that.
Brazilians have a way of taking these things in stride, relatively speaking. I remember watching a documentary where they showed where the happiest people lived. No, it was not Iceland or anything Utopian like that. It was Brazil who was named the country with the happiest people as no matter what is going on around them, they find time to enjoy life. There were clips from bbqs in extremely poor neighborhoods, people having beers on the street when the market was apparently going down, and of course they showed people watching soccer games.
That, my friends, is the difference in the quality of life down here. People don't let money problems rain on their parades 24/7. If you lose a job you have a support group in family and friends to emotionally, and some times financially, help you out until you get on your feet. And let's be honest, the country is pretty damn beautiful too.
I figure that Brazilians are thinking that if the US isn't going to be stable, they might as well come home. Not only is the country doing well, the lifestyle is a simpler and happier one.
What is your take on this?