BBC Brasil just announced a new blog with various contributors all over Brazil, who are all Oxford students traveling in the country. The blog is called Para Inglês Ver and so far has two posts. The very Brazilian looking young British woman Lily Green (above), who is based in Recife, kicked things off with her post “Não me chame de gringa”. I’m going to translate the blog post below for my readers ; )
“Não me chame de gringa”
In the following months, our collaborators will assume the role of modern explorers that have set upon the country in which they chose to study in search of a true experience of what Brazil really is.
The name “Para Inglês Ver” plays with the idea of the glossed over reality that tries to deceive the less attentive observer. And the idea behind the blog, the result of a partnership between BBC Brasil and Oxford University, is exactly the opposite.
It’s about questioning appearances in search not of a true ideal, but of understanding – both ways – of the diverse, and many times contradictory, Brazilian reality.
It goes both ways because we hope that this foreign gaze will be useful – or at least interesting – also for us Brazilians and for our people to collaborate with the project, with comments, critiques and questions. Our first blogger is the British woman Lily Green, 21 years old, who studies Modern Languages at Oxford. She is in Recife.
Lily Green in 30 seconds:
What do you most like about Brazil?
The language, literature and the sun.
What do you least like?
The word “gringa”.
What’s your favorite place in Brazil?
The fields around Gravatá (Pernambuco), with their valleys and fresh night-time air.
What’s your favorite word in Portuguese?
Beleza. I love it when it’s substituted with “OK”, for example.
I’m addicted to Brazilian sweets – Romeo and Juliet, Cartola – they’re even better tasting when they’re inside tapioca!
What’s the soundtrack of your travels?
Afoxé, maracatu and coco. To me, they represent music that’s full of life and strong rhythms. The dances that accompany them are also beautiful. More recently, I discovered A Todo Vapor, by Gal Costa, and the song Último Desejo, with Bethânia, Gil and Caetano. I love it.
What Brazilian works of literature made the biggest impression on you?
I’m a fan of the modernists. The novel Macunaíma, by Mário de Andrade and the book of poems Libertinagem, by Manuel Bandeira, are among my favorite works.
What do you still not understand about Brazil?
A lot of stuff. For example: The idea of having a maid doesn’t sit well with me. Also I don’t understand why all the cakes in Brazil have a hole in the middle!