African women experience Recife

Of course, like Diario, the JC has their own foreign exchange story (not sure who copied who). I’ll translate part of it below. O texto em português aqui. If you’re interested in the subject of Africans in Brazil, here’s a Brazilian short film on the subject.

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“Having only been in Recife for ten days, the students Géssica Macamo, 20, Roda Mondlane, 23, and Ana Paula Matusse, 27, already have several impressions of the city and Brazil. Coming from Mozambique, one of Africa’s poorest countries, the three students from the Eduardo Mondlane University, the largest public higher education institution in Mozambique, highlighted , among other issues, the informality of relations in Brazil and the silent prejudice toward blacks. “In the first class, the group formed a semicircle. The students called the teacher by name. There was even a fellow student who addressed the teacher in an informal manner! I was terrified! The teacher-student relationship is very informal. In Mozambique, we say ‘doutor’ or at least ‘professor’,” says Ana Paula, who is taking courses at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) for a master’s degree in education. “In my country, we fear and/or respect the teacher. I think that in Brazil the more open relationship facilitates learning.”

Three African women arrived in early April and will spend four months in Recife, thanks to a scholarship from the Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). They are staying in Várzea, a neighborhood in the Zona Oeste, in the apartment of a couple of teachers from UFPE, close to the university.” We don’t get around much, but I noticed a lot of traffic. Also the drainage system doesn’t seem to work well because I saw puddles of water,”says Paula. Recife residents have told them to be weary of violence. “The impression we have is that at anytime we can be mugged.” Roda and Géssica take graduation courses in political science. They are in contact with UFPE students in social work and international relations courses. “Fellow classmates don’t seem very receptive to us. They’re indifferent to our presence. If it were otherwise, a Brazilian in our university, he/she would feel suffocated by so many questions and the interest we would have in them,” said Géssica.

Last Sunday she walked around the streets of downtown Recife, in the neighborhoods of São José and Santo Antônio. “It seems a lot like the lower part of Maputo (the capital of Mozambique, where she lives), though the shops were closed, I found it very similar to the commerce area there,” says Géssica. The shyest of the three, Roda commented on the food. “The food is very sweet. Even what they say has zero sugar in it is sweet. Meals are not very healthy, they eat a lot of caloric dishes. In Mozambique we eat more vegetables,” says Roda. They said they had been well received, but some people saw them differently. In a luxury botique in a city mall, a security guard followed Roda and Géssica around. He looked at them suspiciously and followed them discreetly. “You can see a cloaked prejudice. They don’t speak about it because they know it’s a crime,” says Paula.”

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One response to “African women experience Recife

  1. Pingback: April Round Up | Eyes On Recife·

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