am I After Brazil?
am I after having spent two months in São Paulo and three weeks in the
Brazilian North and Northeast? Who
am I now that I am going back to the United States?
Who am I now that I have to visualize the after effects of the
attacks of September 11 and begin my
last semester of College before I graduate?
arriving in Salvador, I experienced a feeling I have never had in my
entire life. This feeling was
about being in the minority. Before
arriving in Salvador I had been informed of its abundance of
Afro-Brazilian inhabitants and rich African culture.
I had also heard Salvador referred by other students in our group
as a “Mecca of Blackness.” When
I got there I realized that it certainly was just that.
Learning to Samba
Who are we now?
am I now?
spending nearly 3 months here in Brazil, the question is, where am I now?
I think that my identity has gone through several stages during my
travels in Brazil. When I was
living in São Paulo for 2 months and had a daily routine, I didn’t feel
like a tourist. I felt like
something in between a tourist and a native Brazilian.
I felt like a visitor. But
there is a distinct difference between a tourist and a visitor in my mind.
A visitor is someone who is spending an extended amount of time in
a foreign place, establishes some sort of daily routine, and feels
somewhat integrated into the culture they are living in.
Places, New Entertainment: Lost
and Found Identities
can’t help but compare my visit to Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais with my
stay in São Paulo.
Yes, each stay was for different amounts of time, but I feel that
they still had very different effects on me.
Being in Ouro Preto was quite a different experience than being
in São Paulo.
The cobblestone streets, steep hills, churches and rolling
mountains that I explored for three days were nothing like the highly
industrialized city I lived in for two months.
two months in São Paulo,
the cat calls in the streets just roll off me. Instead, I ponder the various definitions of “morena” and
the Brazilian racial discourse that accompanies it.