amazonas222By Pedro Souza
October 30th, 2016

The state of Amazonas is located in the northwest of Brazil, and is in large part occupied by the amazon rainforest. Like in every other state, locals have developed unique slangs and expressions. If you ever plan on going there, you might as well become familiar with these expressions and impress some locals in the process. Below, we have made a compilation of the slangs and expressions used by Amazonenses in their daily life.

Lavar Urubu (Washing Vultures): When an Amazonense is unemployed, he is washing vultures.
Fanta: When something is boring or bland, it is fanta.
Aploprado: Something exaggerated.
Leso: A person who often gets distracted and/or forgets or loses things is a leso.
Leseira: When the leso’s distraction manifests itself, he has committed a leseira.
Malinar: To malinar is to gratuitously commit a wrongdoing or to do harm to someone.
Maceta: If something is abnormally large, it is a maceta.
Maluvido: A person that behaves badly.
Aporrinhar: To bother or annoy someone.
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Monte: This expression that has spread through the rest of the country simply means a large amount of something.
Aperreado: When you are in a tight situation that is making you nervous or stressed, you are aperreado.
Péia: In Amazonas you don’t take a beating, you take a péia.
Pitíu: A bad smell.
Arrumação: An unnecessary invention.
Arregaçar: To destroy something.
Angu: An angu is a typical Brazilian dish. In Amazonas, it can also mean a confusion or a mess.
Pai d’égua: Something really good or cool.
Altear: To raise something such as the volume of the television.
Alumiar: To light something.
Zoada: Things don’t make noise in Amazonas, they make a zoada.
Á perigo (By danger): When you have no money, you are by danger.
A pulso (By pulse): To do something by pulse in Amazonas means to do it by force.
Abafar (To smother): Strangely, this means “to steal” in Amazonas.
Abestado: An abestado is a stupid person.
Baixa D’égua: When someone is bothering you in Amazonas, you tell that person to go the Baixa D’égua, which is a hypothetical place.
Brocado: A hungry person.
Cunhatã: A little girl.
Curumim: A little boy.
Capar o gato (To castrate the cat): In Amazonas you don’t leave a place, you castrate the cat.
Dos vera: When something is true, it is dos vera.
Putatueba: A meaningless word used to express dissatisfaction.
Vexado: This adjective can mean either “ashamed” and “in a hurry”.
Visagem: A ghost or apparition.
Abobrinha (Squash): Something stupid or not important. If a person is talking nonsense for example, you can tell that person to stop talking squash.
Aço (Steel): An alcoholic beverage.
Acunhar: To acunhar with someone is to get romantically involved with that person.
Afrontado: Full or satisfied. Used often after eating.
Agorinha (Right now): When something has happened “agorinha”, it occurred few moments ago.
Ajuntar (To gather): To pick things from the floor.

bankaccount222By Pedro Souza
October 30th, 2016

If you are planning on living in Brazil, you will probably need to have a bank account here. Opening a bank account in Brazil can be tricky because banks are free to create their own interpretation of policies and rules. That being said, the process is straightforward.

First you need to decide in which bank you want to open an account. Caixa Economica Federal and Banco do Brazil are two government-owned banks that are among the largest banks in Brazil. Other banks that have a strong presence in Brazil are Itaú, Bradesco and Santander. Bradesco however, only allows permanent residents to open a bank account there. One can also open a bank account on Citibank or HSBC. Although these last two have less branches than the others mentioned, they are more used to dealing with foreigners.

Once you have decided which bank you want to open an account in, you need to gather the required documentation. You need to have a permanent or a temporary visa. A tourist visa however, is not accepted, and the duration of your stay needs to be at least one year. You also need to have your passport, the RNE protocol that you received when you registered at the Federal Police and your CPF number, which is your tax ID. Finally, bring a proof of residence such as an electricity bill and a proof of income if you are opening a salary payment account.

With all the necessary documents in hand, go to the nearest branch of the bank of choice and request an account. If you want to open a current account, you should ask for “conta corrente”. For a savings account, ask for a “conta de poupança”. If you have a job in Brazil, you can also get benefits such as lower fees in transactions by opening a salary payment account, known as “conta salário”.

During the process, expect to answer many questions and sign a lot of documents. At this stage, you might experience some problems because most bank workers do not speak english, or speak very poor english. You might consider bringing a translator to help you with this process. Once you are done with the bureaucracy, you finally have your bank account. Congratulations! Now you are eligible to use the banking services of the bank of your choice.

pinacotecadoestado222By Pedro Souza
October 2nd, 2016

Being the largest city in Brazil, São Paulo is a hotbed of cultural activity. People will find there a plethora of concerts, theaters, museums and much more. Below, we have compiled a list of 5 museums to visit in São Paulo for your enjoyment.

1. Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo

Founded in 1905 with an array of only 26 works of art, the Pinacoteca is considered the oldest art museum of São Paulo. Nowadays, the museum has more than 9,000 works of art, documenting Brazilian art production from the 19th century until today. It is divided in many spaces such as the “Estação Pinacoteca”, which hold shows of contemporary art and houses the Walter Wei library. Another interesting space is the resistance memorial, which is located on the ground floor and dedicated to preserving the memory of the repression suffered by the population during the times of the military dictatorship. The Pinacoteca also holds many exhibitions, which can be followed in the museum’s 0 Comments/by

funk222By Pedro Souza
October 2nd, 2016

For most people, the word “funk” brings to mind the groovy rhythms played by the likes of James Brown, Rick James and Herbie Hancock. Brazilian funk however, bears little resemblance to its American counterpart.

Born in the eighties in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian funk was heavily influenced by Miami Bass, being considered a derivative of it by some. With repetitive beats, sensual choreographies and lyrics that reflect the daily life in the favelas and other marginalized communities, the style quickly spread.

In the end of the eighties, funk had become the voice of the favelas, talking about drugs, violence, poverty and sexuality. Funk parties became popular events where communities competed by displaying their songs and sound systems. It was at this time that the first famous Mc’s started to appear and make their names in the music community. The style however, was still confined to poor communities, and was viewed by many with prejudice.

One of the reasons was the association between funk parties and violence and drug use. Many criminal factions financed funk parties, and used them as a way to spread their influence and dispute power with other factions. In the 2000’s however, the style broke through its isolation and began to be appreciated by Brazilians from all walks of life.

As the names of popular MC’s became well known among Brazilians regardless of their origins, the style also began to appear in radios and television shows. Funk also started to develop into a more diverse style, with many different subdivisions. One of these subdivisions is funk melô, with melodic and romantic characteristic. This form of funk conquered the public with MC’s like Claudinho and Bochecha. Another notorious subdivision of funk is the “proibidão”, with violent and super-sexualized lyrics. Nowadays it is one of the most popular forms of funk.

The rise of funk wasn’t without resistance however. In 2009, the prefecture of Rio de Janeiro launched a project with norms that made it impossible to throw funk parties in the favelas. The norms had to be revised after a wave of popular protests however. The style also faces criticism from many intellectuals and other segments of the Brazilian populations.

Some critique the style for its frequent apology of drug-use and crime. Others complain about the promiscuity of the lyrircs and the effects it may have on children and teenagers. Another common criticism is the sexist behavior and objectification of women that is often seen in funk culture.

While there is some validity to these objections, Brazilian funk should be seen as a legitimate cultural manifestation, one that allows people from marginalized communities to assert and express their identity. Alongside with rap, it has become one of the main channels for these communities to let their voice be heard. And like rap, it has come a long way from its humble beginnings to its invasion of mainstream Brazilian pop culture. Even after coming that far, however, there is still a stigma to Brazilian funk. But like it or not, it is here to stay.