Brazil is beautiful because of its people. In stretches of grand beaches, lazy brown rivers and thick forests, Portuguese and Amerindian languages slip from their tongues – and more than many other places in the world, they come tanned, mixed up, and tracing ancestry from everywhere that you can think of. Black, white, everything in between, and beautiful. Brazil’s blend of cultures and races are what makes it unique, and finding those bound up in the joy miscegenation is more than common in the large country. But Brazil does have a problem in its social inequalities, which in turn can be linked to race.
In 2016, many people will travel to Rio for the Olympics, which have been so successful in the UK this past year. A distinct irony can be found in the holding of an event that is meant to promote social harmony in a place where those with darker skin are disproportionally affected by poverty. In the media black people are under represented, with the first black telenova portuguesa actress, Taís Araújo, holding a recent place in history, while the slavery based immigration that occurred in the North and Northeast of Brazil, has caused difficulties for the peoples since their arrival – difficulties that are still present in the modern day.
The government is aware of the discrepancy between the races of course, and one of their responses has been to introduce an, admittedly polemic, quota to help black students into university. But Brazil is hugely corrupt, and there is still a lot to be done in terms of the educational and social inequality that roams the country. These inequalities strike people away from eminent futures that they deserve to have, and cause some to spiral into a destruction filled with drugs and gang violence; all hidden away in brightly coloured favelas until they explode upon the streets.
But who are we to judge? Although in comparison to the Brazilian’s, the British standard of living is higher regardless of race, the London Olympics was still tainted by hypocrisy. Newham is one of the poorest boroughs in London, and in its catering to affluent tourists during the Olympics, a sharp light was cast upon the devious capitalist mindset. It could also be noted that a young man was stabbed to death in front of the Armani store in Newham, only two weeks before the start of the games; bitter, brutal irony in its most awful form.
Nevertheless, an event such as the Olympics will almost definitely bring good things for Brazil, just as it has done for the UK in terms of world appearance and tourism. Nationalism is not always something to be agreed with, but with Brazilian culture being so beautiful and rich in its own right, adding to it through the Olympics would always be a positive thing, however superficial the additions were.
So, if it can be done, travelling to Brazil for the Rio Olympics in 2016 might just be a good choice.