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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Brazilians Revel in Last Night of Samba and Dancing

BRASILIA – Thousands of Brazilians spent Tuesday in the streets all over the country enjoying Carnival, a popular celebration that they live to the frenetic rhythm of samba and other rhythms until Ash Wednesday ends the party.

There was almost no city in the country where the parades did not take to the streets, although the party was most intense in Rio de Janeiro, the home of the Brazilian Carnival and where some incidents caused a dissonant note to the joy of thousands.

One of those episodes occurred during the parade of a “bloco,” as the groups are known in Brazil, headed by Ludmilla, a pop singer famous among the youngest, which had to stop early due to riots.

It seems that the disturbances began with a fight in the middle of the tens of thousands of people following a carriage in which Ludmilla sang, which motivated the intervention of the police and generated a stampede of people that caused several injuries, although none of them serious.

Beyond that incident and other minor riots, mostly attributed to the excess of beer and other beverages, the street party went on in peace and with the joy that characterizes Brazilians when they devote themselves to their biggest popular celebration.

At the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro there were dozens of Samba schools from practically all the neighborhoods, dancing and parading to the noise of the drums.

The “batucada” (a substyle of Samba) was played especially loudly by the “Orquestra Voadora,” a band that didn’t let anyone take a nap this Tuesday afternoon in Flamengo, a usually quiet neighborhood in the wealthy southern area of Rio de Janeiro.

The same thing happened in every corner of Brazil’s most populous city Sao Paulo, where the band “Pagu,” a drum orchestra made up only of women, mixed samba with their demands for equal rights.

Also, this Tuesday, Sao Paulo chose the best samba school from the parades at the city’s Sambodromo, which were held last Friday and Saturday.

The judges awarded the Mancha Verde school’s presentation, which was proclaimed “champion” of the Carnival for a parade promoting women’s rights and which included a harsh criticism of slavery.

The “La saga de una guerrera negra” (The saga of a black warrior) parade told the true story of Aqualtune, princess of a Congolese tribe who arrived in Brazil as a slave in the 17th century.

In Salvador, the capital of the northeastern state of Bahia, there are no contests or sambadrome, but the party is made up of huge trucks that run the streets of the city followed by millions of people, this time led by famous singers such as Daniela Mercury, Claudia Leite, and Ivete Sangalo.

Mercury once again made Carnival a platform to protest against all kinds of discrimination, especially sexual discrimination, and encouraged women to wear blue clothes and men to wear pink.

It was an allusion between amusing and critical to a phrase pronounced by the Minister of Human Rights of the ultra-right Jair Bolsonaro government, Damares Alves, who stated that with the arrival to power of the conservatives “girls will wear pink and boys will wear blue.”

Although the poet Vinicius de Moraes sang that the happiness of Brazilians and Carnival ends every Ash Wednesday, on that day the best school in Rio de Janeiro will be chosen, which guarantees a party that will not end there either, because next weekend the “blocos” promise to stay in the streets of their neighborhoods.


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