Collection of these Little Facts we thought of as worth knowing.
The worst city of traffic | #didyouknow 15
Sao Paulo is really the worst city of traffic. It´s not that I´m just writing this because sometimes I´m waiting a little bit longer for the arrival of the metro or I am in a bus which is full of people and it seems like the persons there are closer to you than your best friends. But there actually was a study which showed and proved that Sao Paulo is the worst City of traffic and especially traffic jams. So according to Companhia de Engengaria de Tráfego, a congestion record was set on November 15th of 2013 with a total of 309 kilometers during rush hour.
So good luck especially when you have to go somewhere at rush hour time!
Indigenous People |#didyouknow 15
It is incredible that in Brazil still exist 77 indigenous tribes which have no contact with the rest of the Brazilian population. And it is even more incredible that one of these tribes has only one single member.
The indigenious tribes here in Brazil suffer a lot under the opression through the gouvernment and the great lack of respect others have for their living space.
Various killings of indigenous people are well known, and they are not only from the long gone past.
The company Coca-Cola is dealing with some big critics because of the “Coca Cola Life” – a low calory version of Coca, which has been very successful due to the sugar replacement. The sweetener they now use instead of real sugar is called “Stevia” and it comes from Brazil and Paraguay. By using Stevia, Coca-Cola stole not only the plant from the indigenous people but also the knowledge of how to use it. And the only “win” for the indios is, that Coca-Cola doesn’t pay anything and not even respects their homes.
Brasília or The Airplane | #didyouknow14
Brasília might not be the most famous city of Brazil, but it is a fascinating one. Not only is it the capitol and was built in just 41 months, it also owns Brazil’s very last drive-in cinema (always good to know?) and – last but not least – was designed in a very special form: the one of an airplane.
Don’t believe it? See for yourself.
Blue Blood | #didyouknow 13
Sadly, if you go back in history, it has always been the white skin, that ruled and reigned and dominated royal houses. Among the european nobleness, paleness was classified as the ideal of beauty. The noble Ladies and Gentlemen avoided every contact with the sun to set them apart from the tanned common folk, which was exposed the sun, while working outside. That is why, from time immemorial white skin is associated with nobility. On this white, pale skin the bluish veins are more visible than on a dark skin. It appears as if blue blood was running through them. This is where the ancient expression “to have blue blood or to be blue-blooded” found its origin. It means to be of noble blood or to originate from a royal house. So next to white, blue became a royal color. These signification can aswell be found in the architecture of many portuguese embossed cities of Brazil, like Tiradentes or Ouro Preto. A version of the typical colonial style is a white house with blue window and doorframes. This appearance indeed goes back to the blue blood for in that era houses with the dominating blue and white color have been from importance.
The Girl from Ipanema | #didyouknow 12
A beautiful Brazilian bossa nova jazz song. A worldwide hit in the 1960s. And the second most recorded pop song in history. Vinícius de Moraes is the name behind the lyrics, a tribute to the young female beauty. He and Tom Jobim- the composer of the song- got inspired while sitting in a bar, when suddenly a 17 year old Brazilian belle passed by. The popularity of the song brought also fame to their inspiration Helô Pinheiro. About her, the real girl from Ipanema Vinícius wrote, she was “the paradigm of the young Carioca: a golden teenage girl, a mixture of flower and mermaid, full of light and grace, the sight of whom is also sad, in that she carries with her, on her route to the sea, the feeling of youth that fades, of the beauty that is not ours alone—it is a gift of life in its beautiful and melancholic constant ebb and flow.” Seems like in his personal life Vinícius got inspired a bit too much by beautiful women. He has been married 9 times.
listen to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg_afqmeZoE
“Independence or death” | #didyouknow 11
With these words Dom Pedro I., emperor of Brazil, proclaimed brazilians independence from Portugal on the 7th of September 1822. Nowadays, on the very same location, where this significant historical happening took place, can be found one of São Paulo’s most beautiful parks, Parque da Independência, and within it the monument of independence. Impressive from outside, the real interesting is hidden inside. The big granite monument contains the tombs of Dom Pedro I. and his wives Maria Leopoldina of Austria and Amélie of Leuchtenberg.
That ain’t no food! | #didyouknow 10
Brazilians have a funny way of defining food.
“No, but I need FOOD.” – that is what you might hear when suggesting to grab a hamburger, pizza, lasagne, soup or noodles. In Brazil these things do not deserve to be called food. It is something to eat, yes, but the one and only dish that is declared as FOOD is the basis of Brazilian kitchen and the one thing that everyone eats everyday: rice and beans.
So if you want to make a hungry Brazilian happy, don´t get into a food discussion – just try to find a place that offers their daily rice and beans.
Declaration of Love |#didyouknow 9
In front of the famous Bar Brahma in the center of São Paulo you will find a common street name sign, which is almost always surrounded by some tourists taking selfies. It is the cross-way of the streets Ipiranga and São João.
The stardom of this metal bar with the two names on the top is a merit of the famous singer Caetano Veloso. In his song “Sampa” he quotes the by now well known lines:
“Alguma coisa acontece no meu coração
Que só quando cruza a Ipiranga e a avenida São João”
“Something happens in my heart
Only when it crosses Ipiranga and São João avenue”
The Irony of Fate | #didyouknow 8
Did you know that Brazil is leaded by non-elected president? His name is Michel Temer. Many people feel paralyzed, frustrated and defenseless given the political situation, the ongoing corruption and the decisions that are made in the government, which are enforcing the enrichment of the rich and the impoverishment of the poor.
Let’s take a look in the dictionary:
temer – to fear, be afraid of
Now isn’t that an amusing coincidence? This little details gives a moment of satisfaction. At least fate knows what people are dealing with.
With books and bikes towards redemption | #didyouknow 7
Did you know that in Brazil prisons inmates can shorten their sentence by reading books and riding the bike? Because they do.
There are many not so beautiful things that can be said about Brazilian prisons, but in this case, their course of actions is actually pretty inventive.
For every book a prisoner reads, his sentence will be reduced by four days – a possible total of 48 days a year. This Redemption through Reading also requires the prisoner to not only read but also review the book. Books available to the inmates are literary classics, philosophical and science books.
Attempt hereby is, to tackle the problem of few or non-existence education that many Brazilian prisoners face, as well as giving them the opportunity to avoid the fall-back into their ex-life upon their release.
As to the riding the bike – as well a witty idea: The bikes are connected to car batteries which are charging while the inmate pedals, and these car batteries are then used to provide energy to power streetlamps in the nearby streets.
Including issues like the lack of education and green energies in a productive way in the prison-system? Well – not a bad idea.
Voto Cacareco | #didyouknow 6
Back in 1959, Cacareco won the elections for city council.
Why that is fascinating?
Well, Cacareco wasn’t exactly a politician – no, she was a 5-year-old female rhino from the local zoo.
So that makes you read this line twice I reckon – but it’s true.
In a phase of high mistrust in leadership and protest against the corruption within the government, a group of students put Cacarecos name on about 200.000 ballots and brought her into the elections. Result: Not only did she win these, but also she reached one of the highest totals in Brazilian history. How a voter said – “better to elect a rhino than an ass.”
At the end of the day she did not get to occupy her chair – results where declared invalid, elections re-held. Seems like the officials didn’t think a rhino was set to rule the city.
A geographic hint | #didyouknow 5
“Pedra Portuguesa” (portuguese stone) is a characteristic portuguese bouldering, consisting of white chalk and black basalt. These typical white-black pattern can be found, where the Portuguese have been present in human history like in Macao, East Timor, Angola, Cape Verde Islands and of course also in Brazil. There are different forms of appearance. You might know the famous “Pedra Portuguesa” in shape of waves at the beach of Rio de Janeiro. Well guess what, São Paulo has its own shape of bouldering too. On the first sight is looks like a simple duck. What is behind those two trapezoids connected? It i actually pretty interesting: It is the contour of the state São Paulo on the map.
A Bet | #didyouknow 4
You believe me when I say that your shin is cinamon?
And that your calf is a potato?
You better should. Because it’s true – brazilians indeed humorously call the shin “canela” and the calf “batata“! So when talking about sports and body-changing, someone might really ask you – “how do I transform the potato of my leg?”
No joke, ask Julia – she lost 5 reais for not believing it.
“A Land Named After a Tree” | #didyouknow 3
After throughgoing several different names (including being named an “island of the true cross” – a mistake which was quickly corrected after the discovery that Brazil clearly wasn’t an island) the land we now know as “Brazil” was referred to as the “Terra do pau-brasil” – “the land of the brazilwood” – gaining this name due to the harvesting in the early 16th century of the so-called brazilwood, a dyewood.
But the wood wasn’t named brazilwood for it was to be found in Brazil, no, like i said, Brazil hadn’t even been named Brazil yet. The name “Brazilwood” originates in the mediavel latin: lignum brasilium, a term refering to the deep red, glowing ember like colour of the dye (“brasa” = ember, glowing charcoal).
The name kept on changing, nevertheless though “Brazil” always stayed a part of it, until, in the end, it was the only part that stayed – and so this land was named after a tree… or maybe more precisely after the colour of dark glowing ember.
“Like a Marriage” | #didyouknow 2
Brazilians have a funny way to describe their most famous street, Avenida Paulista, humorously referring to its location – or more precisely: its beginning and its end.
The avenue connects the noble district “Paraiso” (paradise) with the district “Concolação” (desolation).
So a known saying, always told with a smile, goes:
Avenida Paulista is like a marriage: It starts in paradise and ends in desolation.
Sentences you don’t have to learn in portuguese | #didyouknow 1
“It’s so quiet here”
“Can I have some more sugar for my coffee?”
“I really miss rice and beans”
Why? because you probably never in your life will a) be experiencing a too quiet moment here, b) will be in need of putting sugar in your coffee, because it literally already has 2/3 of sugar, and 3) – oh well reconsidering this – you might actually have to learn this sentence. Because to my great surprise I already used it.