It’s been a while since the last time I came around here to put my thoughts forward, but I am back and ready to do so.
Being in America for almost 3 months has made me realize how much I love Brazil. I am not trying to say that Brazil is better than America or the other way around. Brazil and the USA are two different nations which face different types of problems and social issues: racial slur, poverty, starvation, prejudice, gossip, ghettos in inner cities, and many other problems.
The best of being in America is knowing that I’ll soon be back in Brazil. The United States is a great country and it is full of opportunities. That is, it’s way easier to have or become what you want. Here in America, I can buy all those clothes my Brazilian friends crave for and could never buy. Here, I can drive a Honda Civic or a Ford Fusion and, even still, be looked down upon because they are “shitty-ass” cars. Mc Donalds is “trash” and Burger King is “okay”. Ecko, DC Shoes, Oakley, Nike, Jordan, Reebok and any other name brands Brazilian people love and would like to have, in America you can buy’em for really cheap and you will not impress anyone.
On the other hand, Brazil is a developing country where people still struggle to pay for those shoes they bought 5 months ago. A typical middle-class Brazilian citizen has one pair of shoes to go to school and play soccer and a nice pair to go to nice places. Brazil is the country where corruption takes place right in front of people but we, Brazilians, just don’t care. Brazil is where rich and poor people live together in different worlds. Brazil is hypocrites! We love to say that our food is better, our beaches are more beautiful, our women are prettier, our soccer skills stand out, but everybody wants to move out of the country because “Brasil eh uma merda”. Brazilians tend to say they are not racists, but when I come around, people still hide their purses, wallets and cellphones because being black is threatening. Brazil is where pedophilia is seen as “As Novinha”. Funk is culture, but pedophilia is crime. Brazil is as big as my dream to be proud of being Brazilian for having become a successful nation. I would rather be recognized as a country where people are intelligent and tolerant than as a country where Carnaval means being naked on the street, “tworking”, and kissing tens of people in one night because it is cool. However it is way far away from coming true. Being sexy is part of Brazilian culture and costumes. Being sexy is a gift, but we do not need to use it in order to make a living when we can use our brain. When Brazilians get out of the country, the first thing they show to other people is how women are “hot”, how they dance in funk balls, and how small their bikinis are. Don’t get mad when they come up to you say “I heard Brazilian women are slutty”. That includes my mom, your sister, your girlfriend, wife…
Crimes in Brazil don’t affect people anymore. When breaking news show people dying, kids dealing drugs and holding guns, we just look at the TV and keep on doing what we’re doing as if nothing had happened. Most Brazilian people do not do anything to change this scenario. The only way I know is EDUCATION. If you have a different one, please let me know and let us work together.
Even still, I am really happy for being born and raised in Brazil, because it is so much fun to be raised on the streets flying kites, playing soccer, go down the hill on carrinho de mao, and simply vibrate when your mom or dad brings danoninho for you because you have behaved as you should. Being rich might be really nice, but rich people miss all the fun when it comes to accomplishing those little things in life that make the greatest memories such as: taking your girlfriend to the beach for the first time, going to a really nice restaurant, buying your first laptop, buying Coca-Cola and forgetting about refrigerecos for that amazing churrasco you threw with your friends. Simple things like that make me love being Brazilian. We are happy and we are the only people I know that are able to joke on ourselves and our weaknesses without being mad.
Being successful in a successful country does not change people’s lives. But being successful in a country like Brazil shows people that whatever you put your mind to and work hard for what you want, you can achieve.
It is great to know I will soon be back home in Brazil so that I can help other people’s dreams come true. There is a wide range of dreams I can help people accomplish like teaching English, helping people get a better job, helping people travel abroad, showing different cultures or simply helping them open their eyes to another opportunity in life. I know I can do that and that’s why I never stop trying to make people’s lives better. What have you done to help others?
Everything I wanted to have when it comes to outfit, shoes, gears, hats, and electronics, I could buy in America and it taught me something really important - They don’t mean anything if you are not genuinely happy or if you did not work hard for what you could purchase. People in America usually buy what they do not need, waste food, and label people based on what they look or dress like. It is called stereotyping, profiling or simply prejudice/preconception.
I love to have a thuggish style and being educated at the same time. People get really confused when they see me sagging and walking with a limp, listening to gangster rap music, but when I speak, proper or mainstream English comes out. Or when I sit at Starbucks and start reading a book. They look at me as if what I am doing were a crime or something surreal.
Traveling makes people multicultural and this is what I feel now. Part of me is American and the other part is Brazilian. Whenever I am in Brazil, I miss America. On the other hand, whenever I am in America, I miss Brazil. I still have room in my mind and heart to be part of a whole lot of other cultures, creeds and nations. Just need to have more money and time to travel.
If you Y.O.L.O (You Only Live Once), do something that makes people remember you positively when you leave this world to chill with Jesus.
Rodrigo P. Honorato