Hello world!

Welcome to This Brazilian Life! You may be asking yourself, “what exactly is This Brazilian Life?” This project was started by a group of students at the Federal University of Ceará in Fortaleza, Brazil with some help from a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. The purpose of this blog, and our podcast by the same name, is to share a little bit of our life with you. Similar to NPR’s “This American Life,” we, and our fellow UFC classmates, will be sharing personal narratives related to a variety of topics about Brazilian life over the next six months. Our goal through this podcast is to dispel, or maybe confirm, any myths about life in Brazil, and, more importantly, to let our voices be heard.

Thanks for stopping by and keep an eye out for our first podcast on “what being Brazilian means to me” coming out this week.

Abraços,

The TBL Team

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7 thoughts on “Hello world!

  1. —– “Our goal through this podcast is to dispel, or maybe confirm, any myths about life in Brazil, and, more importantly, to let our voices be heard.” —–
    Seriously? Is it really necessary? Do these things happen in Estonia, for instance? Why should foreign people be aware of what really happens here? Things happen here as well as in every part of the world. If Americans think we are all Indians living with crocodiles… then, let it be. Nobody is interested about the “real” Brazil. If so, let them find out for themselves; don’t try to be the spokesman of reality. It will remains the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Justin,

    Thanks for commenting. I’m surprised by the way you received the podcast, but I’m glad you left a comment. That starts a conversation and that’s why we’re here!

    Responding to your question: well, it’s probably not necessary, the same way visiting other countries is not necessary, but people do that anyway. The world is big and some people like to know more about it. And, some people like to listen to other people! So, even if they want to find the “real Brazil” for themselves, they might still be interested in what Brazilians have to say.

    I am Brazilian and, many times I talked to foreigners, they asked me what I think about my country. The same way I ask about their countries. Some people, like me, like to travel through the eyes and words of someone else. And I know I’m not alone! Naturally, not everyone is interested in that and we all know it. But, for the ones that are interested, here we are!

    -Italo André (a member of the TBL Team)

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  3. Hi Italo,
    Hope you are well.
    First of all, I am also surprised by the subject that students of a Federal University (which means a lot in Brazil) have addressed – and with that quality. It is easy to find many readings about how poor our researches are. I know it’s not a research, but it’s somehow, what will be reflected further ahead.
    I am also very romantic when talking to foreign people – I love to know how they live through their eyes – however, I don’t know what is the contribution this project is supposed to bring people. Furthermore, why an American flag? Is this intended for US only?
    I don’t want to be rude but it looks like a high school homework trying to say something everyone has said before. There’s a really good video called “What do you think about Brazil” on YouTube. I consider that a really great way to use technology. And they use “people’s ignorance” to make they think beyond their own worlds. Everything in 6 minutes.
    Thanks for you reply, by the way.

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    • Justin, thank you for the genuine questions you put in your comment. It makes me think that if you had those questions, probably other people did. So I guess we need to work on making our goals clearer, we don’t want our audience to be confused on what they will be finding here.

      First of all, I would like just to reassure this project has no official relation to UFC. All the people in the podcast so far study at UFC, either as a full time student or at one of the Casas de Cultura Estrangeira. With that in mind, notice we are not committed to producing something that has as much quality as a research, as you said it yourself in your comment. We are here, in first place, to produce something that can be fun/interesting for those that are hearing and for those that are producing it! We are here to produce something that can lead to learning, and to improving our English. Many people at UFC (and that includes me) don’t get many opportunities to practice their English. Being on a podcast makes me think about my English in a complete different way, and I think many people here will benefit from this the same way I’m doing.

      Also, this was our first episode and the site was just released. We are working on a customization of the site, where things are more well-thought (like the American flag, for example. Should it be there? It is there because the project is not just from UFC students, but also from a Fullbright *insert your role, Missy*, but would that flag send the wrong impression? Those are things we are asking ourselves! However, we were excited to publish our work, so we didn’t thought this would be that important. In the end, we think what matters is to start. We can only grow as a project from experience (that comes from action), and believe us, we know we have a long way to go! But we prefer to start somewhere and grow a little at a time than seek perfection and maybe never really starting something.

      At the same time, it is good to know our blog/podcast reached you! I’m glad a part of our audience is that “demanding” of us. It is a reminder we need to get better at every step, that we can’t get too comfortable. So thank you for your contribution! We hope you can come back here later and be more satisfied with what you see! 🙂

      Cheers! Italo André.

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    • Hey Justin!

      It’s Missy! First, I want to say that while I’m rarely going to be posting to this blog, I wanted to chime in and explain a little more about my role as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) and specifically my role with this project. The Fulbright program exists in over 100 different countries worldwide and is a cultural exchange opportunity. Specifically here in Brazil, there are currently 115 ETAs. We, the ETAs, all work at different federal universities, from UNIPAMPA in Bagé, RS, to UFAC in Rio Branco, Acre, and everywhere in between. Our role is pretty varied (in fact, it’s actually pretty different at every university), but our primary goal is all the same: to help improve our students’ English and to serve as cultural ambassadors. Personally, I take that last part pretty seriously. I’ve always loved learning about different cultures and this is actually my third time here in Brazil (I studied abroad at PUC-SP in 2011 and was here at UFC for nine months as an ETA last year too). But, to me, my role as a “cultural ambassador” isn’t just about sharing American culture; it’s also about learning about Brazil. That’s where the idea of this podcast was born. Again, the point is to give students a chance to practice their English while talking about topics they’re familiar with (like university life, nightlife, dating, and relationships, etc), but also addressing some more challenging topics (what does being brazilian mean, social class differences at universities, etc). However, keep in mind that everything on this blog represents the personal opinions of the students speaking. There won’t be research, statistcs, or citations in our stories. Because, well, they’re just stories! And, as Italo mentioned, our blog/podcast are NOT affiliated with UFC or Fulbright directly.

      As for me, well, my role with this blog and podcast is simply to facilitate. This is by the students and for you all (Brazilian listeners, international listeners, students, non-students, anyone!) Does that make sense? Thanks again for your comments! Again, I probalbly won’t be commenting or posting too often (because it’s the students’ work after all :D), but I wanted to clear up my role a little bit.

      -Missy

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  4. Hello guys,
    I appreciate your kind response.
    Don’t want to look like an old cranky but once you make it public, bad and good opinions will inevitably appear (especially, if you post it on the internet).

    I have the impression that American culture in Brazil is really well widespread. It’s sprawled on every fringe of this country and I personally consider this a really good thing. But ask your students how many of them know Alberto Nepomuceno! – don’t know the answer. Try asking who is Elvis Presley! They will know. What about it?

    Even after all those bullshit I said, I honestly believe this is an excellent way to learn and study English indeed! Now it’s clear for me. Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Justin Timberlake

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  5. I think I will share “this brazilian life” through the SP point of view. Deal?
    Living here is like acting in an action movie every single day. You cannot go out and park your car at the nearest street (is it right?) cause it won’t be there when you come back. You cannot wait for your girlfriend at the train station cause two guys will “kindly” ask you to borrow your car (sometimes they take you along with them). When you ask for a mobile, people around just say they don’t have credit to complete the call (it doesn’t matter if emergency calls are free!).
    The police officer treats you the way they should treat those guys who “borrowed” your car for a while, leaving you with nothing to do – only with a great story to tell your colleagues on Monday.
    On Monday, at work, everyone will get worried and ask why you disappeared for two day. When you tell the story, the only reaction is “what a blunder! why didn’t you pay for a car insurance?”. Clever!
    Your wage is enough to buy a canned tuna. That’s all.
    Gasoline costs you “the eyes of your face”. Water costs your arm only.
    …and this is the paulistan life!

    Cheers,
    JT

    Like

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