On this day, March 2, 2019, I went to see one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Christ the Redeemer, in all its glory. To me, this statue represents the all welcoming embrace of the Christian faith – as symbolized by the statue’s outstretched arms – and the powerful notion that a loving deity patiently watches over us all. I was beyond thrilled to see and touch one of the world’s most iconic figures and Brazil’s most famous monument.
Every Tuesday, my neighborhood of Perdizes sets up an open air market, filled with the freshest of vegetables, meats, fruits, drinks, and fried foods. This is one particular food stand, selling all kinds of peppers and spices.
São Paulo is filled with graffiti art. Every wall and cement surface seems to have some form of graffiti adorning it. This freelance artistry gives the city its own unique, creative flare. And as you can see, the graffiti is oftentimes representative of political beliefs, as noted by the man’s hat, which declares “ELE NÃO”
Brazil’s national dish, feijoada, is one of my favorite meals. Its dense assortment of rice, beans, collard greens, and varied meats will send you into a lengthy food coma once you finish eating.
Behold in all its glory Avenida Paulista – the largest urban and shopping center in South America!
Brazil’s beauty, positivity, and liveliness can make it easy to forget some of the country’s more unsightly aspects, such as its history of African slavery. As an exchange student who seeks to understand all parts of Brazil’s culture, I would be incredibly remiss to ignore slavery and the cruelty it inflicted on millions of human beings. I’m obligated to pay homage to the countless men, women, and children who were forced to build this great nation.
This is Rio de Janeiro, For a moment keep quiet, take a few deep breaths, and look out upon the cultural heart of Brazil. This view has captivated locals and foreigners for centuries, and I was lucky enough to see it for myself.
Pictured here is my last moments prior to being pushed off a mountain. I’m joking, of course. My friend and I thought it would be funny to pose like this in the group photo, so we did.
Have you ever heard the famous song “Girl from Ipanema”? Well, it was written about this beach – Ipanema beach.
Me and my friend got to play soccer on Ipanema beach in the most passionate soccer country in the world! We even had strangers come up to us, asking if they could join our game. If there’s one stereotype that is true about Brazilians, it’s that they are all highly proficient soccer players. Whether you meet a middle-aged food vendor on the street or a 5-year-old girl, they will all put you to shame in soccer.
I love coffee, especially coffee with steamed milk (café com leite). Do yourself a favor and drink a hot cup of this every morning.
Massive street parties called “blocos” are a staple of Brazil’s Carnaval culture. I’ve been to several blocos already, and I had a great time. Dress in a colorful, festive costume, crack a few beers, and dance to music while hundreds of other Brazilians do the same.
My favorite part of my abroad experience thus far – relaxing under the Brazilian sun, drinking a strawberry caipirinha on famous Copacabana beach. I really couldn’t ask for much more than that.
What do you get when you mix a plaid button-down with a flowery lei, a crown, mounds of glitter, and multicolor hairspray? Me!!! I highly encourage dressing as exuberantly as possible for Carnaval.
When the world thinks of Carnaval, they think of this – Rio’s Sambadrome parade! I can now say for the rest of my life that I witnessed Brazil’s most iconic event in its most iconic city during its most iconic holiday. I have lived a good life.