Brazil: Carnival to forget the crisis
Millions of Brazilians, defying the global crisis began Friday in the excitement of the carnival which will be the summit of sumptuous parades of samba schools Sunday and Monday on the Sambodrome Rio de Janeiro.
- This country of 190 million people will nearly stop, from Friday for a week away from Salvador of Bahia (northeast) Sao Paulo (southeast) by the madness of the carnival, a tradition of more than 150 years.
First Brazilian president to visit the carnival since 1994, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva will attend the first night of parades, confirmed his spokesman to the press.
Despite the crisis, a record number of tourists are expected in Rio. 709,000 tourists, five thousand more than last year, of which 30% came from abroad, are already in the city, told the press the municipal tourism Riotur.
More than 46,000 of them came on board cruise ships anchored in the harbour.
Security, especially in Rio, where violence is endemic, is a major concern of the authorities during the carnival and some 10,000 police were to be mobilized.
This did not prevent armed gangs to rob fifty tourists in two attacks on cheap hotels in the city. The enhanced security plan, prepared by the Brazilian Association of Hoteliers in collaboration with the police in Rio, has been advanced to Thursday instead of Friday, the day of the official opening of the festivities.
Like every year, much of the staff will concentrate near the Sambodrome, built by architect Oscar Niemeyer, in the centre of the city. It is on this avenue of 700 feet long, flanked by galleries that parade Sunday and Monday the twelve main samba schools, with 70,000 spectators expected each day.
In this period where the excesses are permitted, the government will distribute for free across the country 59 million condoms in the context of the fight against AIDS. "Small shirt of Venus" (name of condoms in Brazil) will be awarded during the parades and dances and in health posts by non-governmental organizations.
From north to south, Brazilians have plunged in the carnival. First in Salvador de Bahia, on Thursday evening, who compete with the popular carioca carnival: Two million people dance day and night behind «elétrico trio», huge trucks equipped with loudspeakers that circulate throughout the city.
In Recife (northeast), one million people were dancing on the frenetic pace of "frevo" following the carnival group "Galo da Madrugada"; the largest in the world in the streets of the city.
But in the eyes of the world, are synonymous Brazilian Carnival parades of samba schools in Rio. This year, it will maintain its tradition of using popular themes such as Brazil multiethnic but also break new ground by addressing ecology.
One of the schools, Rio Grande, sponsored by sixteen companies during this year of ‘France in Brazil’, scroll on "Freedom, equality, fraternity". Eagerly awaited by carioca, thirty Parisian dancers of Moulin Rouge cabaret will bring a touch of French cancan in this temple of the samba.
- Ennaharonline/ M. O.