Thursday, March 17, 2011

“You Can Sleep When You’re in the U.S.”

(So don't waste time doing that here!)

Passed onto me and Forest by one of our Brazilian friends, this little bit of wisdom served us very well as we made the most of our Carnaval experience in Rio de Janeiro.

Every time I stray outside the borders of my country, it seems, I am reminded of how far behind the rest of the world our culture lags in its festiveness. Sure, Carnaval is not representative of Brazil year-round. But it takes but a moment of reflection to realize that we have nothing in the U.S. that even comes close to comparing to Carnaval. The best I can come up with is to imagine if we were to combine new years eve, 4th of July, and Halloween into one huge celebration and then to extend it over the course of a week. And even then it wouldn’t come close. Could we ever learn to loosen up, drop the various masks we wear in our daily affairs (or at least try on some new ones!), and pour out into the streets dancing, singing, dressing up, expressing ourselves, and celebrating as one? The United States? I feel like I saw as much unity within one city in a matter of days as I have in an entire nation over the course of eighteen years!

Okay, I reckon that’s an exaggeration gushing from someone who has just recently fallen in love with another city and culture for the first time. The U.S. has a ton to offer and can be very unified in some ways, but how many celebrations bring us together in genuinely childlike fun like this? Can’t we please at least take a few notes from these people on how to balance out our boring calendar with some spirited festivals every now and then?

Unfortunately I was so caught up in the thick of it that I failed miserably with any intentions I may have had to document Carnaval. The one day that I braved taking my camera out into the fray for a full day, my battery died shortly after I began shooting. Hopefully you’re already following the blog of the actual photographer on this journey, but if not, now would be a good time to start doing so.
Here are a few of the photos I did manage to snap:

Yep, you're seeing that nose correctly.

An obligatory shot of the Christ Redeemer - taken from out the window as we left Rio.

Before Rio we stopped over in Porto Alegre for several days and had a great time introducing Spikeball to the country and exploring the markets.


1 comment:

  1. hey there Canyon! i really like your post and your pictures! carnival is - in fact - one of the times that all the people really get united and in the same energy.. it doesn't matter which class you belong, where you live, your past or your name.. just what it feels like! i'm glad you enjoyed and i'm also glad i could meet you guys in that rainy fun night! whenever you guys want to comeback here.. please let us know! will be a pleasure going out with you guys again! take care!!/profile.php?id=801723874