Saturday, July 31, 2010
Many people write and ask me why I write in English. The main reason is because in Brazil, people do not want to read about favela life. They have no interest. Actually most Brazilians have fear of favelas or they are ashamed about them. The majority of people who want to know about life here in the favela are people who are not from Brazil. Foreigners do not have the same kind of prejudice or judgement. Te media bombards people here in Rio especially about favelas and very rarely is anything nice said about them. This is why people grow up in Brazil, having these fears.
It is a shame becase a lot of good things come from places you would not expect, like favelas. My life is far from being a paradise or perfect, but I can say that my life is good and I am thankful. I have wonderful people in my life who I value. These same people are proud to live here and not ashamed to say they live in a favela.
I know many here in Rocinha that would not admit to living here to outsiders for fear of being judged. Unfortunately, there is this classist system here where poor people who live in favelas are made out to be criminals. The media does not help as all they show on tv about favelas are negative things. No wonder the middle and upper classes have fears of us. But these images need to change. The outside world needs to know that the favela is much more than the drugs and violence. There are many good and hard working people here.
I do not think people in Rio understand but take away, Carnaval, Samba, Capoeira, Feijoada, Pagode and Brazil, especially Rio would not have a identity. Those things I mentioned are ALL from the favelas.