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Ten Brazilians Outside Brazil on Being Brazilian

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil has shined a giant light on the people of the South American nation of almost 200 million. But, since the early 80’s, the people of Brazil have increasingly been living outside the borders of what is still the fifth largest country on earth. Emigration has increased exponentially.

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil has shined a giant light on the people of the South American nation of almost 200 million. But, since the early 80’s, the people of Brazil have increasingly been living outside the borders of what is still the fifth largest country on earth. Emigration has increased exponentially. Today, four million Brazilians, or about two percent of the country’s entire population, live outside Brazil. We talked to a swath of them from cities all over the globe and asked them about their roots, their current homes, and what being Brazilian means to them.

Name: Rafael Suriani


Occupation: Street Artist

Hometown: São Paulo

Current Home: Paris, France

“I don't agree with the notion of Brazil as an ideal social melting pot. There's still a lot of racial prejudice in Brazil. The other idea that is not true is that every Brazilian is very good in soccer, I'm the living proof that this is wrong.”

Name: Bárbara Astrini

Occupation: Animator/Motion Graphics Designer

Hometown: São Paulo

Current Home: Raleigh, North Carolina

“São Paulo was a dangerous place. There was lots of love and good people, but it was difficult to be there day-to-day, living in fear. The U.S. is a land of opportunity. It takes genuine hard work and community building to live the American Dream, and Brazilians aren't afraid to do either.”

Name: Juliana Britto Schwartz

Occupation: Social Media Strategist and Feminist Writer

Hometown: Vitória, Espírito Santo

Current Home: San Francisco, California

“Brazilian women are often assumed to be super sexual, particularly by people who are not Brazilian. I always joke that when I tell people I’m Brazilian: I can just see my ass growing in their eyes. Obviously, not all Brasileiras are sexpots.”

Name: Luana Cavalcanti

Occupation: Web Designer

Hometown: Corrente, Piauí

Current Home: Dublin, Ireland

“I am always in Brazilian food stores buying essential Brazilian culinary items, like: cassava flour, picanha, pão de queijo, and, of course, one of my favorite sweets: paçoquinha. I always go to a Brazilian hair salon, which is the only place that can tame my hair.”

Name: Pedro Allevato

Occupation: Animation Director/Motion Designer

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro

Current Home: London, England

“Usually people relate Brazil to Pelé and samba. However, with the financial development happening now, many people come to ask me how Brazil is doing in a more genuine way. The most ridiculous thing though, is when people think that we speak Spanish.”

\nName: Maria do Mar Guinle\n

Occupation: Art Advisor and Founder of MdM Gallery

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro

Current Home: Paris, France

“I miss people's exaggerated optimism, the ‘in the end, everything will work out’ attitude. It is quite contagious.”

\nName: Luisa Leme

Occupation: Multimedia Journalist

Hometown: São Paulo

Current Home: New York City, New York

“New York and São Paulo are different, but have so much in common. It’s weird, sometimes I'm walking in the East Village and it feels like São Paulo. The ‘organized’ chaos in New York is different, but the mixture and people from all over in the streets is like São Paulo.”

Name: Manuela Zoninsein

Occupation: CEO and founder of Smart Agriculture Analytics

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro

Current Home: Beijing, China

“I try to carry the concept of jogo de cintura in my life – the idea of being flexible and finding loopholes and opportunities in obstacles as they arise, which serves me particularly well as an entrepreneur in China.”

Name: Ellen Kanamori

Occupation: Co-owner of Superior Elevation Records

Hometown: São Paulo

Current Home: Brooklyn, New York

“I miss Chopp. I miss greeting people with a kiss on the cheek. I miss the endless options of fresh tropical fruits. I miss green corn ice cream and I miss drinking caipirinha by the beach.”

\nName: Jorge Camarotti\n

Occupation: Film Director/Photographer

Hometown: São Paulo

Current Home: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

“After traveling to many countries, I believe Brazilians are the most hard working people I know. We can do good things for people around us without having to get anything in return.”

Responses compiled by Rosie Spinks.

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