O Português na Rua (Portuguese in the Street)

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Imagine yourself walking down a street in Brazil. What would you expect to see?  Pretty much the same basic things as you would in any city in the world, right? But with a Brazilian touch, and Brazilian names, of course.  Let’s learn some of those names:

To begin with, there are a few things in Brazil that probably won’t be found in your home town.

Street vendors (camelôs, not to be confused with camelos, camels) are common in many cities. They usually spread their wares out on top of a blanket on the sidewalk. Camelôs sell watches (relógios), umbrellas (guarda-chuvas), toys (brinquedos), fresh fruit (fruta fresca), cell phone cases (capas de telefones celulares), and much more.

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Futebol no Brasil

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In Brazil all other sports take a back seat to futebol (“soccer” in the U.S. and Canada, “football” in the rest of the English-speaking world). And everyone has their favorite team, which they often choose during childhood.

As I’ve moved around California in my life I’ve switched my baseball loyalties from the LA Dodgers to the San Francisco Giants, to the Oakland A’s, and now to the lowly Padres of my home town San Diego (They win once in a while!).

But Brazilians would never think of changing teams just because they moved to a new city, or because the team had lost twenty straight. Your team is yours for life!

The main teams in Rio are Fluminense, Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, and Botafogo. Other cities root for (torcem por) Santos (Pelé’s team), Vitória, Atlético Mineiro, Inter, Palmeiras, Grêmio, Corinthians, São Paulo and dozens more.

Games are televised daily, but especially on Sundays and Wednesdays, when “a galera de amigos” (the gang of friends) gets together to watch, scream, argue, and sometimes fight, at their favorite barzinho with uma gelada na mão—a cold one in hand. Read more