The night lives of young Brazilians and
Argentines seem to differ in several ways based on the cities form each
country that I have visited over the past six weeks. In Buenos Aires,
people stay out and party all night in discos, particularly on
Wednesdays through Saturdays. However, for the most part there are few
visibly intoxicated individuals roaming the streets. In fact, at least
in the neighborhoods in which we were exposed I felt quite safe at
night. Conversely, Brazil based on Florianopolis, Iguazu Falls, and now Curitiba
is very different. Here young people stay out very late but not quite
as late. Walking the streets at night is uncomforting as well.
Extremely intoxicated individuals can be seen all over the place. In
fact, I watched a guy stand in the middle of the road as if he were
playing chicken with oncoming traffic. As cars would swerve by him he
would throw rocks at them. I was even walking home one night and felt
so uncomfortable that I picked up a rock just in case I was to be
This idea of
two countries so close to one another with such a difference in the
night scene and safety immediately caught me attention. Could this be a
cultural thing or could it have to do with available infrastructures
within each country? The cultural idea stems from in my opinion a
noticeable difference in the style of drinking. Brazilians seem to
drink for the sole purpose of getting drunk. Argentines seem to drink
to relax. I feel that the reason for such a difference is directly tied
to the early inhabitants of each country. Argentina was full of more “sophisticated” individuals, where as Brazil
had a very diverse mix of cultures and African ties connected to
happiness and parties. Another, idea of the different scenes on the
streets between Argentine and Brazil can be seen in the available or noticeable police force. In Buenos Aires, the police would patrol the streets, and there were even police on the corners of many intersections. In Brazil, however, police seem to be scarce. In ten days in Florianopolis,
I saw one police officer. The streets seem to be lawless. For example,
there was a man driving down the road holding a 600 mL bottle of beer
out the window while honking his horn. An ATM window was scattered for
more than a day before anyone arrived to “investigate” the scene as
well. I do understand that Brazil and Argentina
both have laws and do not drink all of the time. I just find it very
interesting that two countries so close together differ in night lives,
public intoxication, and police presence. Maybe the rest of Brazil
is different that the cities that I have visited, but I guess I will
have to wait and see if the nights draw a parallel to the nights of
those cities I have visited.
During one of the last days of class in Buenos Aires, we had a guest speaker from Brazil that gave us a presentation on how in soccer, “Argentina hates to love Brazil and Brazil loves to hate Argentina.” After spending one month in Argentina and now a couple of weeks in Brazil, I have noticed that this idea is most likely true.
In Buenos Aires, people would roam the streets wearing Brazilian jerseys and shirts without much of a conflict. However, in Brazil a conflict would most likely arise. I went with several others to a party at the University in Florianopolis
one of whom was Norberto. He, of course, wore his Argentine jacket to
the party. As we left he was given a really hard time about Argentina
to the point that he finally took it off so no one else would see. I
have also noticed through the media that such a hate and love for each
country exist. Argentina has a series of commercials supporting its team. In no way do these commercials look down on another country or team. In Brazil, I have noticed several different commercials that mock one particular team, Argentina.
One particular commercial is for a local beer known as Skol. The
commercial shows the Brazilian soccer team playing in a game that they
are dominating. The other team is dressed in uniforms that are
obviously supposed to represent Argentina.
The Argentine players are shown sliding into walls, falling down
stairs, and running into the goal post, while the Brazilians dribble
the ball and score. Another incident occurred in Florianopolis.
A local news station came and interviewed several of us for that
night’s show. They asked who would win the World Cup. Norberto, of
course, said Argentina, while JB said possibly Brazil.
Of course, that night when we were watching the local news, we saw
ourselves sitting in the background, and JB’s interview was aired.
Norberto and his Argentina comment, however, was conveniently skipped during the broadcast.
I do not know the real reason for such a difference in attitude and
feeling for each team, I feel that it could possibly have something to
do with the perception of each country toward the other. For
Argentines, Brazilians seem happy and like to have fun. They see the
tone and rhythm of samba as well. The Brazilian soccer is also more
well known around the world. Maybe, the Argentines feel that Brazil has something they do not, and they would like to be one day apart of that feeling. While Brazilians really don’t feel Argentina
has anything to offer, so why like their team? All of these theories
are only my personal questions and ideas. Maybe, one day I will be able
to solve this strange mystery.