Sunday, July 14, 2013

Political Perspective

Well this is my first official written blog and as I sit here trying to think of something enlightening to pour into the minds of those reading this…I realize that I have nothing of the sort to say. But none the less I shall tell you a little about Brazil from my perspective. 

This is a very interesting political time for the country. As you may have seen on the news, riots have been occurring everywhere. be politically correct I shall say protest have been occurring because the word riot elicits thoughts of violence and destruction and that isn’t always the case. When I heard about the protests, the first question asked was “why?”. And to my surprise the answer to this question changed with each person I asked. Apparently it all began with the raising of bus fare. I believe it went from R$3 to R$3,90. At 1st an increase of 90cents didn’t seem like much to protest about, at least not to me, but this was before I was told the socioeconomic conditions of the people in Brazil. From what I’ve been told minimum wage here is about R$650-R$700 a month. Now my rent alone for the one room hostel I’m currently typing this post from is R$700 a month…..a hostel in which I share a bathroom with 4 other people….and that’s cheap in Sao Paulo. Now the majority of Brazilians may make higher than minimum wage but I don’t imagine much more. And when you start to add the numbers it makes sense how a 90cent increase could spark such controversy.

Another interesting bit of knowledge that I’ve acquired while here pertains to the education system. From what I’ve been told public education before college isn’t the best. Those who make it through are in good standards if they know how to read and write. Before college the best education is provided at private schools…VERY EXPENSIVE private schools. As I’ve stated this is true only for pre-college education. At the collegiate level the best schools are public. Now the importance of these few bits of information lies in the fact that to enter a public college (such as Universidad de Sao Paulo) you have to take a test given by the university. This test is very hard and from what I’ve been told  is only offered at certain times throughout the year. Its not uncommon to spend 1-2years studying only for this test..which is once again very expensive. Now those who attended private institutions before college received a better education and are therefore more equipped to take the test then those who attended public schools. Basically the best education is given to those who can afford it. And education is power so those with it end up with a higher status than those who can’t afford it. It correlates with the saying that the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. The unbalanced education system was another reason for the protest and why the majority of the students at the Universidad de Sao Paulo are from well off families....and of fairer skin but thats a subject for another time.

There are many more reason for what’s going on in Brazil at this time but these are the two that stood out to me and made me think. I cannot verify that everything here is 100% correct because im not a citizen and it was simply what I’ve been told. Feel free to research. And in no way, shape, or form am I supporting the protest….just relaying what I’ve heard regarding the reasons behind them and a little of my perspective. Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed..till next time…VIVA VIDA BRAZIL.

P.S: Im loving Brazil!!!

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