Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Sunday, March 31, 2013


The Taim Ecological Reserve is located in part of the Rio Grande and Santa Vitoria do Palmar municipalities, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The BR-471 road crosses the reserve in the longitudinal direction, where the entrance to the ecological station is located. 
The coastal plateau in Rio Grande do Sul features areas of great value in the environment of the extreme south of Brazil and has been formed as a result of the advance and retreat of the sea. The Taim wetlands contains diverse ecosystems, in lagunal and marine beaches, lagoons, swamps, grasslands and dune ranges and fields.

The Taim Ecological Station, is administered by IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), having an area of 33,815 hectares (83,560 acres). It is located in a narrow land strip between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lagoa Mirim—Merín Lagoon. The objective is to preserve one of the main coastal ecosystems in the country, as well as to allow for scientific studies conducted by institutions and universities. The Ecological Station and nature preserve was created in 1978.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


On talking about Brazilian music anywhere in the world, samba and bossa nova are some of the Brazilian beats remembered and recognized for their originality, contagious rhythm and melody. However, except for the foreign visitors who have been to Brazil, especially to Rio, or have a Brazilian friend, not many people know about one of our musical traditions, which  mixes European and African sounds from the 19th century. The Chorinho is distinctly Brazilian in name and in thematic material. 
The chorinho uses instruments such as flute, clarinet, guitar and a pint of improvisation. The literal translation of “chorinho” would be a “little cry or lament”. Though the songs in this style are a bit nostalgic, they don’t make us cry at all. In fact, when you go to bars and there is a group of chorinho (“roda de choro”) playing, you feel uplifted because of its upbeat sounds.
Chorinho is an instrumental type of music which calls for a lot of mastery on the part of the musician and always carries the possibility of adding his/her touch of creativity and improvisation. Some scholars have compared these chorões, to early American jazz bands, although these choro groups appear before the beginnings of jazz. 
Part of its sound uniqueness is given by an instrument which is typically Brazilian, called “cavaquinho”. “The cavaquinho (pronounced [kavɐˈkiɲu] in Portuguese) is a small string instrument of the European guitar family with four wire or gut strings.” [Wikipedia]
Here is a sample of a chorinho group:
"Brasileirinho", one of the most performed and well-known pieces, is amazingly  performed by Yo Yo Ma:
SOURCE: Pocket Cultures
CHORO JAZZ is a music festival held in Ceará and it has joined the list of the most important musical events of Brazil and the world, part of the European Forum Of Worldwide Music Festivals. To promote the 2012 edition of this Festival, Íntegra, an advertising agency, created "Seashell jazz": seashells equipped with a specially produced mini sound system. Scattered alongside the main and busiest beaches of Fortaleza/CE, one of the places where the event takes place, the shells arose the curiosity of passers by. By doing the typical gesture of one who puts the shell in the ear to listen to the noise of the sea, people were surprised by the sound that is part of the Festival program.
Already getting into it? Check out these valuable recommendations:

Thursday, March 14, 2013


The millions of sharks killed every year to feed the vast appetite for shark-fin soup in Asia now have greater protection, after the 178 nations at the world's biggest wildlife summit voted to crack down on the trade.
Those fishing for oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and three species of hammerhead shark will now require strictly controlled permits to export the fins. The move is a landmark moment for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) because many previous attempts to protect marine species – including these sharks – have failed, largely due to opposition from Japan and China. Those nations argued other bodies have responsibility for fisheries, but their opponents, including the EU, US and Brazil, said Cites is far more effective and conservation campaigners were delighted. 
Manta rays,  known by divers as friendly and inquisitive gentle giants with a seven-metre wingspan, got new protection against exports at the Cites summit, backed by 80% of the voting nations. They are easy to catch but extremely slow to reproduce, delivering just one pup every two to five years. Their populations are being devastated off Sri Lanka and Indonesia to feed a newly created Chinese medicine market in which their gill plates, used to filter food from the ocean, are sold as a purifying tonic. Around 5,000 a year are killed, generating $5m for traders, but where protected they bring in $140m from tourism.
Sharks are highly sought after but are slow to mature and have few offspring, making them extremely vulnerable to overfishing. The culling of 1 million oceanic whitetip sharks every year has resulted, for example, in its Pacific population crashing by 93% between 1995 and 2010. Today the species was given protection in a close vote that just achieved the two-thirds majority required.

Friday, March 8, 2013


The world's largest wetland, the Pantanal in South America, is a paradise for wildlife. Its annual cycles of flooding and drought create a strikingly beautiful and rich ecosystem. It is a haven for almost 5,000 species of animals and plants, and attracts about a million tourists a year – joining the eight million people who live there. The region's 'ecosystems services', such as irrigation of agriculture and wildlife tourism, have been valued at $112bn a year.

Living in the immense area of Pantanal with its adversities, is the native man of the region: the pantaneiro. He is known as peão, integrated with everything around, he knows that all the actions of nature, inundations and dry season, are responsible for the richness and life of Pantanal. The area has been used for cattle farming for decades. Pantaneiro ‘cowboys’ and their cattle herds have a history of living in harmony with the Pantanal wildlife.

The long distances and the difficult access to other regions have made the pantaneiro man used to isolation and loneliness. Once in a while the pantaneiro´s solitude is broken when a group of pantaneiros get together to herd cattle, sometimes 250,000 heads, or when they participate in the traditional parties in the neighboring farms. Herding  cattle can make days turn into weeks as the men travel by horse, taking thousands of cattle to dry pastures so they can eat, or escape flooded areas.
After leaving the animals by themselves for a few months, the peão brings them back to their original pastures or takes them to be sold in a nearby city. This kind of trip resembles American cowboys´ journeys through the Middle West, but in this case, the travelers traverse a wetland area. In that isolated region the most usual means of transport is the pantaneiro horse, resistant to work inside the water, and crafts of varied sizes and types.

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