FRONT PAGE / POSTS
Brazil Mash-Up: China
by Vladimir Djurovic| Shanghai, China
Saturday, 12 February 2011
tags: asia, culture, global vectors, global/local, making sense
Brazilianness associated with shaking cultural norms – happy spontaneity as an alternative to all-pervasive balance and self-control?
Chinese popular culture connected with Brazil in recent years through football and food. Via the soccer star of mythic standing,Pele. And the speciality Brazil Roast Meat restaurant chain which popped up in the main Chinese cities. This once exotic food experience is now falling out of fashion – with new Brazilian codes in China sharing unstructured, lively and experimental associations. Overall Brazil is now being represented as a place where norms are shaken.
RESIDUAL CODES & SIGNIFIERS
Brazilian Roast Meat restaurant
Samba and dance – informal and relatively unstructured but happy and full of life, with everyone able to join in.
It echoes in the public mind with the tai chi practiced daily by older people in China – which is also happy and open to everyone but, as both are executed in China, feels highly codified and structured compared with samba.
Samba also connects with the idea of Brazilian partying, music, street festivals – echoing with analogous Chinese celebrations (e.g. New Year, with fireworks etc. echoed in Brazilian carnival).
Brazil is also coming to be associated with nature. As code that has not been extensively elaborated as yet but is clearly established. Green nature at the moment – potential to be linked with the drier, essential nature of traditional Chinese medicine (note coverage in other countries of Amazon’s rich diversity as a source of potentially powerful new ingredients/cures.
Evolving traditional Chinese medicine through connection with other cultures & geographies? Would obviously be a major contender.
Otherwise no clearly established emergent codes of Brazilianness in China – just occasional new examples of Brazil’s challenge to received wisdom and convention (e.g. publicity around transsexual Brazilian Givenchy model; new female President, Dilma Rousseff.
REFLECTION – TRAJECTORIES OF CHANGE
A place full of life, spontaneity, diversity:
– Chinese ‘balance’ (Taichi, Qigong ) can become a little too self-directed and dry in the long term to offer a solution to growing frustrations in Chinese society
– Brazil as a new iconic place for exploration, emergence of new social norms
– we could imagine Brazil successfully for aspirational Chinese people as a place to rediscover the spontaneous self and a refreshing change from excessive self-control.
© Vladimir Djurovic 2011