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[Portuguese listening/reading practice] – “Por dois segundos (…)” Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile, Culture, Learning, Online Learning, Pronunciation, Sports

[Prática de escuta e leitura em Português]

Oi, gente! Hi everyone!

The time for our listening and reading practice has come! Today’s selected text is called “Por dois segundos eu vi um Brasil que havia superado escravidão dos negros” (For two seconds I saw a Brazil that had overcome slavery) by writer Antônio Prata. It focuses on an episode in the writer’s life in which he finds himself surprised at spotting a group of young black men at a hotel, who later turn out to be a group of soccer players. He then starts to reflect upon Brazil’s troubled past of slavery and its lasting effects on society.

Brazilian writer Antônio Prata
(photo by Uol)

So follow these steps:

  • Listen to the audio first. See if you can identify any words and write them down, if you want to.
  • Scroll down and read the text. You can try reading it out loud to practice your pronunciation and speaking skills, or play the audio again and follow as you listen. Read each sentence carefully and see what you can recognize and understand.
  • Check translated text in italics. What were you able to grasp? Which parts were the most difficult? It’s a good idea to read the text in Portuguese again now that you know its full meaning.

1.  Ouça/ Listen

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

 

 

 

 

 

2. Leia/ Read

Por dois segundos eu vi um Brasil que havia superado escravidão dos negros

Parte 1: Sabe quando você sonha que está no seu quarto, mas não tem nada a ver com o seu quarto, mas sente que é o seu quarto? Foi tipo isso. Saí do elevador do hotel com a certeza de que estava no Brasil –afinal, ao entrar no elevador, eu estava no Brasil–, mas não parecia o Brasil.

Vi, no hall, uns 20 adolescentes bem vestidos, saudáveis, aparelhos nos dentes, cortes de cabelo estilosos; uns conversavam em rodinhas, outros ouviam música em seus fonões de ouvido, estirados nas poltronas com aquela mistura de arrogância e insegurança típica dos 15 anos, quando você pensa que sabe tudo e sabe que não sabe nada ao mesmo tempo. O detalhe que fez eu me sentir dentro e fora do Brasil é que os garotos eram todos negros, pardos, morenos.

Me senti no Brasil porque os meninos tinham a cor e a fisionomia da maioria dos brasileiros. Fora do Brasil porque a maioria dos meninos brasileiros com a cor e a fisionomia daqueles ali não costuma frequentar lobbies de hotéis, bem vestidos, de aparelhos nos dentes, cortes de cabelo estilosos, fones nos ouvidos, estirados nas poltronas. Costumam carregar as malas, limpar os quartos, sim, senhor, não, senhor, obrigado, senhor, disponha, senhor.

Parte 2:  Mais do que as roupas, os fones, os cortes de cabelo, me impressionou a atitude daqueles garotos. Eles não estavam intimidados pelo ambiente. Não adotavam aquela postura servil ou agressiva que se espera de quem “sabe o seu lugar”.

O lugar deles era ali. Pareciam 20 estudantes negros do Santa Cruz durante uma viagem de campo –mas aposto que se procurarmos entre todos os alunos do Santa Cruz, da primeira série ao terceiro colegial, não encontramos 20 negros. (Não é um problema do Santa Cruz. Eu nunca tive um colega negro na minha classe, do maternal ao terceiro colegial, nos colégios particulares em que estudei.)

Meu estranhamento durou uns dois segundos, no terceiro eu vi uma mala esportiva com o escudo do Corinthians e entendi o que estava acontecendo. Aquele era o time sub-17 ou sub-15. Aqueles eram os raros eleitos que por meio do futebol, da música, de outros esportes ou artes em que não se requer educação formal, conseguem ascender socialmente.

Parte 3: Perceber que se tratava de um time de base me deixou triste. Primeiro, porque eram a exceção que confirma a regra –não uma súbita revolução social, econômica e cultural que houvesse acontecido enquanto eu descia do quarto para o térreo.

Segundo, porque boa parte daqueles garotos não vai chegar ao futebol profissional. Após uma década de esforços, de vitórias, de médico bom e dentista bom e lobby de hotel bom e orgulho das próprias conquistas eles vão ficar na borda de algum funil e terão de se adaptar à vida que o país reserva pra quem nasce pobre e preto. Vão bater na trave e sair pela linha de fundo. Pela porta dos fundos.

Por dois segundos eu vi um Brasil que havia superado a escravidão dos negros e o extermínio dos índios e dado chances iguais para todo mundo; não esse país que faz pacto atrás de pacto através dos séculos para manter inalterada a nossa catástrofe. Era um país bonito.

 

 

 

For two seconds I saw a Brazil that had overcome slavery

Part 1: You know when you dream you’re in your room, but it has nothing to do with your room, but you feel it’s your room? It was like that. I left the hotel elevator with the certainty that I was in Brazil – after all, when I got in the elevator, I was in Brazil – but it did not look like Brazil.

I saw, in the lobby, about twenty well-dressed, healthy teenagers, with braces, stylish haircuts; some were chatting in groups, others were listening to music in their big head phones, stretched out in the armchairs with that typical 15-year-old mixture of arrogance and insecurity, when you think you know everything and know you do not know anything at the same time. The detail that made me feel in and out of Brazil is that the boys were all black, brown, dark-skinned.

I felt in Brazil because the boys had the color and physiognomy of most Brazilians. And outside Brazil, because most of the Brazilian boys of that color and physiognomy are not usually seen at hotel lobbies, well-dressed, with braces, stylish haircuts, headphones, stretched out in the armchairs. They usually carry the bags, clean the rooms, yes, sir, no, sir, thank you, sir, at your disposal, sir.

Part 2:  More than the clothes, the headphones, the haircuts, I was struck by the attitude of those boys. They were not intimidated by the environment. They did not adopt that servile or aggressive stance that is expected of those who “know their place.”

Their place was there. They looked like 20 black students from Santa Cruz school* during a field trip – but I bet if we look among all Santa Cruz students from the first grade to the high school, we cannot find 20 black people. (It’s not a Santa Cruz problem.) I never had a black classmate in my class, from kindergart to the my senior year, in the private schools I attended.

My estrangement lasted for a couple of seconds, on the third I saw a sports bag with the Corinthians** crest and I understood what was happening. That was the sub-17 or sub-15 team. Those were the rare elect that through soccer, music, other sports or arts in which no formal education is required, manage to ascend socially.

*note: Santa Cruz is the name of one of the top schools in São Paulo

** Corinthians is a Brazilian soccer team

Part 3: Realizing that it was a soccer team made me sad. First, because they were the exception confirming the rule – not a sudden social, economic, and cultural revolution that had happened as I descended from the room to the ground floor.

Second, because a lot of those kids will not get to professional soccer. After a decade of efforts, victories, good doctors and good dentists and good hotel lobbies and pride of their own achievements they will be on the edge of some funnel and will have to adapt to the life that this country sets aside for those born poor and black. They will hit the crossbar and leave the field. Through the back door.

For two seconds I saw a Brazil that had overcome the slavery of black people and the extermination of the natives and given equal chances to everyone; not this country that makes pact after pact over the centuries to keep our catastrophe unchanged. It was a beautiful country.

You can find the original text here:

http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/colunas/antonioprata/2017/04/1871949-por-dois-segundos-eu-vi-um-brasil-que-havia-superado-escravidao-dos-negros.shtml

Boa semana! Good week!

 

 

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Comments:

  1. Ronnel Abasolo Tiongson:

    I want to learn Portuguese language