Portuguese Language Blog

What is Ursal? Posted by on Aug 21, 2018 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile

Boa noite, pessoal! Good evening, everyone!

Nothing better to understand a country’s estado atual (current state) than the memes it has been producing. The truth is that, other than having a comic effect, some memes also tend to work as a radar for assuntos do momento (present issues). Brazil’s latest meme is related to something called Ursal, an acronym that went viral after the first presidential debate semana passada (last week).

The Brazilian presidential eleição (election) takes place in October. As a result, news channels have been organizing debates with potential candidates for the position. The first one aired last week and memes came flooding shortly after due to an argument between two candidates over the so-called Ursal, also known as the União das Republiquetas Socialistas da América Latina (Union of the little Socialist Republics of Latin America).

Mas do que se trata? But what is it all about? During the debate, Cabo Daciolo, a deputy, minister and currently a candidate for presidency, inquired his opponent Ciro Gomes about his alleged involvement with Ursal, to which Ciro promptly denied even being aware of what it was and claimed to have no connection to it whatsoever.

It was later discovered that Ursal never really existed, and it was nothing but a piada (joke) made up duas décadas (two decades) ago. The term was first registered about vinte (20) years ago by a sociology teacher named Maria Lucia Victor Barbosa to ironically address a leftist conference called Foro de São Paulo (São Paulo forum) that was held in Cuba and gathered a number of Latin countries to discuss politics in the international scenario. At the occasion, the professor suggested, teasingly, the creation of Ursal to designate the projeto da esquerda (left-wing project), an idea that would aim at unifying all países (countries) in Latin America in order to fortalecer (strengthen) and empower our political and economic structures. Despite being clearly sarcastic, the whole thing got out of control since then and was blown out of proportions.

Although Daciolo intended to bring up the scheme so as to denounce it and expose his opponent, his move backfired and his misinformed comment soon became an internet phenomenon and made the Twitter trending topics in Brazil almost immediately. There are, however, some extremistas de direita (right-wing extremists) who are into conspiracy theories and believe that Ursal could be a plan for communists to take over the country, but the author of the Ursal acronym assures everyone she was just mocking and was very surprised to see that people actually believed it could ever be real.

Assista o vídeo aqui:

This led, as mentioned, to a number of memes playing with the possibility of Ursal. Veja aqui alguns:

The user @assimdissejoao made a mascot playing with the word “Urso” (bear) in Portuguese and “Ursal”.

The account @URSALonline says they are issuing passports

Playing again with the “Urso” (bear) pun, @MidiaNINJA jokes that this is a meeting of the Ursal members.

O que vocês acham? What do you guys think of it?

Boa semana! Good week!

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