Blog Linguagem: 1st Anniversary. Jan 2015: 100% Growth!


We broke all our records in Jan 2015 with a 100% growth.  Join us now: http://www.jorgesette.com

LINGUAGEM, MARKETING, SALES TRAINING, CULTURE, ART

100% GROWTH

100% GROWTH

 

Our main customers. Where do they come from?

Our main customers. Where do they come from?

 

 

Click on the link below to check out our latest stats in PDF format.

Blog LINGUAGEM- First Anniversary

 

Au revoir

 

Jorge Sette.

OUR BLOG “LINGUAGEM” HAS HAD A GREAT FIRST YEAR!


HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE.

Please find below some official stats sent by wordpress.com on the blog LINGUAGEM. We’ve had a great first year. Thanks for the support and we will back stronger than ever in 2015.

BLOG LINGUAGEM: 2014 official stats

BLOG LINGUAGEM: 2014 official stats

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 8.48.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 8.52.35 PM

 

Au revoir

Jorge Sette.

Four Books You Should Read to Understand Brazil


Congratulations, you got a new job. You will be relocated to Rio? How exciting.  How did you manage to grab such an interesting post? You must have developed quite sophisticated “jeitinho” skills (explained in the paragraph on Brazil on the Rise, below) to deserve this promotion. Or you must know a lot about Brazil and speak good Portuguese. Or maybe you are just the only person who had the availability to move to this country. Whatever the reason,  or despite how much you might already know about Brazil, I would strongly recommend you read the books listed below to get a crash course in the country. They are all fun to read, all available in English (some in Portuguese) and will each contribute in its own way as a piece to complete the puzzle.

I’m Brazilian myself, spent most of my life here, and still profited a lot from reading these texts. Except for the last one (Backlands, Os Sertões), all the others were written by non-Brazilians, which adds to their interest, as they give us a foreign perspective on topics we are too accustomed to or, sometimes, too close to in order to appreciate their connotations and idiosyncrasies.

Enough of introductory talk, let’s get to the books:

Baía de Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro

Baía de Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro

1.The Brazilians, by Joseph Page (Da carp Press, 1995). This is one of my favorites. It’s visibly written by someone who loves the country, and despite its very objective, and sometimes hurtful, analysis, makes you feel appreciated and liked as a native. Besides, it covers many different aspects of the culture and history of the country, including the national religions and the nuances of the current power structure, all written in a light and pleasant language. I particularly liked the way it analyzes the way the different social classes interact with each other in Brazil, with all the hypocrisy and paternalism that underlies these brutal relationships. However, the book was written way before the passing of a new set of Constitutional amendments (PEC 478 – known as PEC das domésticas) in 2013, regulating  the working  life of the “empregadas domésticas” (Live-in maids; basically a very typical Brazilian institution), and therefore broadening the professional rights of these underpaid and exploited workers more than 100 years after the abolition of slavery took place in the country. Another very interesting chapter titled In Search of What makes Brazilians  Brazilian focuses not only predictably on football, but also on the very popular Rede Globo telenovelas (tv soap operas) which had their golden age in the late seventies and eighties (when there was little to zero competition from paid television, stream video or video recorders), but which, to this day, still attract a great audience and commands a lot of the conversation on the social media. Especially the soap opera that occupies the prime time slot around 9:00 pm at any time of the year, which more recently has come to incorporate themes which are still considered taboos in the country,  such as homosexuality and physical disability.

2.Brazil on the Rise, The Story of a Country Transformed, by Larry Rother, (Palgrave, Macmillan, 2010).  Written around the time when the now infamous cover of the magazine THE ECONOMIST showed an illustration of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio taking off to the skies as a potent rocket on its way to a future of fully developmental glory and economic power, the book gives us the historical and economical background necessary to understand how we got to where we were by the end of the two mandates of the Labor Party under president Luís Inácio da Silva (Lula). It focuses on the economic and political aspects and the obstacles the country had to overcome on its path towards democracy and to arrive at the reasonable level of  economic stability we had some 4 years ago. Of course, things are not looking now as great as when that issue of THE ECONOMIST came out, but corrections are being made along the way and I firmly believe we will realize the bright potential we have been predicting for the past 500 years! The author also defines what is commonly known as “jeitinho (diminutive for “jeito”) brasileiro”: “In its most liberal sense, to have a “jeito” is to be adroit at something or to have an aptitude, knack or talent. It can also mean to fix things, but it’s usually use figuratively to describe the skill required to maneuver around the laws or social conventions that prevent you from achieving an objective.”  Having lived abroad, and worked for a number of multinational companies, I know that every nation has its own “jeitinho”: human nature is basically the same, despite their superficially different ways of bypassing rules and laws to get what they want. But I agree Brazilians may have a sexier way of doing this!

3. Futebol Nation: A Footballing History of Brazil, by David Goldblatt (Penguin, 2014). The English writer does not sound very sympathetic to the country and its people. The writing is a cold and dispassionate account of the importance football has grown to have in Brazil since its introduction in the early years of the 20th century and its ramifications through the history of the country. Although it became clear after the last World Cup that football seems to have lost a lot of its importance to Brazilians – given the sensible and ironic way most of the population behaved after the historic loss to Germany with a scoreline of 7×1, the book makes it clear that, especially from the 50s to the 90s, football was Brazilians’s greatest source of pride. It is also evident how strongly we identified the values of the nation with this foreign sport, allowing  and making it easy for politicians to tap into this people’s naive passion to advance their own agendas. Although the book does not take into account the World Cup of 2014, it covers the June 2013 social unrest and popular demonstrations directed mainly against the realization of the overbudgeted upcoming event. All in all, it’s a very interesting read, even for those who are not really into the sport.

4. Backlands: The Canudos Campaign, by Euclides da Cunha (Penguin Classics, 2010). Considered one of the most important books of the Brazilian canon, this text is a journalistic account of the conflict of Canudos – supposedly a civil war between monarchists and republicans at the end of the nineteenth century – which took place in the arid and difficult geographic region known as the backlands in the interior of Bahia. The official story says that a group of backlanders (sertanejos), led by a supposedly religious fanatic, Antônio Conselheiro, the Counselor, built up a settlement the size of town, constituted of thousands of huts forming a kind of overcrowded slum spreading over the valleys and hills of the region. The book reads like a novel, once you manage to get through the slow and dragging geological, topographical and climactic minutiae used to describe the region in the first couple of chapters. Then it finally gets to the action, depicting with cinematographic vigor the 4 military incursions into the settlement of Canudos, defended fiercely by the backlanders (sertanejos e jagunços, the latter considered bandits infiltrated in the community). Although in most of part of the text, the author seems to take and condone the official version of the story, in many parts he condemns the conflict as a crime against humanity, pontificating against the extreme and primitive violence against a people who were not given the same chances of achieving the level of civilization that the coastal populations of Brazil had reached at the time. Also, the reader needs to take into account the context in which the book was written, a time when pseudoscientific theories combining  determinism,  social darwinism and concepts of superior and inferior races were prevalent among intellectuals of the day.

I guess these 4 books will give newcomers enough introductory background and information on the beautiful and diverse country I’m lucky to live in. Welcome, good luck with your new job, and don’t forget to rate and comment on this post.

Au revoir

Jorge Sette.

Life, Disappointments and Brazilian Football


I’ve just finished reading a very interesting book which tries to investigate all the emotional investment Brazilians put in football and how the game seems to shape our culture and concept of nation (Futebol Nation: A Footballing History of Brazil, by David Goldblatt). The writer chose to leave Futebol written in Portuguese for obvious reasons.

It’s very well written and helps us understand not only how the game affects Brazilians but also discusses the history of the country in the light of the popular game during the more than 100 years since football was brought to São Paulo by Charles Miller at the end of the 19th century.

Futebol Nation: A Footballing History of Brazil, by David Goldblatt

Futebol Nation: A Footballing History of Brazil, by David Goldblatt

 

Although the English writer could have used a little more sympathy in his analysis of my country and its people, we can’t deny the writing is crisp and precise, despite the lack of warmth. He is visibly not a lover or even an admirer of Brazil, unlike other foreign writers (such as Joseph A. Page, who wrote the fantastic The Brazilians), who, despite reporting on our culture and customs from a distant and objective perspective, showed a lot of understanding and warmth towards our people.

I finished reading the book right before the historic loss of the Brazilian team against Germany last Tuesday, with an astounding result of 7-1, in the semi-finals of the World Cup of 2014, which embarrassed even the polite German players, who sounded uncomfortable explaining their devastating victory in front of the TV cameras.

Despite the catastrophic result, it felt to me nothing like the 3 goals the iconic Italian player Paolo Rossi struck against us in 1982. At that time, I was so desolate I could hardly concentrate on studying for my final exams, which would take place a few days afterwards. This was my lowest point in terms of how I felt about being beaten in football, or even in life for that matter. Just like me, the whole country mourned so deeply you would suspect someone in their families had died. It made me stronger.

What strikes me as weird is the total irrationality of these feelings of loss and even despair most of us still share whenever the Brazilian National Team lose an important match in a World Cup. We, torcedores, have no responsibility whatsoever for the outcome. We did not take part in any decisions; we did not practice or train; most of us never had any personal contact with the players in the field. All we did was invest all the intensity of our emotion and good will in the event, rooting for the team as if they were our sons, brothers or fathers. We did our part, and very well too. And all for free. Worse: some of us even spent little fortunes on all the munitions of war – such as game tickets, horns, T-shirts, confetti, hats and paper streams to celebrate. What else is expected from us? Why do we feel such emptiness, humiliation and guilt?

In the aftermath of every one of these disasters, some of us feel like it’s not possible to carry on living the way we did before. Some young people – obviously the more emotionally unstable ones – even try to hurt or kill themselves.

To make matters worse, it’s not always common to hear comforting words from the players and coach – the only ones responsible for the loss after all. They usually respond defensively and smugly to these mistakes. Yesterday, however, I was pleasantly surprised and moved to hear the player David Luiz express in tears that all he wanted from the Cup was to make his people happy. That sounded really generous and very genuine. Thanks!

Brazilians need to learn not to get so invested and involved in something they have no direct responsibility for. The outcomes of a football match are totally out of the hands of the audience, so why care so much? We need to learn to watch it more like a show. A very exciting one, I should concede, but nothing more than that.

I also felt deeply embarrassed when Britney Spears showed up overweight and disoriented, singing an dancing in the MTV awards ceremony of 2007, during a bad spell in her career. Similarly, James Franco, an actor who I deeply admire for his performances, talent and strong political positions, did not escape from making a fool of himself in front of an audience of millions as one of the hosts in the ACADEMY AWARDS a couple of years ago. Brazilians need to learn to watch football matches with the same kind of detachment and coldness, appreciating the game for its art and deployment of physical skills.

Brazil should not be a synonym for football. We are not Felipão, Julio César, Fred or even the sympathetic David Luiz. They do not represent us. They are artists and athletes who should be putting on better and more professional performances out of respect for their public, given the astronomic salaries they receive to entertain us.

Forget about the World Cup, get on with your life and, if possible, turn the spotlight onto you. Shine on.

Au revoir

Jorge Sette.