LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||09/FEV/2006 6:46 PM|
É outra história = It is another story
Gramado is a great town for tourists. However, I think living here sucks (é uma droga). There are few things here for the local citizens. For the tourists, yes. For the locals, no.
It's very rare to hear English spoken in this area. Probably 99% of the tourists are Brazilians. Most of the remaining 1% are Argentines or Uruguayans. I often meet people who speak a few words of English, but it's rare to find someone fluent or at least someone with a command of basic English.
I've also been warned that the Gaúcho character does not lend itself to new ideas, clubs, etc. People, I'm told, like to see how things go before joining or becoming involved. Also, many people distrust things that are free. "If it's free, it can't be any good." A few years ago in Curitiba I was invited to speak at a university. I was very surprised when I was asked what my rates were. Rates? I was willing to speak for free. I was told later that it was not wise to do things for free. If I didn't charge, my services would not be valued. Time is another problem. After the meeting had ended last Saturday, two girls showed up and asked if they could participate. A friend who has lived here for about 18 years tells me that this is very common. He once attended a very nice play here. Perhaps ten people were in the audience. Starting and ending times mean little. Different countries, different cultures.
Although I call the February meeting the first "official meeting", the initial attempt was made in December. After contacting local language schools and getting lots of promises, there was only one person at the meeting: yours truly. In January I contacted the local newspaper. I printed almost word for word a text I had given to the paper. In preparation for the March meeting, I plan to go back to the newspaper with another text and to have some posters printed. The posters can be left at local video stores, restaurants, etc.
Let's see how it goes!
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