Rio Favelas MG_9275

Two favelas from different neighborhoods, where some of them grow into giant communities.  The first picture was shot from a samba school of dance courtyard.

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Unfortunately, these slums are also rather problematic areas. The districts are constantly battling drug use, police brutality, and shootings. The latter are particularly dangerous as stray bullets tend to cause major damage. Despite their shaky reputation, the Favelas are still home to working families who simply try to make a living.

Rio Favela MG_9349

Carnival Floats, Rio MG_9297

One cannot visit Rio and not getting a feel for what the Brazilian Carnival represents.  A tour of one of the top Samba Schools in the city was appropriate and I got to learn what made the Samba and Carnival icons of Brazilian national identity.

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Pictures below are remnants of this year parade which are stored in gigantic depot to be reused for the following year with different theme.

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Unknown to many, the truck driver when the float is fully assembled is unable to see the  path he needs to follow at the Sambadrome.  Instinct plays a decisive role.

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Rio de Janeiro City Sight MG_9252

Sambadrome, Rio de Janeiro MG_9147

It is known as the biggest attraction on earth.  Carnaval or Samba Parade held yearly for a week of dancing, singing and partying.  This parade is held at the Sambadrome where twelve of the top samba schools vie for the prestigious championship title every year.  It is a “grand” affair and an event that the Brazilians take very, very seriously.  Like the song says: The people spend the whole year preparing for the festivities and on Ash Wednesday, “todo se ababa” (everything is over.) till the following year.  The parade displays its best dancers, choreographers, costumes, music etc… in a highly orchestrated event with each individual having a particular role to play according to the school theme.  A very elaborate occurence.

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The distance for the parade is about one mile, starting from the end of this road…

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to end to the very explicit structure in the background which mimics a human “derrière”,  referred to as “the Bunda.” It also ressembles the stylish Thong Bikini superbly worn by the Cariocas.

Sambadrome, Rio MG_9147-4

Rio de Janeiro Cathedral MG_9179

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian (Portuguese: Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião) better known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Såo Sebastian do Rio de Janeiro.  The church is dedicated to Saint Sebastien, the patron saint of Rio de Janeiro.

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The cathedral was designed by Edgar Fonseca in a modern style based on Mayan Architectural style of pyramids.

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Rio de Janeiro City Sight MG_9147

Like many places, Rio does not escape the turbulent brouhaha created by overpopulated urban cityscapes.  Traffic is heavy everywhere with a steady flow and the favelas as seen in the background are very congested.

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Some art graffiti on a wall.

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A favela in the background next to an affluent area is a common sight.

Rio de Janeiro City Sight MG_9252