Friday, July 9, 2010

Brazil's Time in the Sun - The New Decade

I'm not sure what we will eventually call the decade we're just embarking on - it's still not clear if we left "The Noughties" or "The Noughts" or something else last New Year's Eve at midnight. Will it be "The Teens"? I kind of hope not, as that has an unmistakable adolescent ring about it. Whatever the nickname turns out to be for the decade from 2010 to 2019 (or does the decade run from 2011 to 2020?) I'm convinced that it will be decade in which Brazil takes center place on the world stage. This rapidly growing country of 195 million people is already the Latin American economic powerhouse, and economists predict that by the end of the decade Brazil will have the world's fifth-largest economy.

Brazil has long been thought of, if it's been thought of at all, outside of Latin America as a beautiful, sexy but dangerous country full of beaches, gorgeous inhabitants and poverty. Although there is some basis to that stereotype, the reality of Brazil and it's position in the world has changed dramatically in the recent past, and it can no longer be reduced to a few postcard views and sensational newsclips in the eyes of the world.

With the end of the 2010 World Cup this weekend in Africa, Brazil is already looking ahead to the first of two big worldwide showcases for Brazil in this decade, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in 12 cities in Brazil from June 13 to July 13, 2014. Since Brazil's team has already been defeated at this year's edition, local coverage has already begun to emphasize the next World Cup here in Brazil. Of course there are already TV commercials from World Cup sponsors, and the TV networks are full of stories of the challenges facing the organizing committee. And yesterday in Johannesburg, in a splashy public ceremony Brazil officially started its World Cup celebrations with a concert by well-known Brazilian musical artists, a speech by Brazil's overwhelmingly popular president, Lula, and the unveiling of the official logo for the 2014 games, pictured at right. The logo is a stylized version of the World Cup itself, in Brazil's colors of yellow and green with the year 2014 written in red.

Of course, the 2014 World Cup is only the first of two huge international sporting events during the decade. In 2016 Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympic Games, the first time they've been held in South America.

As the spotlight shines on Brazil in the lead-up to these events, I'm convinced there will be international appeal for all things Brazilian - music, film, fashion, sports and of course food. I hope that during the next while, Flavors of Brazil can do its own tiny bit to make the culture of this marvelous country more well known thoughout the world. I can't wait, it's going to be a great decade.

1 comment:

  1. Hey James,
    Nice article and I have to agree that Brazil is going to be getting a lot of attention over the next 6 years. I just hope that people take the time to realise there's a lot more to the place than just samba and football!

    I am the editor of a site about South American music and culture - Sounds and Colours. If you ever feel like writing something about Brazilian food or the such like, and getting a bit of extra publicity, please give me a shout!