Before you even begin reading this, be aware that this will probably be a long post in which I'll make a short dissertation about my point of view in patriotism in my own country (or something along those lines).
   So, this post will probably be a little different from what I normally post here. And to better understand it you'll need to remember/know that I'm a Brazilian guy so have that in mind in case you didn't know or forgot (because I believe I already told this on some other post but whatever).
   Anyway. I was walking through the internet and I bumped into another blog (from Brazil) that had a post asking "Why can't we be patriots?". Now, this question is directed to Brazilians.
   I read it wondering the same thing, after all, I'm not really patriot or anything near that and even though I had my guesses I thought it would be nice to see another point of view.
   The first thing that comes through my mind when I think about this topic is "What the hell is a Brazilian"? You may laugh when I say this but this question has no answers. Theorists tried to answer it but there's still no satisfying answer. When you think about, I don't know, Germany as an example, what is a German? What comes to your mind when I say German? Or Russian? Or Chinese? Or African (though Africa is not a country)? Probably a stereotype of each country's citizens comes to your mind. Tall, light eyes and blonde hair for Germans and Russians, shorter with straight dark hair for Chinese and tall, short hair and dark skin for Africans. Right?
   But what comes to your mind when I say Brazilian? Probably soccer, carnival and woman with almost no clothes. Do you have a stereotype of a Brazilian citizen? Probably not but don't worry, you're not the only one. Not even Brazilians have such stereotypical image of themselves because it simply does not exist. Brazil is a pretty huge country with an incredible variety of ethnics and each region of this country has it's own characteristics. As an example, southern regions was mainly colonizes by Europeans so the majority resembles Europeans while the northern regions was mainly colonized by Afro-descendants so the majority resembles Africans.
    What does this means? That visually speaking there's no such a thing as a Brazilian typical citizen. So what makes us look at each other and identify as compatriots? The language? Could be but I doubt because each region has it's own variation of the language and you can bet that people from south find it funny and sometimes hard to understand what people from north are talking and vice-verse. Not that communication is not possible, far from that, but having an interpreter would make things much easier (as there are variations of vocabulary and other stuffs). And there are some other countries in which Portuguese is the official language but we don't see them as compatriots so I think it's safe to say that language is not the bonding factor.
    So what is it? What does it means to be "Brazilian"? To be born here? Simply as that? What about those who are born here but raised elsewhere? For instance, a foreign couple comes here during their vacations and their baby is born here. Obviously they won't leave their child here, they'll raise in their own country and the baby won't be seem as a Brazilian nor the baby will think of being one. Is "Brazilian" something merely on the system?
    One theorist once answered this question by saying that "Brazilians are no-one and this no-oneness is the bonding factor". I don't know if it's understandable since I it was not easy to translate but it simply means that Brazilians don't have a typical characteristic that mark them and this lack of characteristic is what make them recognize themselves as equals. This is a pretty good answer, I won't deny, and is probably the best answer I have heard about but I still feel that this is incomplete.
    So we have a country that is fairly young and is made of a huge variety of ethnics which makes us not having a marking characteristic. Could this be a reason for us not being patriots? Deep inside we don't recognize ourselves as part of the country so we don't feel the impulse of defending it's image? Could this be an excuse? Hell no! Why? Simply because there's even a nameless country that is extremely patriot and is in the same historical situation as us. Which country is it? Can you guess?
   Yes, that's right, I'm talking about the USA. Nameless because United State of America is not a name of a country, come on! But this is not my point here, the point is that USA is as young as Brazil, as huge as Brazil and had lots of immigrations too (though I don't know which country had more). Ok, maybe when you think about USA citizens the image of a fat person eating at McDs comes to your mind but this is a pretty pejorative image and I don't think they see themselves like that so I find it hard to believe that this image is their bonding factor.
   I believe that if you ask a USA citizens (or simply Americans as the world is used to call them despite the fact that American means people from America, which includes Brazil, Mexico, Cuba and many others) they'll have an answer for what it means to be a USA citizens (damn, they don't even have a proper way to call themselves like the other countries because, like I said, Americans is way too broad so, in theory, they're not the only Americans, but they're more patriot than many other countries) but we, Brazilians, can't simply take their answer and use it to answer our question.
    The blog I read was saying that the problem of the patriotism in Brazilians is a political matter and not social. This is also a good approach. Why? Well, if you get to know every scandal in our political history from since this country was colonized till...today, August 11th, you'll probably wonder what the hell we are doing. From militarist dictation to impeachment of the president and the return of this president to the political scenery it makes you wonder. Sure, things from the past may not cause much impact since we were in a different historical context and all that but there are so many scandal that would make any one feeling ashamed.
    One of our presidents suffered an impeachment and was forced to stay away from the political life for I don't know how many years, 16 I believe, and now, after all this time, he's back and got elected as senator. Now, how can the same population that provoked the impeachment of one person elect him again, after 16 years? Is it that we have a bad memory? Is it that we believe he redeemed himself? Is it that we believe that he should have another chance? Damn, for him to suffer an impeachment something he must have made something really bad right? And is something of such degree easily forgiven? And by the majority? Hell, I wonder what's going on. Maybe it is that we're easily buyable. Another big scandal regarding senators is the one that's affecting the president of the senate. The PRESIDENT! The highest chair, the one who SHOULD be the example and the one who SHOULD keep the house working in order is being accused of corruption, gang formation and a few other things that people wonder how he could have done. Surely he denies every accusation arguing that he is an example, that he, who have been elected as the President of the Senate three times and was also the President of the Republic once, would never do something illicit. Obviously not many are believing but the population simply does not have enough conscience to fight against it. The population here simply is outnumbered and underpowered, even though we're extremely populated country. Many don't care about politics. And why is that? Because there's already this image that every politic is some stupid a**h**e who just wants to get rich easily. It's pretty common to say that if you want to be rich in Brazil you have three options, becoming a pagode singer (a kind of music), a soccer player or a politician.
   We're too much accommodated and we prefer to ignore the problems than fighting. The ones who fought against the dictatorship and also caused the impeachment of the president are already old. The new generation is damn lazy. And yes, I am part of this new generation and yes, I AM damn lazy. The conscience of number is long gone.
   Can we be proud of a country like this? Can someone who sees so much corruption and scandal in their own house be proud it being their home? I find it hard. And this is not everything, there are many other points that I left out like the government manipulating data to increase the country's position in those international rankings of development, for instance. Yes, here in the public educational system the kids can't repeat a year, it's a law. They must keep going even if they know nothing so it's not that uncommon to see people in their 9th grade that can't even read properly. We're also a country that have no habit of reading, yes, average must be one book a year or less while in Europe it's probably six or more. Main reason? I don't know but you can bet that the price of the books is a good reason for this situation. This is also one of the most bureaucratic countries in the world.
    With so much negative feedback it's not hard to understand why we're not patriots. Can someone be in such a situation? "Love your country and protect it despite it not giving you back a thing"? I'm sorry but I simply can't buy that one.
   Sure, there are times when the country gets united and fights for one common passion. Soccer World Cup! Wow! Such a great event! Everybody loves soccer, everybody loves Brazilian soccer players, the best soccer in the world. Yeah, whatever. Soccer, in my point of view, is a great way to dissolve the conscience of number from population making it harder for them to become a strong unit from which the govern should be afraid of. So many fights between organized fans and a fast look into history makes me believe in that. Anyway, I'm not going to keep this way because I'll diverge too much from the main theme but I think it's interesting to add here is that in this country the population is afraid of the government while in many other the government is afraid of the population. Take a look at France, for instance, and you'll understand what I mean.
    Besides that, when is it that the population from this country fights for a common passion? Olympic Games? F-1? International Volleyball Circuit? Stock Car? Yeah, nothing really...noble or anything if you know what I mean. One thing is cheering that Olympic athlete that is "representing" your country another thing is boo-ing the politicians because they raise their salaries in 50% every once in a while but are reluctant to raise 0,1% of the minimum wage of the country.
   Now some may say that there are worse countries in the world and that Brazil is not the bottom of the hole and all that stuff. Maybe it isn't. Now, it surely isn't the worst nor the best. But what difference it makes? Saying that "there are people in worst situation than you" makes any difference in my own situation? If I break one leg and someone else breaks two legs right in front of me, will my pain vanish because of that? I don't think so. The same goes for the country situation.
    I see this phrase "there are countries in worst situations" as "hell, you're not the worst so why are you complaining? There are others in worst situation and not all of them are complaining. Stop whining and live your life". Just because I'm not in the bottom of the list I shouldn't complain? Just because I'm not the worst I can't try to become better? It's like saying that, in a race, the one who gets in second should be happy because he was not the last one and should just keep it that way and shouldn't bother trying to win the next race. It's the same as saying that, in that same race, only the last place have the right to complain. Does it makes any sense? It surely doesn't for me.

    Oh well, this is already pretty long (3 pages in open office writer). And what's the conclusion from this all? We're not patriots, I'm not patriot and I feel that we don't care about it and I surely don't care. Being a Japanese descendant may be one extra reason for me not being so patriot what I wrote in this post may also contribute. The fact that there are many ethnics may be a factor that made us more individualists but can this be the only reason? I don't think so.
  The original text I used as a base for this post is right here though I doubt it'll make any difference because it's in Portuguese and I believe that there aren't many Portuguese speakers visiting my blog.
   There are some comments on the blog (also comments in Portuguese, obvious) that points out other points of view that I didn't include in my own post. Maybe in the future I'll do that but not now.

Thank you for reading

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