Rio Carnival and Samba: All in full swing test mode

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On Sunday, February 11th, Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel will close the first day of Grupo Especial’s parade at Carnival 2018. Expected to enter the Sambódromo at 3:45 AM (already on Monday), the samba school promises to amaze the jury and the audience with a vibrant samba enredo on India and its culture.

Different from the other samba schools, Mocidade was actually born from a local soccer club, the Independente Futebol Clube. It was in 1955 that eleven members of this soccer team decided to found Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, one of the most important samba schools from Rio’s Zona Oeste. Apart from Mocidade, the neighborhood of Padre Miguel is also home for Unidos de Padre Miguel, a Second League’s samba school.

Having debuted in Rio’s carnival in 1956, with a samba enredo on “Navio Negreiro” (Slaveship), iconic poem by Brazilian writer Castro Alves, Mocidade officially starred at Grupo Especial in 1959, when the school’s bateria first presented its daring and unique “paradinha” – an unexpected “break” in the rhythmic cell of the samba school’s drums.

Eclectic, Mocidade has already brought to the “Avenida” (how Sambódromo is also called) the most creative themes, from the Rock in Rio music festival to Cervantes’ novel “Dom Quixote de La Mancha”.

Six times first placed in the Grupo Especial championship, Mocidade’s latest title was conquered last Carnival, with a samba enredo about Marrakesh. In 2017, exceptionally, LIESA (Grupo Especial’s League) considered both Mocidade and Portela samba schools as the big winners.

This Carnival, Mocidade enters the Sapucaí with “Namastê… A Estrela Que Habita em Mim Saúda a Que Existe em Você” (Namaste… The star inside me greets the star inside you), samba enredo paying tribute to India and the hindu mythology. The title alludes to the sanskrit word Namaste, which means “My soul recognizes your soul”.

Composed by Altay Veloso, Paulo César Feital, Zé Glória, J. Giovani, Denilson do Rozario, Carlinhos da Chácara, Alex Saraiça and Léo Peres, the lyrics invite the audience to a playful trip to the diverse Indian cultures. Besides the references to hindu symbols and deities, the samba will also reflect on the Indian influences on the Brazilian culture, from the culinary to Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

“Carnival is the very expression of the Brazilian culture. This homage by Mocidade shows how the relations between India and Brazil are getting stronger. It is a historical moment, and Mocidade will remain forever in the hearts of the Indian people,” says Leonardo Ananda, honorary consul general of India in Brazil, to the media outlet Carnavalesco.

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.