Carnival faces criticism from Church

( dpa ) - For the next few days during Carnival, Silvia wants to know nothing about the usual bad news, choosing like many Brazilians to focus on the festivities.

Many in Brazil define Carnival as "a state of mind," a celebration of excess, where rhythm and sequins bring people out of their mostly lacklustre and often difficult daily lives and into a collective frenzy of colour and joy.

"I have already paid for half the costume," says the 24-year-old call centre worker said.

Silvia, a resident of a poor neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro, has to put together more than 1,000 dollars - twice her monthly wage - for her Carnival finery. But, like millions of Brazilians, she does not mind the expense, saying Carnival makes up for a lot of the troubles of everyday life.

As anthropologist Roberto Da Matta explains, Brazilians can experience "a fantastic and utopian abstraction from poverty, work, obligations, sins and tasks" during the celebrations.

In Rio and other cities raucous celebrations last all day and all night, with crowded street partying that involves dancing, drinking and frequent flirting with strangers to accompany formal parades.

The Catholic Church is not comfortable with the excess, casual sex and ties to violence.

"Luxury and waste collide with the prevailing poverty," Rio Archbishop Eugenio Sales wrote in the daily O Globo.

The squandered money could be put to better use if it went towards helping abandoned street children or the country's needy public hospitals, Sales said.

The 14 samba schools set to take part late Saturday and Sunday in the world-famous Rio Carnival parades receive from the government alone a record 7.4 million dollars. And sponsors add millions more.

Police were investigating the possibility that an infamous mafia boss helped compose the music for several samba groups. And it is hardly a secret in Rio that the barons of illegal gambling, known as "bicheiros," who often settle their differences with firearms, have for decades been the main financial supporters of samba schools.

This year, Carnival will also be overshadowed by a severe security crisis. Rio's police commander was dismissed Tuesday, leading more than 40 high-ranking officers to resign in protest.

Security Secretary Jose Beltrame stressed that the local crowds and some 700,000 foreigner visitors expected in the city have nothing to fear.

But at least six people were killed Wednesday in a police operation in the "favelas" (slums) of Mangueira and Jacarezinho, two strongholds of the samba schools. Violence is an everyday problem in Rio de Janeiro with 17 people murdered each day in the state.

However, it it is not crime that worries officials. The licentiousness of the Carnival, which grows from year to year, made even Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva intervene.

Lula called upon Brazilians to remain sensible over the celebrations, and warned them against alcohol abuse in particular. Brazilian traffic, which is generally chaotic anyway, claims numerous victims over Carnival.

Several NGOs claimed there would be insufficient condoms to go around, although Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao countered that the central government alone will distribute some 20 million free condoms over Carnival - a 77 per cent increase over the 2007 figure.

In the north-eastern city of Recife, a court allowed municipal authorities to distribute the morning-after pill for free during the celebrations. Earlier, the Catholic Church had requested a ban on the distribution, calling it is an abortive medication that promotes a culture of sex and violence.

Beyond the controversies, the Rio Carnival is set to offer the traditional exposure of naked skin, colourful costumes and samba music, in the presence of rich and famous people from around the world.

The floats will be watched by 90,000 spectators at the Sambodromo stadium, while millions follow the parades on television at home and in bars. On the 800-metre route, 4,000 dancers will parade and every samba school will have 80 minutes to present its allegoric float. The parade will end after sunrise.

The Brazilian Carnival was born in the 17th century, when slaves were granted the right to celebrate at their own leisure for a couple of days each year and to criticize their masters in public in their songs in a bid to prevent dreaded uprisings.

Today, this has not changed much.

"For as long as the Carnival exists, there will be no revolution in Brazil," Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa has said.

Promise to provide countries with necessary vaccines within COVAX initiative is not fulfilled - State Agency of Medical Insurance
Promise to provide countries with necessary vaccines within COVAX initiative is not fulfilled - State Agency of Medical Insurance
Turkish specialists together with Azerbaijan’s AzTV to shoot film in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Turkish specialists together with Azerbaijan’s AzTV to shoot film in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Azerbaijan, Tajikistan discuss development of tourism co-op
Azerbaijan, Tajikistan discuss development of tourism co-op
Loading Bars
Saudi Arabia to end its voluntary oil production cut
Israel eyes scaling up co-op with Uzbekistan to save Aral Sea
Кazakh Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender to buy construction materials
Azerbaijan reveals latest data on sales through Azexport portal
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for emergency diesel generator via tender
Brent price still vulnerable to any disappointments around global vaccinations
Iran issues data on necessary commodities released from its customs
Pakistani military delegation in Azerbaijan on official visit
Turkey's revenues from exporting cars to Israel down
Turkey reveals number of ships received at Gemlik port in Jan. 2021
Turkey's exports to OIC countries on the rise
Azerbaijani currency rates for March 3
Accreditation of national media for F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2021 begins
Iran's Fereydonkenar Port joins Caspian Sea transportation network
Number of coronavirus cases in Uzbekistan passes 80,000
Oil rises on demand hopes after days of sell-off
Bulgarian companies could participate in recovery projects in Azerbaijan's liberated lands - Ambassador (INTERVIEW)
Finance minister Sunak to promise 'whatever it takes' in new COVID budget plan
Turkish auto sales grow 24.2% in February
Kyrgyzstan introduces temporary ban on export of oil products
EIB, European Council presidents open new EU premises in Georgia
Iran ready to export medical technologies to Syria
Hungary interested in including Azerbaijani gas in country's future energy mix - ambassador (INTERVIEW)
ExxonMobil to cut 7% of its workforce in Singapore
2021 Emmy Awards to be held in September
Ireland to re-establish diplomatic presence in Iran
Azerbaijan to contribute to development of CE work on organizing AI security
Biden takes steps to help Merck boost Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine supply
US Department of Commerce blacklists 14 entities in Russia, Germany, Switzerland
Chinese embassy opposes Indian media's allegation on cyberattacks
OPEC sees positive oil market outlook, continued downside risks
Iran's CBI discloses number and value of exchanged checks
Italian Parliament demands provision of maps of mined areas of Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
AZAL Announces Conditions for Rebooking Tickets for Flights Canceled due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Singapore's manufacturing PMI falls to 50.5 in February
Promise to provide countries with necessary vaccines within COVAX initiative is not fulfilled - State Agency of Medical Insurance
Parliament head to support all joint efforts for new constitution
Georgian President appreciates EU support
Macron to hold phone talk with Iranian counterpart over JCPOA
OECD recommends Georgia to support land registration reform for increasing FDI-SME linkages
Turkmenistan reveals schedule of intercity buses
Azerbaijan's State Tax Service registers Fuzuli Airport LLC
Azerbaijan felt Turkey's support not only during Karabakh war but throughout history - Minister
Int’l Model Non-Aligned Movement Simulation Exercise underway - Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry
Azerbaijan, Germany interested in increasing mutual trade turnover - Deputy minister
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on March 3
Azerbaijani State Agency of Automobile Roads talks about repair and construction on roads
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry places medium-term bonds at auction
Azerbaijan shows footage from Ucbulag village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Georgia to receive first doses of COVID-19 vaccine via Covax platform in February
Irrigation systems to be put into operation in Iran’s agricultural sector
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry shares updated list of martyred servicemen in Second Karabakh War
Larization of loans increase in Georgia
Georgian AgroZone products to be exported abroad from Kutaisi Airport
Turkish specialists together with Azerbaijan’s AzTV to shoot film in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Ro-Pax ferry vessel commissioned by Azerbaijan's president - video report
Azerbaijani winemakers’ production down in 2020
Azerbaijan, Tajikistan discuss development of tourism co-op
Georgia’s banking sector begins year with profit
France uses only quarter of Astrazeneca vaccine doses
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for electric actuator via tender
Kazakhstan identifies priority tasks to develop agriculture by 2025
Georgian Ministry of Finance sees decrease in mobilized income tax
Likelihood of interest rate decrease in Azerbaijan for 2021 seems minimal - Unicapital
Azerbaijan's AzNET segment neutralizes more phishing attacks in Jan.2021
Azerbaijan's new borrowings not to raise debt burden - Gazprombank
Azerbaijan studying Turkey's experience to strengthen institution of primary health care (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan talk big potential for co-op in agriculture
Hertz set to ride out of bankruptcy with $4.2 billion from investment firms
Money transfers via int'l payment systems down in Kazakhstan
Azercell obtains yet another award on customer experience management
German companies may take part in restoring Azerbaijan's liberated lands - ambassador
Excavation of well in Iran's Ahvaz oil field launched
Uzbekistan considers resuming air communication with Russia
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling in Iran
Kazakhstan, Georgia resume mutual flights as COVID-19 restrictions lifted
Uzbekistan eyes expanding mutually beneficial relations with foreign partners
Azerbaijan and Germany to continue co-op on improving qualifications of managers
Generation data of Iran's Shahid Rajaee TPP announced
Lithuania supports subsidizing renewable energy projects in Georgia
Demand for pick-up trucks in Azerbaijan may increase - expert
Kazakhstan boosts agriculture output, sets up tasks for sector's dev't
Turkey issues Jan. 2021 data on passenger traffic at Istanbul Airport
Azerbaijani company discloses output of primary aluminum
Spain's jobless hit four million for first time in five years as pandemic curbs bite
Volume of exports from Iran's Qom Province increases
S.Korean oil company holding exploration on land plots in Uzbekistan
EU executive says joint vaccine strategy not unravelling
Azerbaijan, Germany discuss expanding cooperation in oil & gas sector
Azerbaijani business environment entering recovery period - Minister of Economy
Iran's awaits action from US over JCPOA
Indonesia says identifies two cases of British COVID-19 variant
Europe – Iran held business forum to expand trade
Uzbek-Russian JV completes geological exploration at Akchalak investment block
Azerbaijani electricity supplier first to use special-purpose UAVs
Iran reaches gas export growth
Turkish president instructs to shoot TV series about Karabakh war victory
Cargo, passenger traffic via Turkish Sabiha Gokcen Airport down from early 2021
Germany to extend coronavirus lockdown until March 28
Iran unveils data of imports, exports through Anzali port
All news