With the sting of Brazil's loss and the end of the World Cup still in recent memory, many may be wondering what disappointed fans will do to distract themselves from the painful football memories, and current protests and riots engulfing the country. While it is the national team of professional players under fire now, it's the amateur recreationalists that may be at the greatest loss. Play allows the young and old alike an opportunity to get away from the day's hardships, grow creatively and de-stress. But if the number one way to play also serves as a reminder of that hardship, we may have a problem.
Fortunately, after spending the last four weeks in Brazil doing impact work in the local communities, I've learned one very important thing:
Brazil is more than football.
Yes, football is the most popular sport in the world. And yes, this World Cup loss may be so critical that it influences who will win the upcoming presidential election in Brazil. But the Brazilian culture is so ripe with complexities, one shouldn't be surprised to find that kicking around a ball on a pitch is only one of many popular (and cheap) ways to play in Brazil.
- Foot Volley
- Graffiti Art
- Kite Fighting
A mix of football and volleyball, it is the most popular beach sport in Brazil and an easy transition option for those still clutching their soccer balls.
Over the last two decades, skateboarding has switched from an almost illegal activity to big business in Brazil, with some of the world's best skateboarders calling the country home.
Native to Rio de Janiero, Passinho is a type of hip hop dance that emerged from the carioca funk scene. I was lucky enough to meet and learn form some of the best during my time in Rio.
Unlike many other places in the world, graffiti art is not only legal in Brazil, it is considered one of the most significant parts of the global urban art movement.
With roots in afro-Brazilian culture, capoeira blends dance and music with martial arts.
For just one real, a child can get a kite from the local shop with the hopes of massacring another child's kite in this rooftop favela game. Of course, this means they need a lot of kites. While working in a local community, we took time out to teach some kids how to make kites out of trash and save some money.
Recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil, Samba shares afro-brazilian roots with Capoeira and is considered by many to be the most significant style of the national music scene. Usually men are known for their samba musicianship, but some women are also beginning to use samba to breakdown stereotypes and gain a voice.