Thursday, January 9, 2014

Enemy state - São Paulo

The view of Americans about various countries. Photo credit: Folha de Sao Paulo

Okay, things have calmed down a bit around here and I've finally started reading the daily paper this case, that would be the Folha de São Paulo. I was actually forbidden by BH from looking at Tuesday's paper because they had lots of images of the beheaded prisoners in Maranhão state. Some things I can do without.

Anyway, in yesterday's Mundo (World) news section, my eye fell first on the frozen Lake Michigan photo. Dang, that's cold. I have discovered that the Brazilians LOVE it when the US gets cold. As long as they're here and the ice is there. They also seem to get a kick out of our natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes) since they don't have them here. Just flooding and politicians are the local natural disasters.  Anyhoo...

The story below the ice capades caught my eye: "Brasil é bem avaliado por 61% dos americanos." (Brazil is viewed "favorably" by 61% of Americans).  The research was done by Pew Institute, so I'm going to call it roughly believable. Except, to be honest, I am surprised that the number is so low. 

It is my general theory that no one hates Brazil. What's to hate? Happy people? Nice weather? (oops, we just lost the Chicagoans) Great beaches? Fun soccer? Brazil is not exactly a warrior country so who would it piss off? Oh, sorry Paraguay.  Seriously, it is very hard to find someone who dislikes Brazil. Which Pew did find of course.
The percentage of the American people who view Brazil unfavorably is 15%...only Canada and the UK beat those numbers.  See my earlier thoughts that Canadians are nice. Everyone thinks so. Brazil is seen more favorably that both Japan and Germany. And Israel is really in a pickle.

But the part that made me laugh is the paragraph that reads (I will translate entirely--for the Portuguese, please see this link): "A prior Pew study discovered that only 7% of Brazilians consider the US an enemy country, which is a percentage much lower than those in Argentina (23%), Mexico (18%) and Turkey (49%)." Did I know that Turkey thinks the US is the enemy? Almost half of Turkey thinks we suck. Hmmm. I think I'll stay here in Brazil for now. And what exactly is Argentina so bitter about? Mexico I get.

I am guessing that 7% has recently moved upwards given the NSA spying scandal. But in general, I will say that we like each other.

Shiny happy people.

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