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The Carnival in the Heart of the Rainforest
[Video] The third night of festivities in Manuaus, Brazil
Antonio Carlos Rix (carlosrix)     Print Article 
Published 2006-10-26 10:22 (KST)   
VODInterview with Manaus Mayor Serafim Correa / Antonio Carlos Rix
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Dancers at the Boi party
©2006 Antonio Carlos Rix

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It's 7.30 p.m. Once again we're ready to go! It is Oct. 23, the third day of the Boi Manaus Party.

By this time the partygoers staying in different hotels now know each other. It's the same for us guests from the Adrianopolis Hotel.

City hall sends a bus to pick us up and off we go to the Sambodromo. Stephanie from Teresina (PI); Giselle from Sao Paulo (SP), but lives in Manaus; Andre from Manaus (AM); Camila from Fortaleza (CE) and me. I'm behind the camera.

I felt like it would be the night to play Citizen Reporter real hard and see if it would work, the last night, my last chance. Great, it did work pretty good!

First of all we followed the Boi -- the Ox dance Parade. We went straight to the beginning of the track and from there went on dancing up to the other side, a fantastic number of people dancing and enjoying the music and the night of fun.

Stephanie, Giselle, Andre and Camila
©2006 Antonio Carlos Rix
Following the Trio Eletrico
©2006 Antonio Carlos Rix

Here in Manaus we were more than 600 thousand people in total, the organizers estimated, and I did not see a single problem, no fights of any sort -- nothing. My wallet in my pocket, the digital camera in hand and nothing happened -- one feels pretty safe.

This is me -- no worries...
©2006 Stephanie Damasceno

Get your TURURI and let's go!

In the state of Bahia, very famous for its street parties and carnival, to follow the Trio Eletricos you must buy the Abada, which is a T-shirt that links you to one of the Trio Eletricos and gives you the right to dance with that group.

In Manaus that T-shirt is the Tururi -- the official dress of the party. So with the Tururi, you may go with all the Trio Eletricos -- all night long!

Now the tourists did not need one. We were city hall's special guests -- that has been like this every year, the guide informed us. We wore an identifying bracelet and pendant.

Anyway, many people still bought their Tururis as souvenirs -- about US$8 only. In the above picture you can see people in blue Tururis, and I'm wearing the bracelets and pendants that we had instead.

Stephanie back in the cabin gets a free massage -- another amenity for the visitors
©2006 Antonio Carlos Rix

After all this I thought to myself: "well, time to go and do the reporter thing!" I went straight to the organizers for questions. Ms Arminda Mendonca, director president of Manaustur (Manaus city tour agency), told me the city hall had invested about a million dollars to make it all happen.

"Everything had to be perfect, from cleaning, the paramedics, illumination, sound, food, tourist care, transport, singers, you name it, everything had to be planned and had to work well" she said. She was, and had the right to be, proud of her work and her teams work too.

Later Ms Mendonca allowed me to go to the authorities' cabin and there I was given a new VIP bracelet and the VIP Tururi.

My V.I.P. Tururi -- Thanks to my OhmyNews
©2006 Antonio Carlos Rix

The secretary of communication welcomed me inside and told his assistant to provide me with the opportunity to meet with Mr Serafim Correa, the Mayor of Manaus, for an interview. And not only that, but asked me to enjoy myself and their cabin amenities: lots of food and drinks -- it was hard, but I definitely obeyed.

Sebastiano Colares Assante -- the secretary of communications
©2006 Antonio Carlos Rix

One "problem," the music was so loud that it made it hard to actually interview anyone, all I got was a 5.0 cybershot, no microphones... So I asked the Mayor to grant us a speech instead, I thought he'd talk about the Ox, the party, the tourists... But people, he is the Mayor! I tell him this is for a Korean newspaper, the international section, Manaus is right now receiving lots of entrepreneurs from Asia, Mr Correa -- of course -- spoke about the city and its possibilities for business and welcomed everyone to visit it.

My friends Manaus is really great. I would like to thank the city administration for providing us with this great event, the interviews and most of all the three nights of fun. Manaus was 337 years old on Oct. 24, we all got the present a day in advance.

So my friends, if between next Oct. 21 and Oct. 24 you have the chance to come and visit Manaus, its forest, rivers, natural beauties and the Manaus Boi -- the Ox Party -- I am positive you will love it.

Be sure to make a reservation!

We all had a ball!
©2006 Gisele Correa

Related Articles
Manaus, a Metropolis on the Amazon
Goodbye to a Dear Friend
Amazon River Trip to Parintins, Brazil
'Ox Parties' in Northern Brazil

©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Antonio Carlos Rix

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