Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cool Clip Art Reflecting Brazilian Culture

As most bloggers are aware, finding just the right visual is essential in giving the added emphasis to whatever point you are trying to get across. I have been searching for a specific artist's style in clip art, and finally thought to check the Microsoft Office Clip Art homepage. Not only did I find a few from the artist I was searching for, but to my surprise and delight, I found several designs that are inherently Brazilian.

Here are two that are common scenes from everyday life here in Brazil. I present the motoboy, and a guy talking on the Brazilian-styled payphone, or "orelhão" [literally translated, "the big ear"].

The "orelhão" [pronounced: "oh-rdeh-lyown"] was designed in 1970 by Chu Ming Silveira. His inspiration? The human ear. The design is still the same today, as it was then.

The motoboy keeps Brazil moving at the momentum it does. The backbone of the economy may well rest on the delivery guys, or "motoboys." (Yes, among other the English words, "boy" crept into the Brazilian Portuguese language.)

Pharmacies deliver medications to patients too sick (or sometimes too lazy, *ahem*) to go pick them up.

Run out of coke, beer, Red Bull, juice, or water? There's a local "Bebidas 24 Horas" [literally translated: "24-Hour Drinks"] that delivers near you!

Restaurants deliver what we might call a "boxed lunch," that is known here as a marmita [pronounced: "mar-mee-tuh"] on a regular schedule to their clients. (Choices are generally 3, 5 or 6 days a week.)

Apparently, the local McDonald's delivers, as well. Perhaps in English that would be considered a "Drive To," as opposed to a Drive-Thru.

Miss the novelty of a local butcher shop? How's this for a novel idea? Have 30 kilos of meat delivered on a moto.

Home security companies employ "motovigias" [pronounced: "moto-vee-zhee-uhs"] or security guards, who do their nightly rounds on motorcycles.

In lieu of a regular taxi car, it might be faster to hail a mototaxista [pronounced: "moto-tax-ee-stuh"]. They can weave in & out of the lanes of cars, which might get you there 10 minutes sooner. In addition, they may (or may not) be game to running red lights, which could shave a few more minutes off of your time - or a few years off of your life. It's your call.

All joking aside, more than 65,000 people have died in motorcycle accidents in Brazil, in the past 10 years - that's more than the number of Americans that have died in the Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan Wars combined! The Brazilian government is currently looking into additional safety measures and provisions for people in this industry.

Just this past February, Senator Marcelo Crivella proposed a wage increase of 30% for people in this field. This would allow for motoboys to buy better motorcycle helmets, protective gear, and help with any issues arising out of a potential accident - like the "extras" that aren't covered by insurance.

I spent over a year in physical therapy for a shoulder issue, and there was an undeniable link between motorcycle accidents, and the steady stream of patients. About 85% - 90% of the people in therapy were there due to motorcycle accidents.

Last July, President Dilma Rousseff took measures to promote safety in the industry. She sanctioned a law, also proposed by Senator Crivella, to issue a R$3,000 fine to any employer that encourages their employees to make speedy deliveries. If that has slowed down deliveries, I haven't noticed. Motoboys are just as efficient as ever, only now it appears they are valued more.

Unless otherwise noted, all pics found on Google images.

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