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About Senna and about being Brazilian

From: Nattalia
Sent on: Friday, August 26, 2011 10:13 PM

Hi Everyone,

This is a note that I posted on my FB page after getting beyond emotional watching the documentary about Ayrton Senna. I thought I've share this with you as well and I apologize for not translating this into Portuguese. It is rather long. I know sharing emotions is not the purpose of this group, but maybe if you are Brazilian, you will understand why I had to. Skip reading it if you like!

Nattalia.

"Just came back from watching SENNA... cried-my-eyes-out from beginning to end. There were tears of happiness, tears of sadness, tears of pure nervousness at time. So many memories of so many Sundays watching the grand prixs. Now that I am home I have a lot to say about it and if you are Brazilian, please stick with me till the end. Senna was loved by everyone in Brazil. He was and always will be a hero to all of us, particularly to my generation. ...He was someone who made us feel proud of who we were when we felt like we had so little to be proud of. Watching Senna race on Sundays was a family tradition in millions of Brazilian homes, including mine. A tradition that, at least in my family, died on that fucking wall in San Marino, together with Senna. When I think back lots of ifs come to my mind. What if he has stayed with Maclaren? What if he hadn't died? Would my family still be together? For my non-Brazilian audience, watching this young men race on Sundays  was something so special that besides Xmas, New Year's eve, the only other time that we, the children, were allowed to stay up late was to watch the Japanese Grand Prix. My entire family would sit around together for all 51-52-53.. or however many laps they had decided on just  to watch Senna win. Because when he won, we won. Sure we watched it when Nelson Piquet was our number one driver too, but there was something special about Senna. Why did we love him so much? Throughout the movie, several times in interview people repeated one idea again and again: he is all that we have, he is our only joy, there is nothing else good in Brazil but him. That really bothered me and made me sad. But then I started thinking about it and here is my take on what those people actually might have meant. We loved Senna because he was a genuine sample of who we are as a people, of this thing that we call "being Brazilians", this fabric that we are all made of that makes us so different from so many other people in the world. **Not better**, please don't misunderstand me, just different. Senna was pure "fibra" and he was part of our "fiber". It is not that he was the only good thing about Brazil, it that he represents the best thing that Brazil has to offer, and that thing is **us**. Yes, we have beautiful beaches, forests, natural resources, petroleum, pré-sal, socialist presidents, blablabla. But the best that we have to offer really is just us. We are "pessoas de fibra", we Brazilians are a people made of pure joy, love, courage, resilience and, surprisingly, a very high dose of naiveté as well. Yes, I have chosen to live abroad, for many many reasons, and for those reasons I am likely never going to move back to Brazil. I do have multiple citizenships even. However, I have only one nationality. I am Brazilian. Every inch of me is Brazilian. My heart, my body, my soul, my spirit is all Brazilian. Brazil will always be home, my Brazilian friends will always be the one to understand me better than anyone of my other friends, because we know what we are and what it means to be us. I am Brazilian and there is nothing else in the world I'd rather be."

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