In this story for The Telegraph I join a capoeira school in Salvador, Brazil. This is the spiritual home of the martial art that is now recognised by UNESCO for its ‘intangible heritage’.
In every direction, collectives of participants – young and old – were getting high on nothing more than music and dance (and perhaps just a little bit of the local sugar-cane brew, cachaca). As the smell of fried okra and chillies wafted through the twilight air, the loud boom of a beating drum shook my internal organs. This was a scene that had remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years – apart from all those familiar polyester football jerseys with their yellow and green trim.
Like much of Brazil’s populous east coast, Salvador is home to bustling beaches, bars and rowdy discos. However, it is the marrying of Portuguese colonial and African legacies that makes the city unique. Further south in the states of Parana and Santa Catarina, Brazil feels much more Iberian. In large parts of Salvador, you could be wandering through the low-rise streets of Accra in Ghana or Luanda in Angola.
Read the full article here.
November 13, 2015