Monday, March 15, 2010

Urubici: female taste; architecture; 10a Festa Nacional das Hortaliças; Gauchos

Urubici is essentially a single long, straight road with a grand church (see yesterday) at one end and not much at the other and forested mountains all around. It is a cold place for Brazil, and usually gets a tiny bit of snow every year. The population is a mixture of Portuguese, German and Latvian descent, mainly.

We stayed at the Urubici Park Hotel: as before this was enjoyable though they seem to have difficultiues answering emails regarding reservations.

The hotel features a good deal of handicraft work. Indeed, horror vacui seems to have overcome the owner, and every space in the hotel was filled with a hand made affirmation of nature's goodness- though sometimes God gets an affirmation too. I do not know quite why all this horrifies me so.

The Lord is my shepherd: mural on the second floor opposite the stairs.

The manager is a woman: female taste has this peculiarity: this insistant cheefulness, this need for surface decoration. The coming of Easter has obviously excited the manager's creativity, and lent her the opportunity to transform the hotel so it resembles a giant kindergarten.

Throughout Brazil, women - usually those whose children are grown - meet to make such items, which invariably involve representations of flowers and small animals and pieces of cloth. The items are sold in specialist handicraft shops, or exchanged as gifts. I believe such behaviour is not uncommon among the female sex in other countries too.


The town of Urubici features, most interestingly, a small number of attractive Art Deco villas. As I associate this style with seaside towns and cinemas, it seems slightly odd to me in this rustic setting. They are painted in the same ice-cream colours of their cousins in Miami and Southend on Sea. And then there is the main church itself, which I featured here yesterday, which while not strictly Art Deco in my book, is has some of the colourful geometricity associated with the style.

Classic Deco "Sun Motif" as stained glass window.

Such art deco styled buildings can be found also in Florianopolis. I wonder if they are all the product of the same architecture studio?

Some of these buldings are covered in tiles, Portuguese style:


This being Brazil, there is no shortage of religious venues. There has been a veritable wave of new evangelical churches flooding Brazil (Mormons, in pairs like policemen, can be seen patrolling Florianopolis dressed in their trademark black suits despite the heat. I befriended a pair and tried to corrupt them with alchohol: they befriended me and tried to corrupt me with religion: neither side won). This represents disillusion with Catholicism, and a desire for North American cultural values- these new churches are not shy to link material and spiritual success and the style of their pastors is "charismatic".

Saturday night is a slow night, even in Brazillian evangelical churches. Note the tie: evangelical pastors dress like businessmen.


Other local features are some rock carvings (representing quite what is anyone's guess), a trout farm, and various waterfalls.


The Festa Nacional das Hortaliças is a celebration of vegetables:

A particularly impressive display.

There was also, perhaps more excitingly, a rodeo, rock bands and various tents selling country things and a funfair. The rodeo brought a host of Gauchos: rodeo isn't really a Catarinese thing: it's really part of the culture of Rio Grande do Sul. They have a traditional costume of scarves, baggy trousers, hats and knives worn at the belt.

Gaucho culture is much more macho than the culture of Coastal Santa Catarina, which is notable for its gentleness. The police issued some warnings about the knives, and I felt something rough and confrontational in the air.

Two Gaucho ladies.

1 comment:

  1. 'female taste has this peculiarity: this insistent cheerfulness, this need for surface decoration.'

    That's not female taste sir! That's BAD taste.

    Better get off to my Easter knik-knack group...