Brazil Mystery #5: Our Lady of Mini-Skirts

Salvador has a famous Carnaval bloc of cross-dressing men. Image Source

I’ve ranted before about the lack of silence in my neighborhood – it’s especially bad on Sundays, and even worse during Carnaval season. But today it turned into a Brazil Mystery!

Beginning at 9 AM, a pickup truck with enormous speakers started playing music by Parangole, a band that has given Brazil cultural masterpieces such as “Rebolation,” “Ai delicia,” and “Treme o bumbum.”

Turn your volume all the way up and watch this video – go ahead, I’ll wait – and then imagine listening to music such as this BLASTING NONSTOP FOR HOURS. (Bonus points if you can count how many random crotch-shots there are):

Note to readers outside Brazil – try searching YouTube for “Parangole Tchubirabiron” to find the video.

“I’m going to go out there and start throwing raw eggs,” I said.

“Bad idea,” said my husband. “That’ll just cause trouble.”

“Then I’ll call the police.”

“I don’t think that’ll get you anywhere,” said my husband, who has lived in this neighborhood for over 15 years. “If I’m not mistaken, the truck with the giant speakers belongs to an off-duty cop.

Fuming, I tried to concentrate on creating new English classes with “Tchubirabiron” invading my eardrums.

Around 11:30, I ventured out of the house to buy some milk before the market closed. On the way, I was determined to get a look at the idiots who felt it was their right to disturb everyone’s peace for hours at a time. To my surprise, I saw not only the truck with speakers, but also…


Not kidding. Most of the men were wearing sundresses or little frilly skirts, and some had gone all out with wigs and costume jewelry. There were even little boys in skirts and bikini tops. The poor guy wearing a denim miniskirt looked like he was having some trouble maneuvering as the skintight skirt restricted his agility. The “field,” chalked out on the street, was surrounded by spectators and players drinking beer as they waited for their team’s turn in the game.

Oooooooookay, I thought. Then again, it is Carnaval season, so seeing men in women’s clothing is not all that uncommon. There’s even a famous Carnaval bloc of cross-dressing men called “As Muquiranas.”

But then things got even weirder.

Punctually at noon, the music suddenly stopped. What’s this? Game over? I thought hopefully.

Then I heard everyone reciting the Lord’s prayer in unison:

Pai Nosso que estais no Céu,
santificado seja o vosso Nome…

After they finished, there were fireworks (side note: I’ve never understood the Brazilian love of setting off fireworks during the day. Guess they just like the sound?) and everyone cheered.

Aaaaaaaand then the music restarted, with spiritual and inspiring lyrics such as “rub your pussy on the ground.” (Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.) It is currently 3 PM and I’m thinking the bizarre party isn’t going to end until after sundown. UPDATE: A drumming group also appears to be in the neighborhood, thus compounding the noise. Happy happy joy joy.

I have no clue WHAT my neighborhood is celebrating, but I’ve christened it Festa da Nossa Senhora das Mini-Saias – Festival of Our Lady of the Mini-Skirts.