Senna: a ‘big’ talk

Striking up a conversation with a stranger is not a difficult task if you are not too shy. You look up and talk about the weather and share your ‘knowledge’ of the forecast for tomorrow or what you think is about to happen. If you are indoors you can still talk about the weather outside. If it fails, well, you know then that the conversation is not going any further.

But if you succeed in grabbing your listener’s attention, then you can talk about work and government and so on. Almost everyone has some thoughts or opinions about these matters.

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Small talk

To start a conversation using these topics or just keep talking about these general issues is a phenomenon called ‘small talk’.

I am not particularly great at starting these conversations, but it happens here and there. If I know I am going to spend a good while in a place with people around, I would normally say something to the person next to me and see how things go from there.

Needless to say that when people recognise my accent and are informed where I am from, they ‘remind me’ of ‘RRRRonaldinho!’ and ‘Samba!’. It is nice – they are making an effort to see the progress of the conversation – but our country is rich and full of other talents in other areas. I want people to know more about us; even more about football and carnival.

Tan Tan Tan Tan …. Tan Tan Tan Tan

Being far away I try to enjoy each opportunity to see Brazilian productions or programmes that have something to do with Brazilian culture. It was a pity that Elite Squad (‘Tropa de Elite’) was on the cinemas for only a few days. Thankfully, there are other occasions to see the tupiniquim culture in action and spread the news about them.

My greatest surprise last year was the documentary movie Senna. Wow! Senna’s personality, private life, social concerns and family bonds are well put together. It is a great collection and the whole documentary is a tasteful tribute to such a fantastic sportsman and human being. I love Senna’s speeches and interviews in English and I especially enjoy when I see images with audio in Portuguese and the subtitles in English. It’s a piece of our culture translated to others.

A ‘big’ talk

The movie brought to mind why I loved Sunday mornings when I was a teenager; when the family just rushed to be in front of TV and wait for Senna to wave our beautiful flag. He always made our week start with a big smile.

I definitely have to use more Senna’s example to illustrate my ‘small talks’ on Brazilian culture. It’s not ‘small talk’ really. Without Ayrton Senna the history of sport in Brazil would be very different. I am so grateful for what he was and for what he did to the country. I believe everyone is. It was devastating to lose him so soon and everything that came from his talent and personality. Yet, to have the story of someone like him to tell is a privilege.

Haven’t seen the movie yet? Get a taste right now.

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Erica De Monaco Lowry

Erica De Monaco Lowry has been living in Ireland since 2008. She is a teacher, an interpreter, a translator, a tour guide and an insatiable learner. Her favorite pastimes include reading, travelling, socialising and catching up with her family.

14 comentários

  • 21/05/12  
    Bruno diz: 1

    I have never seen any his race because I born in 1993 and was impossible to understand something with that age, but my dad always watched because he said that was very exciting

    • 25/05/12  
      Erica diz:

      It was Bruno! And if you have an opportunity watch some of his races and the documentary. :-)

  • 21/05/12  
    Robson Pereira diz: 2

    Hello !
    Ah is not my favorite sport, but surely that is my biggest idol, and biggest guy in the Brazilian sport and one of the largest worldwide.

  • 21/05/12  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 3

    A really nice texto about this awesome Brazilian! May he rest in peace. He made millions of people happy when he raced on Sunday mornings…

  • 22/05/12  
    Eduardo de Oliveira diz: 4

    It’s really nice, this text has a great content, I learned words
    I enjoyed too and i read too much. I hope found more text here.
    See you soon!

    • 22/05/12  
      Erica diz:

      It’s great to know that you learned new words, Eduardo. Keep up the good work. See you.

  • 22/05/12  
    Nils da Cruz Silva diz: 5

    Senna was a fantastic Brazilian. Someone who dies with a national flag becomes a source of pride and example for younger just like him was.
    But had a thing I really liked to learn. The expression: have something to do with…
    I didn’t know how to translate but now I know it. I learned a new expression and how to have a big talk =) tnx

    • 22/05/12  
      Erica diz:

      Great stuff Nils. Learning things in context is always more meaningful. See you.

  • 22/05/12  
    Patricia Rodrigues diz: 6

    Hi Erica, I really enjoyed your text.
    I’ve watched the film and found it really good, specially because it’s nice to see that Senna has been admired all over the world and not just in Brazil.
    However I must admit that I’ve struggled to explain to people why, in Brazil, he was and still being huge. What he simbolized on that time to all brazilians. I guess you can only understand it if you’re brazilian and lived on that time with all the difficults, all the downs that the country was facing.
    I remember someone saying on the film, that “Senna was the only good thing Brazil had”, and in fact, on that time it was very true.

    • 22/05/12  
      Erica diz:

      Hi Patricia. People who stand out in sports generally bring great pride to the country indeed. They demonstrate talent and break barriers. We all want that in life. Senna’s example will remain. :-)

  • 23/05/12  
    Johnny e Barreto diz: 7

    Very very very nice! congratulations!

    • 25/05/12  
      Erica diz:

      Thanks Johnny. It was a pleasure to write something about Senna. :-)

  • 24/05/12  
    James Evandro diz: 8

    Hiii..!!! Congratulations for the text !!!
    This article made me so glad and brought up to my mind an experience that I had…
    Last year I was in Australia studying english, during the class we had a task, “choose one personality from your country and talk about it” Of course I chose Senna and talk about him for some minutes… It was really interesting cause the young people didn’t know about him but people up to twenties already knew about his carrear,and his life out of the racers, in special my teacher… she knew a lot about him !!! So, our history isn’t only soccer and when we have a chance we must declare about it and show how is the real Brazillll !!!!

    • 26/05/12  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Yes, James. It’s interesting to find how many people know something about Senna. It’s just the case they want to talk about more general issues. Interesting experience this one you had in Australia! :-)