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Carnival Celebrations in Vila Madalena Cause Tension Among Locals

02/17/2015 - 09h42

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THAIS BILENKY
ROGÉRIO PAGNAN
FROM SÃO PAULO

On Monday (16), six students left São Bernardo do Campo, in Greater São Paulo, with a megacooler containing 600 beers and a powerful soundsystem.

They arrived in Vila Madalena, a neighborhood in the west of the city, and put Anitta on at full volume. A group quickly formed. Three girls kissed each other; another two took their tops off and danced in just their bras.

A couple of local residents passed by the gathering, which was located on the Rua Fradique Coutinho. "This noise is irritating", they said. "Can't you lot go somewhere else?" The revelers turned down the volume, and the couple left. But just minutes later, they turned the volume back up.

The tension between "outsiders" and local residents has been a feature of Carnival in the Vila Madalena. Last year's World Cup helped to popularize the neighborhood, and many people who attended the parties in June and July have returned now.

Those who work in the area have complained about the mess in the aftermath of the parties. Nelson Enohata arrived at his work one morning to find the garden covered in garbage, urine and feces. Pillars of the building were graffitied.

"What happened here proves that a minority does not act in a civilized way and can't be trusted in large gatherings", he says.

A worker at the bookshop Livraria da Vila says she also found feces outside the premises one morning. At a nearby pharmacy, workers report having been bothered by people asking to use the bathroom or urinating in the parking lot.

The revelers cite the safety and the free access among their reasons for coming to the neighborhood. "Since we don't have money to go to the sambodrome, or to Rio, we decided to come here instead", says Vitória Lima, 18, a student who lives in the north of the city.

The city government has admitted that the celebrations have got out of control.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

Read the article in the original language

Avener Prado/Folhapress
The tension between "outsiders" and local residents has been a feature of Carnival in the Vila Madalena
The tension between "outsiders" and local residents has been a feature of Carnival in the Vila Madalena

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