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The beaches were packed this weekend on the São Paulo coast, as we have entered into the Brazilian equivalent of the dog days of August...between Christmas and Carnival (this year, in late February, and look out for those Barack Obama masks). Nothing supposedly happens this time of year, but something, of course, does happen. In particular, Sao Paulo Fashion Week began yesterday in Ibirapuera Park yesterday, with the presence of shorter-, straighter-haired Gisele Bundchen, and tonight at 8 p.m., the masses will be gathering to check out the first episode of “Caminho das Indias,” the latest Brazilian telenovela — soap opera — to be set in an exotic locale: you guessed it, India. Whatever knowledge the average Brazilian had of fellow BRIC country India, it will all change starting tonight, as Brazilian actors following Brazilian scripts give a daily lesson on Indian culture. We shall see how that goes. (That’s the figurative “we,” by the way, I’m not planning to be a regular.)
Meanwhile, in financial crisis news, it was announced this weekend that between 100,000 and 120,000 jobs were lost in Sao Paulo state companies in December. Sao Paulo state is by far Brazil’s most prosperous state and its hugest economy, so that’s bad news for the country. Although it does free up a lot more people to watch the telenovela.