Saturday, 10 July 2010

Feria Nordestina.

In São Cristóvão there's a stadium-like building filled with tents and I had seen it a few times from the bus. I admit that I was a bit bewildered by it, there were clearly no seats and the tents were obviously covering the whole of the area so I could not decipher it in any way. Then I heard that it is a market, purpose-built to house the stalls of merchants that descended to Rio from the north-east of the country decades ago.  And I payed it a visit last week.

What a wonderful place it is. Completely different from anything else I've seen and since I have not visited the north-east (other than Bahia) it was all new to me. Restaurants are in the majority but you can find pretty much everything else. From food and house-ware to booklets of traditional myths and stories, sometimes biographies (or is it hagiographies?) of legendary bandits of the previous century. And there's families, kids with traditional costumes, young people with their dancing shoes on, the older generation revisiting the glories of the past. It's vibrant and colourful. And then the two stages, one on either side of the stadium, where the speakers spit out Forro unhealthily loud and the dancing is frenetic! How can you not love this place?

(By the way, besides the normal daily opening hours, from Friday 10am the market is open until Sunday night!)