By Ed “Hazukashii” Howell 6 Dec 2021
As the largest country in South America, and the southern hemisphere, Brazil borders with the Atlantic Ocean, and all other countries on the continent with the exception of Ecuador and Chile. According to the World Factbook, Brazil is the fifth largest country, behind Russia, Canada, China, and the US, at 8.5 million square kilometers, and is seventh in total population at just over 213 million. According to “Hey Explorer,” Brazil is famous for carnival festivals, soccer players like Pelé and Neymar, the fighting technique of Capoeira, and the Bossa Nova. Popular tourist attractions include the tropical beaches, waterfalls, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, and probably the most commonly associated land features of Brazil . . . the Amazon River and Rainforest. For those with a taste for adult beverages, Brazil is home to the Caipirinha, a bitter sweet lime cocktail.
Most of South America speaks Spanish (with local dialects), but the predominant language of Brazil is Portuguese. This is due to the Treaty of Tordesillas, which was agreed upon on 7 Jun 1494 between Portugal and Spain, and split Brazil in half. Portugal claimed all land and resources to the east, and Spain claiming all to the west. According to National Geographic, “Spain and Portugal adhered to the treaty without major conflict between the two, although the line of demarcation was moved an additional 270 leagues (about 1500 kilometers or 932 miles) farther west in 1506.”
Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil for about 200 years, until in 1960, when it was moved to Brasilia. The whole story behind Brasilia is fascinating, and includes an Italian Roman Catholic priest named Dom Bosco, who in 1883 had a dream that one day a vast open area by a lake would become the land of milk and honey. Some people believe this was a premonition that one day the capital of Brazil would be in Brasilia. When Juscelino Kubitschek ran for election as President in 1955, his platform was focused on a promise to build a new city in the center of Brazil, call it Brasilia, and move the capital there. True to his word, upon election, he began an aggressive plan. Designed in the shape of a bird, or airplane, the city took only 41 months to build, and was inaugurated on 21 April 1960. Dom Bosco is memorialized throughout the city, including a vast park in his honor. Based on its futuristic design, Brasilia was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
Brazil is also famous for amazing hashing. The HHH Genealogy lists the Sao Paulo H3 as the first hash club in Brazil, founded by Dave 'Mauler' Lawler on 5 Dec 1987. The last known contact with this club was 2010 for the Interhash Directory. Sao Paulo also has another club, the Brazil Nuts H3, founded by Jan 'Konkorde' Roberts in Jul 2000, after arriving from Jakarta, Indonesia. It appears both clubs held runs from 2000-2010, before the Sao Paulo H3 began to fade away (I have been told that the Sao Paulo H3 was a bit exclusive). Other hash clubs of Brazil are the Brasilia H3 originally founded in 1989, and has had a couple rebirths with the latest one in 2012. Other clubs include the Curitiba H3 founded in 1992, the Rio H3 in 2000, the Rio Full Moon H3 in 2002, and the Fortaleza H3 in 2005. Although COVID had shut down hashing all together for over a year, the Brazil Nuts H3 and Brasilia H3 are currently active, and the Rio H3 is showing signs of new life.
I recently spent a couple weeks in Brazil to visit a couple old friends from Europe, Weeny Schnitzel and MaBouche, experience the Brazilian culture, check out the beaches, and run some hash trails. The first one was on a Saturday afternoon with the Brazil Nuts H3. Trail was about an hour bus ride outside the city beyond the airport. We had a pack of about 14, and enjoyed a trail that took us to a near hilltop for some fantastic views of the region. After trail and a short circle, the BBQ was fired up for some tasty Brazilian BBQ. Saying goodbye to many new friends of the BNH3, it was then off to the coast for a few days and some beach time.
My second week in Brazil was in the capital city of Brasilia. I was fortunate to get an extensive tour of the city by the local hash kingpin and GM of the Brasilia H3, Opulence. Born in Germany, Opulence took off at an early age to see the world, eventually finding his way to Australia, where he would settle down for 28 years. Growing restless he took off again, discovering new places to explore and hash, and eventually wound up in Brazil, where he met and married a local girl. Finding the local hash in a state of disrepair, he soon took the club under his wing and has rebuilt it to a steady biweekly hash club that engages with the local community through “Hashers not Trashers” clean ups, and hosting the “Brasilia 4 Dummies” website supporting the local Expat community. The region is generally flat, with a few rolling hills, warm temps year-round and palm trees waving in the breeze. It has an expansive night life, open areas with a minimal spread of tall buildings and mostly single-family dwellings dotting the countryside.
After a few days getting to know the city, Sunday finally rolled around and it was time for a trail with the Brasilia H3. We had an excellent 8 Km trail, and the circle was fun, and the whole pack was so friendly . . . I will DEFINITLY be back to hash in Brasilia again. Why you ask, because after chatting with Opulence for a few days, we agreed that South America needs its own intracontinental hash event. So in June of 2023, Brasilia H3 will host the 1st running of the Pan SoAm Hash in Brazil. We will be taking bids for 2025 as this event moves around South America every two years.
For many more articles like this on the history of hashing, check out . . . http://gotothehash.net/history/inthespotlight.html