[Photos by AJ Paris. All Rights Reserved.]

The Cariocas. Simply put “carioca” is anyone from Rio. In Tupí language “carioca” means “white man’s house.” I have met Cariocas whose families have been in the area for generations. Of course, as the second largest city in the country, and being the cultural capital of the country, Rio sees many people migrating from other parts of Brazil. Cariocas, therefore, are ethnically diverse group of people.

Thanks to Rede Globo, which is based in the city and is the largest television network in Latin America, the carioca accent, locally known as sotaque, has taken a national prominence. Cariocas have also introduced to Brazil awesome things like Futevólei (mixture of football and volleyball) and Bossa Nova (mixture of Samba and jazz).

“Being a carioca makes me most fun in Brazil,” said João proudly, laughing, “We are the heart of this country. You go anywhere in Brazil and people have no problem with your accent,” he added, telling me his trip to the northeast with family when he was twelve, “I thought no one will understand me when I went to Salvador and Recife, but everyone understood me perfectly!”

João says his family has lived in Rio for nearly 300 years.