What I read #1

In this blog series, named "What I read", I will share some interesting, shocking, and funny things that I have recently read in newspapers, magazines, and online. I love reading - a habit cultivated from when I was a few years old - and it would be nice to share that with others.

In Noiva do Cordeiro, Brasil, there is a small community of 350 people, where women and men are equal. From what I read, it seems like an utopia. There are no rules, everyone can truly be themselves regardless of how out of norm that may be, they are happy with little, and they have cake every day. They all cook and eat together in a shared community room. Doors don't have to be locked. Everyone knows each other and they are like one big family. They are taught that they shouldn't act out of anger, every conflict can be solved by listening to eachother, and that nobody deserves to be judged. They live by the simple notion of "Love generates love". Every Friday, there will be entertainment in the form of plays, music and dance performances, public apologies for hurting someone in one way or another, and public appreciation for good deeds. All organized by themselves and on a public stage. They share their income from selling chili peppers, but there is also a part that is individual income. When someone has financial problems, they all chip in. Who has more, gives more. Raising children is a shared task, by having a different mom take care of a group of children for a certain period. There are a lot of elements that contribute to their level of happiness, which is why most of the young ones don't even want to leave the village.

I think we could learn many lessons from this mini society. In a way, they are living on a basic income, which is enough to cover their basic needs: a roof over their heads and food. If that isn't enough, they can supplement it by getting a job outside of their chili pepper business or have people chip in from what almost seems like a collective insurance based on trust, generosity, and kindness. There are ways of self expression, a safe and warm feeling of community, and they are guided in the right way to solve conflicts. They can truly be themselves without putting on a fake mask and there is respect for eachother, no matter what the differences are. I don't know if everything is just pictured more positively than it really is and that there is still a dark side that is not uncovered, but it strengthened my belief that if everything in our lives is okay, we won't do evil.

Source: In het 'vrouwendorp' lijkt Bolsonaro ver weg, Marjolein van de Water, de Volkskrant, 19-1-2019.

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