Yemanjá, mighty Yalodé, she brought the Portuguese sailors over her waves, the African slaves, of many different, nations, brought people from all over the world and she made sure those she found worthy reached our shores, she sowed them along our coast, let them enter the land along the rivers, and as Janaína, Nkaiá, the daughter of Olukum, became the mother of our Country.
Brazil has a mother, a guardian spirit, and she is the ocean. By crossing her expanse, those who were to shape the new land, were reborn, and would have the freedom to create a new civilization, through pain, tears, with blood, sex, full of contradictions, a young experiment in humanity. Brazil belongs to her, and we are all her children, people whose life began when others decided to reinvent themselves.
Brazil is not for amateurs, it is a work in progress and every year, February 2nd, reminds me of that. I turn my back to sea, to the roaring waves and face the chaos of Rio and think about the land and how we changed it, about the work we still have to do to make it a better place to live, I think about the beauty and about all the blood shed on those shores and I feel wonderful, grateful to have been born here, on this day, with a whole new history to make, and I thank the Yalodé for that.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. We are many, and we are yours.