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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class - Holidays in Brazil Series at PortuguesePod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind holidays and observances in Brazil. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 11 Labor Day or Dia do Trabalho in Portuguese.
The first of May marks International Labor Day in Brazil. It’s an official holiday.
In this lesson, you'll discover how the meaning of this day has changed over time in Brazil. Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
Can you guess why the Labor Day holiday was banned in the state of Bahia until 1980?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
May 1, “Labor Day,” or Dia do Trabalho, was selected as an homage to a workers' demonstration in Chicago in the US, in 1886, when thousands marched to demand the reduction of the working day to eight hours.
On Labor Day, Brazilians remember all the trials and struggles those workers went through to obtain the “rights,” or direitos, that working people enjoy today.
When the European influence on labor laws reached Brazil, the workers began to organize. In 1917, there was a General Strike that brought industry and trade to a halt. With the rise of the working classes, the Labor Day holiday was made official in 1924.
In the beginning, the day was characterized by “strikes,” or greves, as well as protests, marches, and demonstrations. However, this changed when President Getúlio Vargas assumed power. Following his leftist propaganda, he dedicated this day to the worker. At the same time, he announced increases in worker benefits and popular festivities and parades were organized.
And this is how Labor Day is celebrated today. The “Union Force” or Força Sindical, a central trade union of Brazilian workers, organizes concerts with leading Brazilian pop musicians and home ownership lotteries. In addition, the government traditionally announces the annual increase in the “minimum wage” or salário mínimo on Labor Day.
Also, it so happens that in May the “Cultural Revolution” or Virada Cultural, takes place in the city of São Paulo. For twenty-four hours, non-stop cultural events of all kinds including concerts and exhibitions take place in the downtown area of the city. This event was inspired by the Parisian White Nights.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Can you guess why the Labor Day holiday was banned in the state of Bahia until 1980?
It was banned there because of its inherent paradox – how can you not work on a day dedicated to work?! But after a few demonstrations, it was officially declared a “holiday,” or feriado, in Bahia.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you celebrate Labor Day in your country?
Leave your comments on the lesson page at PortuguesePod101.com.
And we'll see you in the next lesson!

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Do you celebrate Labor Day in your country?