Idioma EN


Every year, around December 2, National Samba Day, Central do Brasil [Rio de Janeiro’s Central Station]) receives a different crowd. Trains are one of the most popular means of transportation in Rio de Janeiro, and at exactly 6:05 p.m., cars full of sambistas depart from the always packed train station to Oswaldo Cruz Station. This was the route that sambista Paulo da Portela, an enameler by trade, took every day on his way home from work in the 1930s. And he did not go alone. Other workers gathered in the car, summoned by him to sing and play throughout the journey to show society that sambista was not synonymous with rascal and crook. This tradition was revived in 1991 by the sambista Marquinhos de Oswaldo Cruz, initially under the name Pagode no Trem [Pagode on the Train] and later consolidated as Trem do Samba [Samba Train], and is highly symbolic of the sambistas’ struggle to maintain spaces for conviviality and the celebration of their culture.