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A few hours from Brazil, Argentina celebrates the carnival with as much enthusiasm as its neighbour. The celebration derives from a mix of a Christian tradition that marks the end of winter, and samba tournaments originating in West Africa. It has evolved into a competition between samba schools with categories such as dance, costumes, or float decoration. The carnival in Corrientes is particular in the fact that each member of the comparsa (samba school) has to create his or her own costume and help make the float. Families have been part of their comparsa for generations and the feeling of belonging is as strong as to a soccer club. Children start taking part from the age of three and their parents invest a large part of their salaries in the costumes, as well as their time in rehearsals. In a desire to make the celebration accessible to a maximum number of people, the parade ends up in the streets of the city, followed by thousands of people.
Alisha Van Bever