Keeping Dixie Alive–in Brazil (MSNBC): “A handful of Confederate soldiers are loitering about on a breezy, sun-kissed day, chatting up a bevy of southern belles. The sounds of ‘Dixie’ play in the background. The smell of fresh-baked biscuits and homemade fried chicken waft over a grassy field. And the red, white and blue Confederate flag flutters in the wind. The antebellum scene could have come straight out of ‘Gone with the Wind,’ except that it is taking place somewhere more southern than the Deep South: Brazil.
“‘WE’RE TRYING to preserve our culture,’ says Frederico Padoveze, a 23-year-old dressed like a Confederate general whose name belies his southern U.S. heritage.
“Like most of the 160 people who gathered on the outskirts of this town one recent Sunday, Padoveze is the descendant of a group of Americans who left their homes in the U.S. South after the Civil War.
“Some died searching for better fortune in Brazil and many went back to America. But a small group overcame the perils of life in what was to them a strange, poor, tropical land and have become a small but important piece of its history.”