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Brazil: The “CALA BOCA GALVAO” Phenomenon

Screenshot from the twitter profile of @galvaoinstitute

Galvão Bueno [pt], a famous Brazilian narrator and broadcaster, was made victim of a huge twitter phenomenon when millions of twitter users told him to shut up during the 2010 World Cup opening show. The phenomenon soon became a worldwide joke.

CALA BOCA GALVAO stands for “Shut up Galvao”.

For many, Galvão Bueno is considered unbearable as a sports narrator although he is the official narrator of the Brazilian National Football Team and of the most important football and volleyball matches in Brazil since 1993 as well as of the Formula 1 races.

Blog do Pupa says:

Nem bem a Copa do Mundo começou e o narrador da TV Globo Galvão Bueno já começou a ser citado pelo público brasileiro. A expressão ‘Cala Boca Galvão’ virou hit do Twitter mundial durante a cerimônia de abertura da competição, que foi apresentada por ele e a jornalista Fátima Bernardes na África do Sul.

O público mostrou o descontentamento com o narrador e apresentador de tal forma que a expressão de desaprovo ao seu desempenho na cerimônia de abertura foi a líder do Trending Topic (TT) Brasil, termo que representa as palavras e/ou expressões mais abordadas no microblog no país.

The World Cup barely began and TV Globo's reporter Galvão Bueno is already being quoted by the Brazilian public. The phrase ‘Cala Boca Galvão’ became a worldwide hit of Twitter during the opening ceremony of the competition, which was presented by him and journalist Fatima Bernardes in South Africa

The public showed discontent with both narrator and presenter and the phrase expressing disapproval with his performance at the opening ceremony became the leader Trending Topic (TT) in Brazil, a phrase that represents the words and / or expressions discussed in the country's microblog.

In no time, “cala boca galvao” hitted the worldwide trending tpics and people from all over the world tried to understand what was going on.

shafiraaulyapn: who's CALA BOCA GALVAO ? @,@

LuizRedfield: o Brasil dominou o Twitter! CALA BOCA GALVAO em primeiro no Worldwide! O resto do mundo não tá entendendo nada!

Brazil dominated Twitter! CALA BOCA GALVAO first in [tt] Worldwide! The rest of the world is clueless!

The most widespread image of the joke. author unknown

Brazilian mass media and the international media are already talking about the phenomenon. Here's what @Maria_fro had to say:

maria_fro: Plena copa [ CALA BOCA GALVAO ] E [ BOCA GALVÃO ] enlouquecem os gringos:1º e 3º lugares no TT enquanto FIFA WORLD CUP E #WORLDCUP 5º E 6º!

This World Cup [CALA BOCA GALVAO] and [BOCA GALVAO] are driving the “gringos” crazy: 1st and 3rd place on TT while FIFA WORLD CUP and #WORLDCUP are in 5th and 6th!

On the joke, Junio Miranda explains:

Inicialmente, os usuários do twitter em outros países pensaram que o “CALA BOCA GALVÃO” tratava-se de uma campanha no Brasil pedindo proteção a uma ave em extinção. Um usuário do twitter nos Estados Unidos postou: “Galvão é uma ave muito rara no Brasil. CALA BOCA significa SAVE, os brasileiros estão muito tristes porque muitas GALVAOS morrem todos os dias”. E ainda: “CALA BOCA GALVAO, o mundo não pode viver sem esse pássaro!”. Outros perguntaram se era uma campanha da ONG ambiental Greenpeace: “Cala Boca Galvão é um novo projeto do Greenpeace?”
Porém, quando os internautas de outros países descobriram que não se tratava de uma campanha ambiental dos brasileiros pedindo a proteção do “Cala Boca Galvão”, começaram a publicar no twitter: “CALA BOCA GALVAO não é uma ave rara no Brasil. Isso significa “Cala a boca Galvão” um locutor esportivo odiado por pessoas aqui em baixo”. Vejam que para se referir ao Brasil alguns gringos utilizaram a expressão “pessoas aqui em baixo”.
Initially, twitter users in other countries thought the “CALA BOCA GALVAO” was a campaign in Brazil to protect an endangered bird. A twitter user in the United States posted: “Galvao is a very rare bird in Brazil. SHUT UP means SAVE, Brazilians are very sad because many GALVAO die every day”.  And also: “SHUT UP GALVAO, the world cannot live without this bird.” Others have asked if it was a campaign by the environmental NGO Greenpeace: “Cala Boca Galvao is a new project for Greenpeace?”
However, when people in other countries found that this was not a brazilian environmental campaign asking for the protection of the “Cala Boca Galvão”, they began publishing on twitter:” SHUT UP GALVAO is not a rare bird in Brazil. “Shut up Galvão” is a sports announcer hated by people down here.” See that when referring to Brazil some foreigners used the phrase “people down here”.

Brazilians spread that “CALA BOCA GALVAO” was not only a rare species of bird, but also that it was some kind of remedy and a new single from Lady Gaga. Some blogs actualy believed that “Cala Boca Galvão” was, for real, a new single.

Juliana Weis says:

Outra explicação, não menos sádica, mas menos usada, é de que “CALA BOCA GALVAO” é a nova música de Lady Gaga. Só que essa versão não ganhou tantos adeptos quanto a do pobre pássaro ameaçado. Mas o pior (ou melhor) de tudo, os gringos aderiram. O “CALA BOCA GALVAO” invadiu o site e virou piada entre os brasileiros: “Se o Galvão é um passarinho de acordo com os gringos… seu canto é insuportável”, brincou um twitteiro chamado @Pedrocost.

Another explanation, no less sadistic, but less used, is that “CALA BOCA GALVAO” is the new music by Lady Gaga. Except that this version has not won many fans as the poor threatened bird. But the worst (or best) of all, wasthat foreigners joined in. The “CALA BOCA GALVAO” invaded the site and became a joke among Brazilians: “If Galvão is a bird according to the gringos… it's singing is unbearable,” joked @Pedrocost on Twitter

The famous Brazilian writer, Paulo Coelho, was among some of the jokers:

paulocoelho: CALA BOCA GALVAO is the Brazilian version of a homeopathic remedy SILENTIUM GALVANUS

And the joke still continues as the Brazilians keep trying to “explain” what “CALA BOCA GALVAO” means. See some twitter reactions:

BrazilianMcFly: News: CALA BOCA GALVAO is the new single of Lady Gaga in Spanish rythm about a brazilian bird in extinction.

TheMusicDude: “Essa parada de CALA BOCA GALVAO é a maior piada interna da história mesmo. Um país inteiro rindo e o resto do mundo sem entender nada”.

This thing CALA BOCA GALVAO is the biggest insider joke in history. An entire country laughing when the rest of the world didn't get the joke.

instanTKarmax: “After Alejandro, Lady Gaga will launch her new single CALA BOCA GALVAO, which promises to become another worldwide success.”

taianetai: #nowplaying Lady Gaga – CALA BOCA GALVAO EXPLICIT VERSION

nandoaires: CALA BOCA GALVAO Foundation will give US$ 0,31 for each tweet mentioning CALA BOCA GALVAO. Save the birds, RT.

nicholashf12: So what is the meaning of CALA BOCA GALVAO??? That's such a horrible nome for a Lady Gaga's song. I won't buy it, even for any bird's sake!

Antonionuneskd: Quem acha que devemos entrar pro Guiness por enganar o mundo dá RT . CALA BOCA GALVAO

Who thinks we should get into the Guiness [book of records] give RT .CALA BOCA GALVAO

JonCardoso: Gente, o Brasil é muito criativo! CALA BOCA GALVAO

Guys, Brazil is very creative! CALA BOCA GALVAO

Twitter user Ana explains the gerenal feeling of brazilians rigth now:

Analaus: O Twitter é de graça; Digitar é de graça; Ler é de graça; Ver o mundo se perguntando ” Who is CALA BOCA GALVAO ” #Nãotempreço

Twitter is free; Typing is free; Reading is free; see the world wondering “Who is CALA BOCA GALVAO #ispriceless

An Orkut community [Orkut is the most used social community in Brazil] was created with, so far, 400 members and also a twitter account @calabocagalvao and a twitter account for the “Galvao Bird foundation”: @galvaoinstitute

This article was proofread by Manuela Tenreiro.


  • Anezka

    I’d like to know what Galvão Bueno thinks about all this posts about him. He is acquiring a global success he has never imagined…

    • He made a joke himself about it. He said he talks too much, and Ayrton Senna would get into the shut up campaign if he was alive.

  • Andre

    And of course… even Hitler has his own opinion about it…

  • […] O site Global Voice redigiu uma matéria para explicar o acontecido aos demais internautas de fora do Brasil, que não […]

  • Retweet CALA BOCA GALVAO and save the birds.

  • […] Raphael Tsavkko Garcia explains in a post in the Global Voices blog, the sudden appearance of this phrase at the very top of […]

  • Paulo

    cala boca galvão é uma campanha muito séria.

  • Paulo

    Galvão is real, it is a bird!!!! Is a stupid bird, talkis, talks, and never shut up!!!! Let the Darwin Theory works. It must die!!!!

  • Paulo

    And the other bird too… The rare bird the Neves Bird, a bird who lives on snow, in the Argentina place. The Neves bird is other stupid biord, who must die!!!! Talki, talk, you don’t live with one Galvão and one Neves in the same place. Never!!!

  • Hey, don’t mess with this campaing! The Galvao bird is real! A stupid bird that never stops to talk! Please, help us to set free this stupid bird! SET THEM FREE!

  • Brazillian

    Even if it is huge joke, actually, it is a way to fight against what this television network demand us to watch. Until now, i’ve never seen this kind of rebellion against the most powerful TV – the Globo TV.
    It could be used wisely, but turns out that for most people is just a joke.
    I wish we could fight corruption and claim our rights just as enthusiastic.

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