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VEIGA, Cynthia Greive  e  GOUVEA, Maria Cristina Soares. Comemorar a infância, celebrar qual criança? Festejos comemorativos nas primeiras décadas republicanas. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2000, vol.26, n.01, pp.135-160. ISSN 1517-9702.

The article discusses aspects of the various processes of formation of the identity of the Brazilian people, starting from the study of the institutionalization of the commemorations of childhood in Belo Horizonte. Starting from the fact that between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century several statements originated in the anthropological, medical, juridical, pedagogic and psychological fields are established with the intention of producing that identity, the work focuses on three events performed in the city: the national day of the child celebrated on the 12th October, instituted in 1924 and strongly identified as a school party; the Christmas parties for the poor children, where the philanthropy mobilized different sectors of the society; and the child robustness and beauty contests, initiated in Belo Horizonte in 1935 with the purpose of celebrating the childhood associated to the eugenic ideals. The study argues that such events contributed to legitimize and propagate a scientific knowledge that chose the child as its central object of study and intervention. More than to celebrate the childhood, it was the sciences that were commemorated with the objective of pursuing the ideal of a civilized and united nation, although marked by deep socio-racial cleavages, and to project the child as the utopia of an adult world to be established. The work concludes by showing that nowadays events reminiscent of those celebrations still take place, revealing the permanence of a Europeanized racial ideal that mars with exclusion the existence of part of the Brazilian children.

Palavras-chave : Childhood; History; Commemorations.

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