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The World Cup opening ceremony in Brazil went off without a hitch last night and organisers were especially pleased with the final segment of the display which celebrated the absence of the banjo from Brazilian culture.

Brazil has long since been associated with carnivals and samba music and this is in no small thanks to the fact that no-one in the country plays banjo, wants to play banjo, wants to be seen in the vicinity of a banjo, wants to be near a banjo player or wants to feel the essence of a banjo. The events organisers have praised this particular aspect of their culture.

"We have a long standing history without the banjo and that is how we like to keep it. Brazilian music is sexy and exotic...the banjo is neither of these. Despite it's phallic appearance the banjo is a symbol of immense shame in or culture."

The history of this relationship started back as long ago as the Aztecs, who slaughtered the first banjo settlers in Brazil before the arrival of the Conquistadors. The Aztecs regarded the banjo players as simpletons and minions of the Devil God, 'Gerioconor'.

The ceremony closed with the arrival of a giant football in the middle of the stadium which opened to reveal the giant banjo. Dancers waved their hands at the banjo, mimicking casting a magic spell on the instrument, which then exploded in a burst of confetti, delighting the thousands in the crowd.


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