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About Brazil
Brazil is a country full of diversity and wonder. Each region has its own unique characteristic and attraction from a rainforest in the Amazon to the urban jungle of Brasilia. On the other spectrum, you also have beautiful landscape hills and mountains, open fields and valleys in the south.
This South American country is bordered by Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Suriname, and Guyana. It is the 5th largest country in the world and the most densely populated in South America.
Since Brazil was once a colony of Portugal, its official language has remained Portuguese. It is also a country deeply rooted in its religion with almost all Brazilian practicing the Roman Catholic beliefs.
Brazil holds the distinction of being the most-visited nation in South America. Its colorful culture seems to be built for fun, whether you’re running along sun-soaked beaches or dancing to the samba rhythm at a local night club. Due to the country’s massive size, a Brazilian vacation can literally have it all.
Those in search of rest and relaxation will want to spend some time in the posh resort town of Buzios. Nature lovers might want to begin a journey through the Amazon rainforest in Manaus or journey to Foz do Iguaçu and take in the stunning Iguazu Falls.
The climate of Brazil is basically tropical. Over 90% of the country is near the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn. With this kind of proximity to the Equator, Brazil has a wonderfully even tempered climate all year round which makes it an ideal vacation destination.
Brazil has a very wide coastline with a number of mountain ranges that can reach up to almost 3,000 meters high. The highest peak in Brazil is the Pico da Neblina in the Guiana highlands with a spectacular height of 3,014 meters or almost 10,000 feet tall.
If you look at Brazil from above, you will also notice idyllic islands dotting teh coastline of Brazil like the Rocas Atoll, Trindade, Saint Peter, Fernando de Noronha and Martim Vaz.
You probably heard of the world’s largest river, the Amazon River. This might be the reason you are visiting Brazil. The Amazon River is also the second longest river in the world although there are other impressive rivers like the Parana, the Iguacu River, Xingu, Sao Francisco, Tapajos and Madeira Rivers.
The people of Brazil comes from all parts of the globe. Many of the Brazilians have European ancestors like Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German. There are also some who have mixed African ancestry. The original Brazilians were Indians, however today, only a small percentage remain of the overall population.
The two largest and most popular cities in Brazil are the Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Rio de Janeiro was once the capital city of Brazil, and today is one of the most populated cities in South America.
When people talk of Brazil, it mostly covers topics such as the exciting nightlife, the fantastic festivals, and the mysterious and dark Amazon jungle. Many films were made about this jungle, and it just adds to the mysticism about untold stories waiting to be discovered in the Amazon.
Culture of Brazil
The culture of Brazil is basically seen ion the diversity of its people. The mix of races is astounding in how it all happens. Initially, Brazil was inhabited by Portuguese settlers who ended up marrying the locals. This brought about the term, “mestizo” which essentially means interracial children.
Then the Africans came and also married Portuguese which brought a race called “Mulattoes.” When slavery was abolished, many different cross over happened that sort of merged everyone. Today, everyone has a little Portuguese, African, natives, and European blood, and the result is breathtakingly beautiful.
Even with the diverse races in Brazil, there still exists a class system. Racial discrimination based on the color of one’s skin is still prevalent, although Brazilians refuse to consider themselves as racists. From a bird’s eye view, the darker skin colored Brazilian for some reason, are lower in social and economic status, but this is just on the average. There are dark skinned Brazilians who have managed to make a name for themselves and have “risen” from their class to become successful in their field.
On the other hand, Brazilian women have been making a name for themselves in politics and business. They are slowly being accepted as an equal by the Brazilian men.
The Brazilian family usually tend to be large with an extended family always close by. This is a reflection of the religion of Brazil which is predominantly Roman Catholic.
Where in other societies, hiring members of your family to work for you is considered nepotism, here in Brazil is it entirely acceptable because it is a sign of trust, which is a high premium in Brazil.
With the unique diversity of races in Brazil, the arts, music, dance, and literature of Brazil is remarkable and very different. You will notice European, American, African, and even Asian flavors in their culture.
However, the main foundation of Brazilian culture is still the Portuguese influence since they were the first and major colonizers of Brazil. From Brazil, there is the popular Samba music, there is also the intense and dramatic heavy African drumming beat that sounds a little like jazz and the blues at the same time.
Symbolism plays an important role in Brazil. Aside from the carnivals which normally celebrate pre Lent, Brazilians are very passionate about their sport, football.
The carnivals is a way for the Brazilians to set aside their problems and enjoy a 4 day vacation. The symbolism here is seen in the duality of Brazilian society where classes are breached and everyone is equal, including gender crossovers.
Football, on the other hand, has produced many excellent players in Brazil, like Pele’. Every World Cup event, Brazilians tend to close shop to watch football. When they win, which has happened many times already, the entire country goes berserk with joy and exuberance. The colors of their players and flag, green and yellow, is seen everywhere, and it would be extremely difficult not to celebrate with them during these moments of glory.
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