Friday, April 26, 2013

Facts About Brazil

It is hard to define such a diverse nation such as Brazil. People love stereotypes, but in my point of view they are usually not fair. I know Rio is the most famous city in Brazil and one of the most famous and beautiful cities in the world, but Brazil goes beyond. And this is what I want to show you. 
There will be 12 host cities spread around this land and I want to make sure I tell you all about them. There are some similarities, but they are all very particular and unique.

For now I want to show you few general facts about Brazil that you might, or might not know:
  1. Brazil is the largest country in South America and the world’s fifth largest.
  2. Its official name is Federal Republic of Brazil. 
  3. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic or Protestant. Brazil is a very religious country. 
  4. Brazil is formed by 26 states and a Federal District. The capital of Brasil is Brasilia
  5. The official language is Portuguese. We are the only country in America that speak the language.
  6. In 1500 Brazil was discovered by the Portuguese, and in 1815 we became United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Yes, the Portuguese Real Family moved to Brazil and Rio was then the capital of the Kingdom. You can actually visit their residence at Quinta da Boa Vista, in Rio and one of their castles in Petropolis, RJ.
  7. The first name given to this country was Vera Cruz Island since the Portuguese travellers had no idea of the size of the territory they discovered.
  8. Brazil became independent in 1822. There is a beautiful museum in São Paulo where you can also visit, the Ipiranga Museum, where the independence was proclaimed. 
  9. The origin of the name Brazil is still not totally known, but it is probably because of the beautiful woods founded at the time of the discovery that were totally exploited by the Portuguese. You will find beautiful bows and utensils made of this wood called Pau-Brasil. 
  10. Feijoada is a traditional black beans and pork stew that used to be made by the slaves (prior 1888) and now it is appreciated in every state of Brazil and internationally famous. This dish is served with white rice, collard green and farofa. (You may need a nap after this).
  11. There are over 7 million lebanese descendants in Brazil. More than the population of Lebanon.
  12. There are 6 climatic regions in Brazil: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical, atlantic tropical and subtropical
  13. Football in Brazil is serious stuff. It is by far the most popular sport over here, it is so popular that people say: “I’m going to play ball.” or “I’m going to watch the game tonight.” and everyone knows they are talking about soccer. Football, or soccer, is present in our lives all the time, just like a religion.  
  14. Brazil is the only nation who was present in every single World Cup edition.
  15. Brazilians are in general very friendly and generous people. If you have any trouble trying to speak Portuguese, you can try Spanish, or English. But if none of the alternatives work, don’t worry, they will try to communicate and help you no matter what!
*Watch what Antony Bourdain says about feijoada: "The perfect dish".

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