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Brazil is a vibrant, full-of-life, sports crazy nation, the largest in South America, and famous for its beaches, nightlife, samba and the flamboyant Rio carnival of course.
There is a lot that is well known and world famous about Brazil but Brazil’s unique culture and traditions are not so widely known.
Here are some quirky, fascinating and lesser known facts about Brazil, it’s culture and society, so that you know exactly what to expect when you visit this vibrant country. Being aware of these facts is not only fun, it can also help you to appreciate the cultural nuances better when enjoying the various sights, attractions and experiences in Brazil.
Brazil being a Latin American country, visitors quite often mistakenly assume that most people in Brazil speak Spanish. It is actually Portuguese and not Spanish which is the country’s official and most widely spoken language. In fact Brazil is the world’s largest Portuguese speaking country and this is because of its 300-year long history with Portugal. Brazil was a Portuguese colony till the early 19th century.
The population, culture and cuisine of Brazil is truly a global melting pot since it is made up largely of immigrant culture from countries as far apart and diverse as Japan, Italy, Syria, Germany, Korea, Lebanon and China. In fact Sao Paulo is said to have the largest population of Japanese outside of Japan. Overall Brazilians today are considered to be descendents of three main ethnic groups – Europeans, Africans and Amerindians. All of this comes together beautifully to lend a unique vibrancy to Brazil’s culture.
Music and dance is an integral part and a way of life for Brazilians young and old. The biggest proof of this is the world’s largest carnival that is hosted every year in March in one of Brazil’s largest cities, Rio de Janeiro. Brazil has given the world many popular music and dance styles including the energetic samba which was developed in Brazil sometime in the 1800’s.
Home to an estimated four million plant and animal species, Brazil is one of the most sensitive and important biodiversity hotspots in the world. A large part of this biodiversity is attributed to the Amazon Rainforest, 60% of which lies in Brazil.
Situated in the heart of one of the most dense rainforests on Earth, is the north western Brazilian city of Manaus on the banks of the Negro River. Amazon’s largest city and an important port, Manaus is a well developed and bustling urban centre that is home to around 2.5 million people. But what makes its location unique is that the metropolis is completely surrounded by the Amazon Rainforest.
When planning your trip to Brazil don’t forget to buy travel insurance. Having travel insurance is as important and mandatory as ensuring that you have a valid passport and a visa to visit Brazil. Make sure you buy travel insurance for Brazil before you leave from India because it is a necessary travel safeguard to protect your finances in times of unforeseen crisis. Insuring your overseas trip will allow you to explore the sights and sounds of a foreign country with total peace of mind, knowing you are covered just in case any mishap occurs such as an accident, loss of luggage or even if your trip itself gets cancelled.
We suggest you get hold of our travel guide for Brazil if you would like to know more about the places to see and things to do in Brazil, the best time of year to visit, how to budget and save for your Brazil vacation and other handy travel tips.
While in Brazil make it a point to try some of the authentic local dishes such as Feijoada, a delicious stew-like preparation of black beans cooked with meat and served with steamed rice, leafy greens, crisps, fried bananas and orange slices. Said to have been brought to Brazil by African slaves, Feijoada is widely considered as the national dish of Brazil and is definitely worth a try.
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