When Brazil comes to most people’s minds, they usually think of beaches, soccer and carnival. But Brazil goes far beyond those words. I could mention hundreds of different and commonly unknown things about Brazil. But let’s start with just seven:
1- Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world Yes! The country is huge having around the same area as the continental US not considering Alaska. Almost half of it is covered by the Amazon rainforest. The most populated area is the cost line and especially the Southeast region. Brazil has also the 5th world largest population – a huge market!
2- Brazilians speak Portuguese and German is a minority language Many people around the world believe that Brazilians speak Spanish or that Portuguese is a Spanish dialect. Although many Brazilians partially understand Spanish, they speak Portuguese, an independent language different from Spanish as, let’s say, Duch is from German. And talking about German, there are several German speaking cities and communities in Brazil like Pomerode in Santa Catarina State. The dialect spoken there is no longer heard in Germany, but Hochdeutsch (modern standard German) learning has been encouraged in those areas. Other minority European, Asian and Native Brazilian languages are also spoken by hundreds of thousands people.
3- Brazilians used to speak Tupi up to the XVIII century Tupi was first spoken by the Tupinamba people in Brazil. Portuguese conquistadors through the Jesuits’ missions translated the Bible into Tupi and adopted the language as Brazilian lingua franca during the first colonial centuries. In the XVIII century with the massive migration of Europeans to Brazil mainly for the mining business, Portuguese started to take ahead as Brazilian most spoken language. Nowadays, Tupi is still found in several names of places, fauna and flora. English words such as jaguar and tapioca came from Tupi.
4- Brazil has around 750 super fruits other than açaí and guaraná If you are fond of these two Amazon fruit power, you would certainly be astonished to learn that there are other 750 fruit native of the Amazon region, according to the book “Frutas Comestíveis da Amazônia” by Paulo B. Cavalcante. Many of them are said to have “health boosting” properties and have been used by the local communities for feeding and medicine purposes for centuries, since long before the Europeans arrived in the Americas, according to researcher and writer Devair Montagner in his book “Representações das Doenças e das Terapêuticas entre os Marúbo”.
5- Most of Brazilians consider themselves monotheists but there are several “deities” in the country’s religions According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), 86% of Brazil’s population are Christians. Nevertheless, the historic and cultural melting pot in Brazil has brought along indigenous and African mythology and deities. In the New Year’s celebration, for instance, you can see several people performing offerings to Yemanja, one of the most revered African deity in Brazil together with several others such as, Olodumare, Oxum, Oxossi etc. The curious fact is that many people considered to be monotheistic Christian believe in or do not deny the existence of those deities. Salvador is one of the main cities where you can feel this Afro-Brazilian culture.
6- Brazil has one of the largest communities in the world that produce and celebrate the countryside culture (cultura sertaneja) Rodeo, cowboys, its own kind of country music and a huge high-tech farming area… Sounds like California or Texas, but it could also be São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goiás and other four Brazilian States. Their wealth originates mainly from the production of sugar cane, soya and meat and they have developed typical music, food and lifestyle not very dissimilar to those found in the South of the US.
7- Brazil has the world’s third largest airplane maker Right after Airbus and Boeing, the Brazilian Aircraft maker Embraer competes with the Canadian Bombardier for a third position in aircraft making. Embraer is one of the Brazilian companies with the best international reputation according to an AJA Solutions’ report.
There might certainly be many other topics to explore in Brazil. If you need more information on it do not hesitate to contact us!