1. Brazil - About Brazil

 

 

Diversity is the mark of Brazil, country with more than 190 million people. In five hundred years of history, a nation formed by various people was built, owner of a varied culture and a vast territory, currently divided into 26 States, one Federal District and 5,563 Municipalities.


As a democracy, the exercise of power is assigned to separate and independent bodies, each one with its own function and foreseeing a control system between them, so none can act in disagreement to the laws and Constitution.


Brazil was conquered in 1500, and only in 1808 was authorized by the Portuguese colonial government to install the first industries and manufacturers. It was a long walk to reach the current position in the global economy. At the beginning, the exportation was dominated by primary and natural products, such as sugar, rubber and gold. Currently, 74% of the exportation represents manufactured and semi manufactured goods.


According to the Brazilian government, among the measures taken to balance the economy, Brazil promoted, recently, the reform of the Social Security system (retired and annuitants) and the Tax system, and the Fiscal Responsibility Law, which controls the public expenditure of the federal, state and municipal governments. In parallel, the country invested in an efficient management and implemented financing policies to the exportations, industry and trade, opening “windows of opportunities” for national and international producers and investors.


After those changes, Brazil is less vulnerable: it has its own oil production; reduced by half the internal debt in securities related to the exchange; increased the exportations, on average 15% per year. The exchange system does not put pressure of inflation on the industry. As result, after 12 years, the country obtained surplus in the accounts that measure exportations and importations, interest payment, services and remittances abroad.


Brazil is considered as a developing country, so some contrasts typical of the situation may be observed. Firstly, there is a high wealth concentration index on a small portion of the population. On the other hand, the inflation is under control (average 4.5% per year), the economy is stable, with growth of the GDP of approximately 4% and a decreasing exchange rate.


The external debt is overcome, and the country does not currently depend on loans from the IMF. Brazil has its own oil production and nowadays it also has a sustainable production of an alternative renewable energy source: the biofuels.


The Brazilian culture is as diverse as its population. There is music, painting, literature, design, traditional celebrations, modern architecture in harmony with the historic cities and countless cultural manifestations. The tourists may visit hundreds of museums, musical places, artistic festivals and libraries. The popular art is parallel to the traditional art in Brazil. Due to the ethnic diversity, the people are influenced by a great variety of colors and textures.


The continental proportion provides many work opportunities to artists. From clay to textile, from music to dancing, Brazil will stimulate the senses in a cultural trip. In 2007, it 100th anniversary of frevo was celebrated, a dance characterized by the movement of the body and feet. In 2008, the 50th anniversary of bossa nova was celebrated, a sophisticated and soft rhythm worldwide known.


Due to the diversity, the Brazilian culture is one of the richest in the world. There are different cultures in each region of this continental country. We are only one nation but with different customs, ethnic groups, nationalities, beliefs, culinary, accents and lifestyles. This rich mixture makes the Brazilian people be known as one of the most hospitable and joyful in the world. Here, traditional and historic cities, listed as world cultural heritage by the UNESCO, coexist with the modern architecture.


The people´s creativity and religiosity on the streets, festivities and popular manifestations are present, such as the carnaval. It is an exhibition of colors, music and joy. It is possible to participate in the greatest New Year fireworks display in the world, in Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro. We know that differences should not be in conflict. In Brazil, they are a reason to celebrate.


In fact, there is a feature particularly weighty that expresses the Brazilian identity: the countless popular festivities. Celebrating is part of the national character. There are no great differences between the religious events and pagan celebrations. Brazil demonstrates its vitality through these popular manifestations.


The Brazilian cooking is a mix of influences from Europe, indigenous tribes of Brazil, Africa and many other cultures, offering high quality to visitors. The exotic fruits, condiments and the creative way to use them in each region have inspired important chefs.


The most popular dish is called “feijoada” and is always served hot. It was created by the African slaves, from the leftover of Portuguese people and is accompanied with “cachaça” and the drink called “caipirinha”, a mix of sugar with fresh lemon. Other popular dishes are “acarajé” and “colonial coffee”.


The lifestyle of the Brazilian people is another characteristic that attracts tourists.

 

According to a survey carried out by the Brazilian Tourist Board (EMBRATUR), 2,405 tourists from 27 countries who visited Brazil in 2009 (45%) considered the Brazilian people as the best aspect of the country; 23%, natural beauty; 18%, beaches; 14%, weather and sun and 9%, diversity. 86% of foreign tourists would like to visit Brazil again.


According to the survey, the natural beauty is the main Brazilian attraction. 28%, preferred beaches; 18%, forests; 16%, Rio de Janeiro and 7%, Foz do Iguaçu.


Regarding music and dance, 46% preferred samba; 9%, MPB and forró, and 7%, bossa nova.

 

Regarding sports, 85% mentioned the football. (Source: EMBRATUR / Zaytec – 2009).

 


For more information, access www.brasil.gov.br/pais