Brazil is the largest country in both South America and the Latin America region. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population, with over 197 million people.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese. It is spoken by about 99% of the population, making it one of the strongest elements of national identity.
The first European to explore Brazil was Pedro Álvares Cabral in the year of 1500 under the sponsorship of Portugal. From the 16th to the 19th centurie, Brazil was a colony of Portugal. In 1822, the country declared its independence from Portugal and became a constitutional monarchy.
A military coup in 1889 established a republican government.
The country has seen a dictatorship for many years and the worst was the period of the military rule from 1964 to 1985.
Tancredo Neves was elected president in an indirect election in 1985 as the nation returned to civilian rule. He died before being sworn in, and the elected vice president, José Sarney, was sworn in as president in his place.
Fernando Collor de Mello was the first elected president by popular vote after the military regime in 1989. Later, in the early hours of December 30, 1992, by the required two-thirds majority, the Senate found the former President guilty of the charges of impeachment for corruption.
In the 2010 Brazil elected the first woman President, Dilma Rousseff.
The culture of Brazil presents a very diverse nature showing that an ethnic and cultural mixing occurred in the colonial period involving mostly Native Americans, Portuguese and Africans. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Italian,German, Spanish, Ukrainians, Polish, Arab and Japanese immigrants settled in Brazil and played an important role in its culture, creating a multicultural and multiethnic society.
Brazilian cuisine varies greatly by region. This diversity reflects the country's mix of natives and immigrants. This has created a national cooking style, marked by the preservation of regional differences.
Since the colonial period, the Brazilian Feijoada is the Brazil undisputed national dish. It is a recipe of beanstew with rice and pork meat. Different garniture is used in different parts of Brazil, but usually include “farofa” (yucca flour toasted with butter, eggs and bacon), sautéed kale greens, orange and hot sauce.
Originally feijoada was made using every part of the pig, such as ears, tails, and nose floating among the beans. As this upsets tourists, a version of it is made especially with them in mind only using the fine meat parts of the pig. Because of the “heavy” consistence of the famous beanstew recipe, drinking some caipirinhas helps reduce the unhealthy effects.
Cachaça is Brazil's native liquor, distilled from sugar cane, and it is the main ingredient in the Caipirinha.
Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime. Cachaça is also known as Pinga or Caninha.
And to complete the tradition of having this delicious feast a good Brazilian music must be playing.
Music is one of the most instantly recognizable elements of Brazilian culture. Many different genres and styles have emerged in Brazil, such as samba, choro, bossa nova, MPB, frevo, forró, maracatu and axe.
The most iconic styles are Bossa Nova, MPB e Samba.
Bossa Nova originated in the late 1950s. It has its roots on samba but features less percussion, employing instead a distinctive and percussive guitar pattern. Bossa nova gained mainstream popularity in Brazil in 1958 with the song Chega de Saudade, written by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes. Together with João Gilberto, Jobim and Moraes would become the driving force of the Bossa Nova, which gained worldwide popularity with the song Garota de Ipanema.
MPB was a trend in Brazilian music that emerged after the bossa nova boom. It presents many variations and includes elements of styles that...
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