Cultural Comparison Between Brazil and Malaysia

Topics: Malaysia, Brazil, Portuguese language Pages: 9 (3070 words) Published: April 6, 2009
Eight thousand years ago, the indigenous people arrived into Alaska by crossing the Bering land bridge and after that entered the rest of North and South America. The first European to discover Brazil was Pedro Alvares Cabral on April 22, 1500. British was a colony of Portugal from the 16th to 19th century before it declared its independence from Portugal on the 7th of September 1822. Brazil became a constitutional monarchy, called the Empire of Brazil. In 1889, the military coup established a republican government in 1889. The country has been nominally a democratic republic ever since, except for three periods of overt dictatorship (1930' 1934; 1937' 1945 and 1964' 1985) (Wikipedia, 2009).

The Portuguese reportedly found about seven million native Indians. Most of the tribes were peripatetic. They survived with limited agriculture and temporary dwellings, although villages often had as many as 5000 inhabitants. The cultural life was richly developed. The very few remaining traces of Brazil’s Indian tribes do not reveal much of their lifestyle like the Andean tribes. Today, fewer than 200,000 of Brazil's indigenous people survive, most of who inhabit the jungle areas (Geographia, 2006).

Other Portuguese explorers followed Cabral, in search of valuable goods for European trade but also for unsettled land and the opportunity to escape poverty in Portugal itself.   The only valuable item that they discovered was the pau do brasil (brazil wood tree) from which they created red dye. Unlike the colonizing philosophy of the Spanish, the Portuguese in Brazil were much less focused at first on conquering, controlling, and developing the country. Most were impoverished sailors, who were far more interested in profitable trade and subsistence agriculture than in territorial expansion. The country's interior remained unexplored (Geographia, 2006).

Soon, there were sugar coming into Brazil and so does imported slaves. The Portuguese settlers then intermarried with both the Indian and African slaves, and there were also marriages in between Africans and Indians. This has caused the Brazil’s population to intermingle to a high degree which can never be seen elsewhere. Most Brazilians possess some combination of European, African, Amerindian, Asian, and Middle Eastern lineage, and this multiplicity of cultural legacies is a notable feature of current Brazilian culture (Geographia, 2006).

The immigrant Portuguese language was greatly influenced by the numerous Indian and African dialects they encountered, but it remains the dominant language in Brazil today. In fact, the Brazilian dialect has become the dominant influence in the development of the Portuguese language, for the simple reason that Brazil has 15 times the population of Portugal and a much more dynamic linguistic environment (Geographia, 2006).

Situated in the heart of Southeast Asia at one of the world's major crossroads, Malaysia has always been pivotal to trade routes from Europe, the Orient, India and China. Its warm tropical climate and abundant natural blessings made it a congenial destination for immigrants as early as 5,000 years ago when the ancestors of the Orang Asli, the indigenous peoples of Peninsular Malaysia, settle here, probably the pioneers of a general movement from China and Tibet. They were followed by the Malays, who brought with them skills in farming and the use of metals.

Around the first century BC, strong trading links were established with China and India, and these had a major impact on the culture, language and social customs of the country. Evidence of a Hindu-Buddhist period in the history of Malaysia can today be found in the temple sites of the Bujang Valley and Merbok Estuary in Kedah in the north west of Peninsular Malaysia, near the Thai border. The spread of Islam, introduced by Arab and Indian traders, brought the Hindu-Buddhist era to an end by the 13th...

References: Associated Content, (2009). Business Etiquette in Malaysia. Retrieved February 12, 2009, from
eDiplomat (2009). Cultural Etiquette. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from
Geographia, (2006). Brazil. Retrieved February 16, 2009, from
Kwintessential Cross Cultural Solutions. Culture in Brazil. Retrieved February 18, 2009, from
Regit, (2004). History in Brief. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from
Travel Document Systems (2009). Culture. Retrieved February 17, 2009, from
Wikipedia, (2009). History of Brazil. Retrieved from February 14, 2009 from
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