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Regular version of the site

Culture Café: Brazil

Still feel that you took part in a real carnival? Or from now on you smile everywhere to everyone and never feel stressed? Is it magic? Actually, it is our second Culture Café which was about sunny and hot BRAZIL.

We’re truly thankful to HSE students: Lucca, Clarissa, Filipe, Leonardo, Gustavo, Leandro and Guilherme — our “magicians”, who showed us the real Brazil and proved that their country has a lot more to offer than coffee and football.

So, we started by learning about the history of Brazil. The land itself was discovered by the Portuguese fleet in 1500 and became a centralized Portuguese colony in South America. Within two centuries Brazil managed to become Europe’s biggest supplier of sugarcane. The country was becoming stronger and stronger, but when tension between Portuguese and Brazilians reached unsustainable conditions, the Portuguese Cortes tried to re-establish Brazil as a colony. The Brazilians refused to yield, and Prince Pedro decided to stand by their side, declaring the country's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822. From that time on, Brazil became independent.

Nowadays Brazil is the biggest country in Latin America with a population of about 208 million people (6th in the world). Its diversity makes it South America's go-to destination for travelers going after the “everything in one place” experience. And also, it is striking to know that all of Brazil’s beauty is represented in the flag.


Green is for forests. Yellow is for the mineral wealth of Brazil. The blue circle and stars represent the sky over Rio de Janeiro when Dom Pedro declared the country’s independence. There is one star for each state (26) and the federal district. And the country’s motto is «Ordem e Progresso» (Order and Progress).


Not comparing to Russian 85 regions, Brazil is subdivided in 5 of them,and each has its own unique features and cultural differences.



We all heard about the Amazon, world’s largest river, and the enormous snake species, Anaconda —welcome to the North region. However, this region is more mysterious than we think… If you are lucky, you can find PINK dolphins in the Amazon river! Do you want to know one mysterious legend surrounding them? (click the link to read the full story  http://www.amazon-indians.org/page19.html ).



Then, let’s move to the Midwest part of Brazil. Even though this region is somehow isolated from the rest of the country, it is famous for being a territory inhabited by beautiful jaguars. Nevertheless, the most popular tourists’ destination is where all the beaches are located (Fernando de Noronha and Praia do Toque, Alagoas). Hello from the Northeast region! And the last but definitely not the least – the Southeast and South parts of Brazil. These regions are considered to be the most important, because all main cities as Brasília (the capital of Brazil), São Paulo (the most populous city in Brazil) and famous Rio de Janeiro are located there.


Did you know that Brasilia was designed to look like an airplane? You might ask why, even Brazilians don't know!

Right after the vastly informative part of the presentation, we moved on to the specifics of the Brazilian culture. The most important thing for every Brazilian is family, and by saying “family” they mean not just a nuclear one. Brazilians spend weekends together with their relatives, celebrate holidays and always support each other. (Take an example from these warm-hearted people and tell your family how much you love them!) No wonder that there are lots of traditions in Brazil, and the most famous is… CARNIVALS! It is a five-day «National party» (in some regions even more) held 46 days before Easter, when every Brazilian forgets about what is called the “hard realities of life” and just has fun. Carnivals are marked by street parades, samba, all kinds of Brazilian music, parties and, of course, elaborated costumes. Being in cold Moscow, we all could feel “the spirit” of a carnival, because our Brazilian friends were singing and even dancing. So did we!

 
Those, who never miss our Culture Café, might have noticed that “food segment” is becoming a traditional one, but who doesn't like trying new? Especially, delicious and exotic food. Take a note that Brazilian cuisine varies from region to region, but well-known Feijoada is a must-try dish for all food-lovers. But that's not it! Remember Brigadeiro (a traditional candy), Cheese bun, Coxinha (chicken croquettes) and Acai (a typical Brazilian dish made of frozen and mashed açaí palm fruit), and don't forget to try them all when you are in Brazil.

We ended up talking about Brazilian art (music styles: Bossa nova, Forro, Funk) and since Brazil is often called “the country of football”, we couldn't miss this part. From now on don't be surprised if banks and shops will be closed during the World Cup (football is taken THAT seriously) – just join Brazilians and cheer the country with them! (Filipe made a joke that even though he doesn't like football so much, he had to choose a favourite team and join this massive movement).



A few hours are definitely not enough for telling us about everything this breathtaking country has, so make sure to visit Brazil one day and explore it in your own way. OBRIGADO!

Our world is way more fantastic than any dream. Don't miss a chance to forget about all your worries for a while and enjoy discovering new places with us on our next Culture café! See you there!


Author: Ekaterina Kravtsova
Editor: Irina Klimova
Editor and proofreader: Enrique Castilla