Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area and the seventh most populous in the world.
212.6 million (2020)
Family life is very important to Brazilians, and therefore inquiring about the wellbeing of their family, spouse, children etc will be warmly appreciated.
Avoid boasting about Argentina. As one of Brazil’s neighbouring countries, Argentina is thought to be a ‘rival’.
Three foods you need to try in this country:
- Moqueca (stewed seafood with onion, peppers and coconut milk),
- Churrasco (mixed barbecued meat),
- Brigadeiros (Brazilian version of chocolate truffle)
- Cachaca (drink made from fermented sugarcane juice)
What the country is known for :
- 1 of the 7 wonders of the world: Christ the Redeemer Statue,
- Brazilian Carnival,
- Amazon rainforest, Iguazu Falls
- The source quality luscious human hair weaves (for my fellow black girls)
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Brazilian Football team and international football stars
More About Brazil
This gigantic country had been a place of dreams and wonder on my bucket list for years, because…who is not fascinated by those carnival scenes, and also as a nature lover – Brazil has so much to offer by means of natural diversity including rain forests, mountains, hills, beaches, waterfalls, vast white sand dunes with small lagoons scattered creating a perfect picture of opposites. However, due to what I had been informed was a high cost for holiday makers, it was a place I never really prioritised. However, a friend was living there for a while and invited me to stay in her spare room. I am only human, I gathered my pennies together and booked a flight to Rio – offers like this are few and far between. It was my first trip to South America and therefore I was overwhelmed by the thought and disbelief that my African body was gallivanting through the streets of Rio, mixing and mingling with Brazilians. Be mindful that there will be a lot of places where no-one speaks or understands English, therefore I had to brush up on my sign language skills and download google translate on my phone. A smile will also take you a very long way, as generally locals are very warm, friendly and helpful.
Enough about my awe and all, here is what is interesting about this beautiful country. If you are a lover of seafood, it is plentiful and it is fresh. What is also interesting about the country is that it is made up of people of various backgrounds i.e. people of indigenous, African and European origins. This has led to such an amazing creations in their cultural and culinary offerings. It is also important to note that because Brazil is so big, with so much natural diversity the different regions may have different cuisines. For example if you are looking for real açaí in Rio, you may struggle to find the real stuff as that is usually from the northern parts of Brazil.
One of the things I found very interesting was how integrated the different races were, in terms of living spaces, relationships and in the workplace. The chef leading a cooking class I attended even went as far as to say ‘life is fun and spicy, therefore we like to mix things up a little’. By this she was referring to the commonality of cross racial relationships that are so prevalent around Brazil. This probably speaks more about where I grew up, but I found this particularly heartwarming, it seemed as if no-one’s Brazilian status was questioned because of their skin colour but an acknowledgement of humanity in all its forms. The Escadaria Selaron (Selaron Steps) seems to depict this as it was created, by the Chilean born artist Jorge Selaron, as a tribute to the Brazilian people. On view of the steps it seems as if stories of the country’s cultures are depicted in addition to representation of different countries around the world which reflects the interconnectedness of people. Carnival is also a celebration of the cultural diversity of the different people of Brazil, as there are several cultural representations on show in the different floats that are in the Carnival celebrations in different parts of the country.
Also, if going to Rio, be prepared for a body confidence boost! You have a body, feel free to flaunt it (if you choose to), because the locals surely do. I saw a man walking in town (not at the beach) in his speedos and flip flops, holding his wallet in his hand. Women of all body types wearing bikinis with the thong-like bottoms. Naturally the BBL is from Brazil, but even if you don’t want it, there are plenty of places where you can allow your behind to get some sun without feeling super conscious about it. All body types are welcomed and celebrated! There is a bit of a chill vibe about the people of Brazil, enjoy the simple pleasures of life, spend time with those you love and take care of your community.
The country is mostly catholic and hence from various parts of Rio (on a clear day) you can see The Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue watching over the city. There is so much to do, see and experience in Brazil. The country has so much laid beneath the surface if you take time to explore and unearth.
Do you speak English?
Voce fala ingles?
Where is the toilet?
Onde e o banheiro
May I please have some water?
Posso por favor ter um pouco de agua?
I would like some food please
Eu gostaria de um pouco de comida por favor
Where can I get a taxi?
Onde posso pegar um taxi?
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