Country and Culture
Facts at a Glance
Brazil is the 5th
largest country in
the world and has
the 6th largest
It covers almost half
of South America
and it’s borders
touch 10 other
countries. The only
2 countries in South
America that does
not share a border is
Chili and Ecuador.
Facts at a Glance
Ø Republica Federative do Brasil
Ø Government: Federal Republic
Ø Population: 182,000,000
Ø Capitol: Brasilia
Ø President: Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003)
Ø Ethnicity: white (includes Portuguese, German,
Italian, Spanish, Polish) 55%, mixed white and
African 38%, African 6%, other (includes Japanese,
Arab, Amerindian) 1%
Ø Religion: 80% Roman Catholic
Ø Literacy Rate: 84%
Ø Per Capita Income: US$7400 annually
Ø Unemployment: 6.4%
Did you know?
90% of the population
10% of the land mass.
Ø Brazil is the only Latin American nation
that derives its language and culture from
Ø Pedro Alvares Cabral claimed the
territory for Portugal in 1500.
Ø The early explorers brought back a wood
that produced a red dye, “pau- brasil”,
from which the land received its name.
Ø Portugal began colonization in 1532 and
made the area a royal colony in 1549.
Ø During the Napoleonic Wars, King João VI of
Portugal, fearing the advancing French armies,
fled the country in 1808 and set up his court in
Rio de Janeiro
Ø João was drawn home in 1820 by a revolution,
leaving his son as regent.
Ø When Portugal tried to re-impose colonial rule,
the prince declared Brazil's independence on
Sept. 7, 1822.
Ø In 1831, Emperor Pedro I was removed and his
5 year old son resumed control.
Ø Pedro II was a popular leader and remained in
control until 1889 when he was overthrown by a
Return to Civilian Rule
Ø Until 1945, Brazil was led under numerous
Ø Presidents were elected between 1945 and 1964
when a military coup again overthrew the
Ø Brazil returned to Civilian Rule again in 1985
Ø Brazil’s economy had greatly suffered due to
corruption and change.
Ø In 1995 Fernando Cardoso was elected. He
started many positive economic and human
Ø In Jan. 1999, the Asian economic crisis spread
to Brazil. Rather than prop up the currency
through financial markets, Brazil opted to let the
currency float, which sent the real plummeting-at
one time as much as 40%.
Ø In Jan. 2003, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva became Brazil's
first working-class president.
Ø Da Silva, a former trade union leader and factory worker
who is widely known by the name Lula.
Ø Da Silva, who grew up in extreme poverty, has pledged to
increase social services and improve the lot of the poor.
Ø The president's first major legislative success came in
July when his plan to reform the country's debt-ridden
pension system -which operates under an annual $20
billion-deficit was approved.
Ø Civil servants, however, have staged massive strikes
opposing the reforms.
Ø October 31, 2010, when Dilma Rousseff was elected the
first woman to lead Brazil in its history.
Do you know?
Do you know
that Brazil has
had 3 Capitol
Do you know
why it was
Ø The largest economy in South America
Ø The 9th largest in the world.
Ø Distribution is very narrow, One half of
private lands are owned by 1% of the
Ø More than 1/3 of the population live in
Ø Monetary Unit: Real 1 US Dollar =2.09
ØBrazil has 1/3 of the world’s timber.
ØMinerals and Ores
ØWorld’s largest producer of coffee,
oranges and bananas.
ØEducation is socialized.
ØIt consists of 8 years of compulsory
education and 2 years of secondary.
ØA large percentage of Brazilian
students attend private schools.
ØBrazil has a National Health Care
ØRural areas have extremely poor
ØThere are outstanding private pay
institutions for those that can afford
ØYellow Fever and Malaria are found
in some rural areas.
Ø Staple foods include meat, bread, rice, beans,
cheese, fruit and eggs.
Ø Breakfast includes strong coffee with milk, fruit and
Ø The main meal of the day is at mid-day.
Ø Dinner is light.
Ø “Feijoada” is the national dish. This is made of black
beans and dried meats.
Ø Most meals are served with rice and “farofa” (manioc
Ø In Bahia, “dende” is a heavy oil used in cooking with
a strong distinctive taste.
Ø “Moqueca” is a Bahian favorite made with meat,
usually seafood, tomatoes, coconut milk, herbs,
peppers, and dende.
Ø “Caipurinha” is the national drink. Be careful, it is
Ø Warm, Fun Loving, and Free Spirited.
Ø Proud of their Portuguese heritage.
Ø Dress is casual and bright to very stylish.
Ø When visiting, you should expect to stay for at least 2
hours. They will continue to invite you to stay as long
as you will, however there is a time to go home!
Ø Not accepting refreshments could seem rude.
Ø If invited for dinner, one should take chocolate, wine,
or a small gift.
Ø After dinner you will probably be offered “cafezinho”
This is a very strong sweet coffee for sipping.
Ø Avoid politics in conversation or personal questions
such as age or salary.
Ø Social Relationships are primary in
communicating and doing business.
Ø Family ties are strong and family
members depend upon one another.
Ø Families are traditionally large and
include extended family.
Ø Unmarried children do not usually leave
Ø It is not uncommon for children to live
with their parents until age 30.
True or False: Brazilians are very
prompt and business in concluded
quickly and efficiently.
Ø Business hours are usually 8:30 to 5:00 with a 2
hour lunch. In short, businesses open when
they are open!
Ø Gifts of black or purple are not wise choices as
they represent colors of death.
Ø Macho attitudes are prevalent in Brazilian men.
Ø Racial bias against Blacks is not uncommon.
Ø Many septic systems do not operate as in the
US. Most times you do not flush the paper!
Ø Dance and Music
Ø Barbeques (Churrasco)
Ø Auto Racing
Ø TV - Night-time Soap Operas
Ø Sports such as boxing and other forms of
fighting are becoming increasingly more popular.
Greetings and Gestures
Ø When arriving in a group always address
individuals. This may be as a handshake or by
Ø In some areas three kisses are the norm.
Ø Men usually shake hands with a pat on the back
Ø Greet superiors, elders and authorities with
Senhor or Senhora followed by the surname.
Ø When departing address all individuals. Often
this is with a handshake.
Ø When meeting a Brazilian, don’t introduce your
self as from America, technically, so are they.
You are from the “Estados Unidos”
Greetings and Gestures
Ø The use of gestures is very common.
Ø To gesture to come, wave all fingers with the
palm facing either up or down.
Ø Pulling one eyelid down dignifies disbelief or
Ø The “OK” sign is NOT OK.
Ø The “thumbs up” sign is good.
Ø Brazilians tend to be very touchy and stand
Ø Eye contact is important and passing between a
conversation is considered rude.
Ø Brazilian men tend to comment, stare or “cat
call” when women pass by.
Just because a
acceptable in Brazil
or among your
friends, it is not
always acceptable to
those around you.
Please act in the
standard at all
Post Presentation Quiz
Ø How many Capitols has Brazil had?
Ø Why was the capitol moved to Brasilia?
Ø T or F: Brazilians are very prompt and
business in concluded quickly and
Ø What would I typically eat for breakfast
if I lived in Brazil?
Ø What is special about the current
Ø What is your name?