Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let's Get To Know Each Other # 2

On our first stop, we visited Canada. The northern hemisphere is starting to get cold, so let's head south -- to Brazil!

"República Federativa do Brasil" is the largest country in South America, the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population, and the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas. Brazil has half of South America's territory.

Brazil declared independence from Portugal on September 7, 1822.

One hundred and eighty Amerindian languages are spoken in Brazil. The national motto is "Order and Progress," as seen on the Brazilian flag.

Scientists have estimated that there may be up to four million species of plants and animals in Brazil. More species are discovered everyday.

Brazil's major exports are aircraft, coffee, cars, iron ore, corned beef, shoes, steel, orange juice and textiles.

The largest city in Brazil is Sao Paulo, with over 19 million people.

Most of Brazil's climate is tropical. Jungles cover about half of the country's entire territory. In addition, the varied terrain includes plateaus, plains, valleys and mangrove swamps.

The Amazon River is the mightiest on Earth – 17,500 liters of water empty out of it every day. The Amazon is also the 2nd longest river in the world.

Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Brazil, the host nation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Brazil has won the World Cup more times than any other country.

My favorite famous person from Brazil is former F1 driver Ayrton Senna, who won the World Championship in 1988, 1990, and 1991.

One of my all time favorite bands, Sepultura, hails from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Brazil was the 4th country in the world to abolish capital punishment.

Brazil has one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, the Christ Redeemer statue, placed on the Corcovado hill, in Rio De Janeiro.

74 percent of Brazilians consider themselves Roman Catholics.

Brazil is one of the world's leading producers of hydroelectric power. Over 75 percent of its electrical power is generated via dam projects.

Examples of Brazilian cuisine include Feijoada, considered the country's national dish, and regional foods such as vatapá, moqueca, polenta and acarajé. Brazil has a variety of candies such as brigadeiros and beijinhos. The national beverage is coffee and cachaça is Brazil's native liquor. Cachaça is distilled from sugar cane and is the main ingredient in the national cocktail, Caipirinha.

Carnival is the most famous holiday in Brazil and is an event of huge proportions. The country stops completely for almost a week and festivities are intense, day and night, mainly in coastal cities. The consumption of beer accounts for 80% of annual consumption and tourism receives 70% of annual visitors. The government distributes condoms and launches awareness campaigns at this time to prevent the spread of AIDS.

Brazil has one of Latin America's most beautiful natural seascapes, and a world reputation for its stunning beaches. With more than 7,490km of coastline, Brazil is said to be an amazing destination for fishing. My friends tell me the women are beautiful and the paragliding is great, too.