Culture & Identity of Brazil
In many ways Brazil is the odd country in
South America, but in so many other ways the culture seems perfectly in
line with neighboring countries. With roots in Portugal,
Brazil has a relaxed southern European attitude as people and friendships are more
important than business and money, food is eaten with friends and the people tend
to have a culture centered on Catholicism. However, the country also has incredible
economic potential and there are always people willing to exploit this as the large
cities are centers of trade and finance. The country's diversity also contributes
to its uniqueness, especially due to its heavy African influence,
which dates back to its days of slavery.
Despite its massive size, most people in Brazil live in the
cities, of which there are many huge cities, most commonly on or near the coast.
These cities have grown very quickly as nearly everyone moves here, with or without
a job. This has created a division between rich and poor more striking than just
about anywhere in the world. Despite the poverty in the streets, cities are also
home to most of the jobs in the country so the cities continue to grow.
For those with jobs, most people begin the day at about 9:00 am and work until about
6:00 pm. Some people take an extended lunch, which is popular in many
South American countries, but today other people go without. Children tend
to get done with school early so they can eat lunch at home and school in
Brazil ends at about 14 or 15 years of age unless a person seeks out higher