• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

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 education.

Most nights are spent with family and weekends generally revolve around sports, music, and/or barbeque (or churrasco). When the weather is nice churrasco is essential and during important sporting events, especially soccer (football), the schedule is shifted so everyone can watch. It is times like the "World Cup" and Carnaval that bring the Brazilians together, but for most of the year the people are very independent and seem to have smaller social circles than most Latin American countries. Despite this, free time, and social occasions are highly valued and people tend to place great importance on this time over work or business as many people view work as a necessary evil, but little else.


The people of Brazil tend to identify as being "Brazilian," but some of the indigenous people cling to an identity that is defined by their ethnicity and language while many recent immigrant groups are viewing themselves as both Brazilian as well as by their ethnicity, for example Japanese-Brazilians or Middle Eastern-Brazilians.

Most of the people in Brazil identify as being "Brazilian," which is both a culturally- and politically-defined term. To some people, anyone who is a citizen of Brazil is included as being "Brazilian," while for others "Brazilian" is linked to a culture (but not an ethnicity). However, the two definitions seem to merge in the sense that the Brazilians are quick to adopt new introductions to their culture; for example Middle Eastern and Japanese Food are now considered a part of the Brazilian diet and culture. So even immigrants who call Brazil home are often times included as being "Brazilian" in the cultural context because many aspects of foreign cultures are a part of Brazilian culture so it's easy to include nearly everyone in this definition. From a political sense, every citizen is included in this definition.

For the people who identify in more than one way, for example the Japanese-Brazilians and the Middle Eastern-Brazilians, the definition of their identities is a bit different from that of being wholly "Brazilian." While many Brazilians may include these groups of people as a part of Brazil, some people cling to their past, their native language, their ancestry, or their historic culture so maintain "Japanese," etc. as a part of their identity. The Brazilian part of their identity seems to be more politically-defined for these people, giving them a political identity in Brazil and an ethnic or cultural identity in Japanese, etc.

This page was last updated: November, 2013