One of the world’s most captivating places, Brazil is South America’s giant, a dazzling country of powdery white-sand beaches, pristine rain forests and wild, rhythm-filled metropolises. Brazil’s attractions extend from enchanting, frozen-in-time colonial towns to dramatic landscapes of red-rock canyons, thundering waterfalls and idyllic tropical islands. Add to that, Brazil’s biodiversity: legendary in scope, its diverse ecosystems boast the greatest collection of plant and animal species found anywhere on earth.
Owing to Brazil’s continental dimensions, varied geography, history and people, the country’s culture is rich and diverse. It has several regional variations, and in spite of being mostly unified by a single language, some regions are so different from each other that they look like different countries altogether.
Throughout its history, Brazil has welcomed several different peoples and practices. Brazil constitutes a melting pot of the most diverse ethnic groups thus mitigating ethnic prejudices and preventing racial conflicts, though long-lasting slavery and genocide among indigenous populations have taken their toll. Prejudice is generally directed towards different social classes rather than between races.
Nevertheless, race, or simply skin colour, is still a dividing factor in Brazilian society and you will notice the skin typically darkens as the social class gets lower: wealthy upper-class people are mostly white; many middle-class are mixed; and the majority of poor people are black. Nowadays, however, Afro-Brazilians and Amerindian populations are increasingly aware of their civil rights and of their rich cultural heritage, and social mobility is achievable through education.
In general, Brazilians are a fun-loving people. While Southerners may be somewhat colder and more reserved, from Rio upwards people usually boast a captivating attitude towards life and truly enjoy having a good time. Some may even tell you that beer, football, samba, barbecue and woman is all they could crave for
Friendship and hospitality are highly praised traits, and family and social connections are strongly valued. To people they have met, or at least know by name, Brazilians are usually very open, friendly and sometimes quite generous. Once introduced, until getting a good reason not to, a typical Brazilian may treat you as warmly as he would treat a best friend. Brazilians are reputedly one of the most hospitable people in the world and foreigners are usually treated with respect and often with true admiration.
Brazilians ARE NOT HISPANIC. Some may be offended if a visitor openly says that, or tends to believe that Brazilians have Spanish as a primary or secondary language, visitors will receive a warmer welcome if they try to start conversations in Portuguese, but even if the visitor speaks Spanish towards Brazilians, they’re likely to answer in Portuguese.
São Paulo is a municipality located in the southeast region of Brazil. The metropolis is an alpha global city — as listed by the GaWC — and is the most populous city in Brazil, the Americas, and the Southern Hemisphere. The municipality is also Earth’s 12th largest city proper by population. The city is the capital of the homonymous state of São Paulo, Brazil’s most populous and wealthiest state. It exerts strong international influence in commerce, finance, arts and entertainment. The name of the city honors Saint Paul of Tarsus. The city’s metropolitan area of Greater São Paulo ranks as the most populous in Brazil and the 11th most populous on Earth.
Having the largest economy by GDP in Latin America and Southern Hemisphere, the city is home to the São Paulo Stock Exchange. Paulista Avenue is the economic core of São Paulo. The city has the 10th largest GDP in the world, representing alone 10.7% of all Brazilian GDP and 36% of the production of goods and services in the state of São Paulo, being home to 63% of established multinationals in Brazil, and has been responsible for 28% of the national scientific production in 2005.
The metropolis is also home to several of the tallest buildings in Brazil, including the Mirante do Vale, Edifício Itália, Banespa, North Tower and many others. The city has cultural, economic and political influence both nationally and internationally. It is home to monuments, parks and museums such as the Latin American Memorial, the Ibirapuera Park, Museum of Ipiranga, São Paulo Museum of Art, and the Museum of the Portuguese Language. The city holds events like the São Paulo Art Biennial, the Brazilian Grand Prix, São Paulo Fashion Week and the ATP Brasil Open. São Paulo hosts the world’s largest gay pride parade. It is headquarters of the Brazilian television networks Band, Gazeta, Record and SBT.
São Paulo is a cosmopolitan, melting pot city, home to the largest Arab, Italian, and Japanese diasporas, with examples including ethnic neighbourhoods of Mercado, Bixiga, and Liberdade respectively. São Paulo is also home to the largest Jewish population in the country and one of the largest urban Jewish populations in the world. People from the city are known as paulistanos, while paulistas designates anyone from the state, including the paulistanos. The city’s Latin motto, which it has shared with the battleship and the aircraft carrier named after it, is Non ducor, duco, which translates as “I am not led, I lead.” The city, which is also colloquially known as Sampa or Terra da Garoa (Land of Drizzle), is known for its unreliable weather, the size of its helicopter fleet, its architecture, gastronomy, severe traffic congestion and skyscrapers. According to a report from 2011, São Paulo was expected to have the third highest economic growth in the world between 2011 and 2025, after London and Mexico City. São Paulo was one of the host cities of the 1950 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.