Brazil - education
The Brazilian school system consists of a preschool with approximately the
same number of state, municipal and private institutions and a compulsory and
free 8-year primary school that admits students from the age of 7. At primary
school level, private schools account for only a small part of the pupil
population. More than half of the population never completes the first four
years of primary school. With approx. 10% of primary school students continue in
the 3-4 year secondary school, which is mainly located in the cities. The number
of students in higher education is low compared to other developing
countries. In 1990, there were 95 universities, of which 40 were private
(predominantly Roman Catholic). The largest universities are public; the other
nearly 800 colleges are 3/4 private.
TopSchoolsintheUSA: Do you plan to take the TOEFL exam in Brazil? Visit
the website to find TOEFL preparation and scoring information as well as iBT
test dates and locations around this country.
After the Portuguese conquest, the Jesuits laid the foundations for a
classical-language educational tradition. Their expulsion in 1760 led to a
transition to stagnation in the school grounds. The country's isolation during
the imperial period necessitated the building of higher education, where the
emphasis was on the practical and the useful. In order to become independent of
Europe, naval and military academies were set up, as well as medical, law and
engineering schools. These educations still have a very high status in the
1990s. It was not until 1934 that an actual university was established in São
Paulo. The rise of industrialism gradually increased the demands on
education. Education reforms became an important part of national development
policy, although the results so far have been relatively modest.
The Brazilian education system in the 1990s was characterized by a large
educational gap between the higher income groups and the underprivileged
masses. There is also an unequal distribution of resources between city and
country and between the different regions of the country. About 20% of the
population is illiterate.
ETYMOLOGY: The country Brazil is named after the Brazilian tree, French brésil.
OFFICIAL NAME: Brazil
CAPITAL CITY: Brasilia
POPULATION: 205,717,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 8,459,000 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S):
Portuguese, immigrant language, Italian, German and Polish, as
well as over 100 Native American languages (spoken by only a few)
RELIGION: Catholics 74%, Pentecostal Christians 19%, Other Christians 5%, Others 2%
CURRENCY CODE: BRR
ENGLISH NAME: Brazil
POPULATION COMPOSITION: white 55%, mulattoes 22%, mestizer 12%, black 10%, Indians 1%
GDP PER INDB.: $ 3597 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 67 years, women 75 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.792
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 69
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .br
Brazil is the world's fifth largest country (after Russia, Canada, China and
the United States) and South America's superpower. Brazil is a republic. The
size of the country and the wealth of human and natural resources are the
backdrop for prophecies about Brazil as one of the great powers of the 21st
At the end of the 20th century, the country developed from being an exporter
of unprocessed agricultural products to a position as the world's eighth largest
The country was previously considered a developing country, but is now
referred to as "newly industrialized" or as a "middle-income country". Others
call it an industrialized developing country, a characteristic that highlights a
strongly contradictory development with great social and regional inequalities.
Brazil - national flag
The composition of the flag dates from 1822 and its current design from 1889.
The green color symbolizes the country's rainforests, and the yellow rhombus the
presence of minerals, especially gold. The globe in the middle represents the
starry sky over Rio de Janeiro, The Southern Cross. In 1992, the number
of stars was increased to 27 - one for each state and one for the
federal district of Brasília. On the globe, the country's motto, Ordem e
Progresso, is 'Order and Progress'.
Brazil - religion
More than 85% of the population belong to the Roman Catholic Church; Brazil
is thus the largest Catholic community in the world.
The Catholic mission began in the early 1500s and has since been given the
Portuguese Jesuit José de Anchieta as a central figure; the Jesuits played a
major role in the mission until they were expelled in 1760. During the first
missionary period, the Portuguese king was the patron saint of the
church. Catholicism became the state religion in 1824. In 1889, when the country
became a republic, the state and church separated. After the Second Vatican
Council (1962-65), a number of bishops, most notably Helder Câmara, supported
the Catholic lay groups and basic congregations working for radical social
reforms, and this liberation theological struggle has also been important as a
model for how the church can engage. themselves in the conditions of the
Protestant communities originate mainly from immigrants from the 1800s; there
are Lutherans, Methodists and in the 1900-t. Baptist and Pentecostal revival
mission. Furthermore, there are groups of Syrian Maronites, Muslims, Buddhists
and Shinto followers and not least fundamentalist and spiritualist oriented
Among African Americans, the spiritualist interest is evident in a number of
syncretistic (mixed) and mediumist religions, the best known of which are
umbanda, candomblé, and macumba. At the center of the cult of these movements is
the ecstatic dance, during which the medium helps the spirit-obsessed. Although
indigenous African religions are the starting point, features from Native
American culture and from Catholic saint worship can be traced. In recent years,
African-American religions are booming in Brazil, not only in rural areas but
also in major cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Religions adapt and
create new forms that also attract the white middle class in the big cities. The
religions are also no longer hidden due to persecution, but now appear as free
and in many respects modern; see African Americans.
Brazil - Constitution
The Federal Republic of Brazil has experienced a number of constitutional
amendments in the 1900s. The most recent major change was launched after the end
of military rule in 1985 and resulted in the 1988 constitution.
The country is governed by a president and a congress consisting of two
chambers. The Chamber of Deputies is elected for four years by proportional
representation election. The number of members is based on population (513
members in 2005). The members of the Senate are elected according to the
majority principle in shifts for eight years; there are three for each of the
currently 27 states and federal territories. One third of the members of the
Senate are indirectly elected. The voting age is 16 years.
The president is elected by direct election for five years. The Constitution
allows a president to be deposed relatively easily. This power was already
exercised vis-à-vis the first elected president, Fernando Collor de Mello, in
1992. The military has retained its influential role. The Constitution was
created after an extensive public debate and contains a number of detailed
provisions, especially in the economic and social field. It has also built in a
number of audit provisions that make it easy to implement future changes.
Brazil - economy
Brazil's economy is, measured by GDP, among the ten largest in the
world. Almost half of the labor force and GDP are linked to the
commodity-producing industries, but productivity is approx. five times as high
in industry as in agriculture, reflecting the prevalence of a large group of
underemployed small farmers and landless. From the 1930s to the 1980s, the
Brazilian economy was characterized by a high degree of protection of domestic
industry; this was done through import restrictions and public
regulation. Public investment projects in the energy, transport and
communications sectors, as well as the development of the automotive industry,
accelerated development in the 1950s. After stagnation in the politically
turbulent first half of the 1960s, Brazil experienced from the late 1960s'economic
miracle with high growth and falling inflation.
The first oil crisis meant economic downturn. A short-term recovery as a
result of a public loan-financed investment program then resulted in a major
economic imbalance; inflation and external debt rose sharply. The second oil
crisis (1979) exacerbated the situation. In 1982, the government sought support
from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and international commercial banks to
meet its foreign debt obligations. A reform program improved the economic
situation in the short term, but in 1986 inflation rose sharply again. The
government adopted an anti-inflationary program, which contained a price
freeze and a currency reform. The new currency, the cruzado, was pegged to the
dollar, but when it failed to curb inflation, competitiveness deteriorated. The
debt problems weighed again, and in 1987 the country suspended interest payments
on debt to private banks. To obtain further support, the government, together
with the IMF, drew up a stabilization program aimed at curbing inflation and the
general government deficit, as well as liberalizing the economy and pursuing an
exchange rate policy that did not worsen competitiveness.
Initially, however, it failed to reduce inflation, which in 1993 exceeded
2000%, and another anti-inflation program was adopted in 1993 with the aim of
balancing public budgets. The indexation system has been reformed, and in 1994
the issuance of money was pegged to the country's foreign exchange reserve
measured in dollars, while a new currency unit, the real, was introduced, the
fifth since 1986. From 1995, inflation slowed to 3% in 1998.
Following the adoption of a major privatization program in 1991, the state
has sold off its shares in private companies. At the same time, the tax rules
for foreign investors have been relaxed, which has led to a massive influx of
capital from abroad. The real was devalued several times in the 1990s, and the
price was released in 1999, after which it dropped drastically. The Cardoso
government (1995-2002) continued the tight fiscal policy recommended by the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), which may have contributed to Lula da Silva's
election victory in 2002. Lula's workers' government (from 2003) has implemented
certain social programs, but generally continues the IMF course and pursued
economic stability, including controlling inflation and reducing foreign debt,
which has been possible through a period of very large trade surpluses. However,
stability also means that
Brazil's most important trading partners are the United States, Argentina,
the European Union and China. In 1991, Brazil, together with Argentina, Paraguay
and Uruguay, signed an agreement establishing a common market (MERCUSUR) from
1.1.1995. These countries are already participating in the Latin American
Integration Association (LAIA) together with seven other Latin American
In 2005, Denmark's exports to Brazil amounted to DKK 1,517 million. DKK,
while imports of Brazilian goods amounted to 1244 mill. kr.
Brazil - social conditions
The gap between the affluent and a growing number of people living on or
below the hunger line (in 1994 32 million), is constantly widening, and
approx. 10% of Brazil's 60 million young people under 18 have no home.
Brazilian society is characterized by violence all the way to the farthest
corners of the country, but most clearly in the big cities. In Rio de Janeiro,
7000-8000 killings take place annually; of which several hundred on petty
criminal street children. The city of São Paulo is trying to counter the
violence by disposing of 80,000 men who make up the city's federal military
police. In Rio de Janeiro, gang wars and well-armed drug gangs linked to
political leaders have led to regular battles with the military.
The economically active population in 1994 was estimated at 65 million, the
number of unemployed at 24 million. The massive flow of people from country to
city has created unmanageable slums without structure and without, for example,
sewerage. In general, social conditions are worst in northeastern Brazil, where
a third of the population lives.
Theoretically, social legislation includes health insurance, disability
pensions and pensions, but widespread corruption and persistent budget deficits
have eroded the schemes.
Brazil - health conditions
The country has large differences in the health status of the population,
which is worst in northern Brazil and in rural areas.
Population growth is declining; in the 2000s. a woman gives birth to an
average of 1.9 children, the highest in rural areas. The mortality rate for
children in the first year of life is 29 per. 1000 live births with a big
difference between the regions. Life expectancy is 72 years compared to 52 years
Infectious diseases are the cause of almost 20% of deaths in the north
against approx. 5% in the south, where in turn the mortality rate from
cardiovascular diseases is approaching southern European conditions with almost
40% of the deaths. Cancer mortality is below half of Danish figures with
approx. 10%. Death due to accidents, suicide and homicide is
approx. 15%. Especially in the northeastern part, however, the registration of
causes of death is deficient.
Around 1990, more than DKK 0.5 million was registered annually. malaria
cases. Millions are infected with the parasite that causes Chagas'
disease. Yellow fever, dengue fever and leprosy are also common. Poor nutrition
means that more than half of the population has one or more deficiency
diseases. AIDS appeared early, and in 1994, 49,000 cases were registered.
Brazil spends 5.8% of its GDP on health care; of which the public share is
one third. Healthcare resources come from the national budget, from a social
security system and from the private sector. The hospital capacity is 3.6 beds
per. 1000 inhabitants The distribution of both beds and health personnel is very
unequal, with up to four times more in the large cities than in the rural areas.
From the beginning of the 1990s, AIDS spread with alarming speed, and it was
then estimated that in 2000 there would be 1.2 million. HIV-infected. A number
of preventive efforts were initiated with information, distribution of condoms
and syringes and needles by public and private organizations, among
others. supported by the World Bank. In 2001, the number of infected is
estimated to have been 600,000.
When in 2001 there were approx. 100,000 HIV-infected people in treatment, the
cost of the new antiviral drugs placed a very heavy burden on health budgets,
which has helped to reduce the funds for the treatment of sequelae of
AIDS. However, the government managed to obtain the antiviral drugs much
cheaper. In a number of cases, international manufacturers accepted that the
substances were manufactured in Brazil in exchange for a greatly reduced royalty
being paid to the patent holder. This meant that the annual price for an
identical treatment in 2001 was $ 4,000 in Brazil against $ 15,000 in the United
States. If it had not proved possible to reach agreement, the government was
willing to produce the drug without agreement. This can be done due to WTO,
which allows a country to disregard the agreements if it declares itself in a
national emergency due to the disease. The WTO has supported Brazil in this
regard. The fight against AIDS has been relatively successful, and Brazil has
become a role model for many third world countries at this point. Today, the
number of infected has stabilized (estimated at around 660,000 in 2003), and the
number of AIDS-related deaths is declining.
Brazil - legal system
Brazilian law was previously practically identical to Portuguese law, and the
resulting strong imprint of Roman law has been preserved despite later
legislation. In 1850 Brazil received a trade law book, but not until 1916 a
civil law book, which in its structure resembled the German BGB (Bürgerliches
Gesetzbuch), see Germany (legal system). A new civil code came into force in
2003 for the whole of Brazil. Like the previous law book, it is divided into a
regular part and a special part, which contains five books on resp. bond law,
company law, property law, family law and inheritance law. The structure of the
law book still resembles the German BGB. The rules on contracts have, as in BGB,
been given a social content. The Code introduces the concept of "social
function", which must prevent abuse of justice, and "honesty and fairness",
which protects the weaker party from unfair contract terms and allows for
the amendment or termination of a contract if changed circumstances make it very
burdensome to have to fulfill it.
Brazil - mass media
Brazil's first newspaper was founded in 1808, but not until the late
1800s. newspapers of importance began to appear. The duality that characterizes
Brazilian society is also reflected in the media picture. Due to the huge extent
of the country, poverty and illiteracy, only a small part of the population
reads newspaper. But at the same time, there is a prestigious press that ranks
among the best in the world; there is a giant radio, film and magazine market,
and the TV network Globo is among the largest in the world.
The media is concentrated in the major cities in the southeastern part of the
country, and none of the over 500 dailies are nationwide. Four of the largest, Fôlha
de São Paulo (grdl. 1921), O Globo in Rio de Janeiro (grdl.
1925), O Estado de São Paulo (grdl. 1875) and O Dia in Rio de
Janeiro (grdl. 1951), is called "Brazil's big press". They are all
information-heavy newspapers based on the Anglo-Saxon model. Under military
rule, all media were censored, but the 1988 constitution guarantees freedom of
the press and expression.
The media is dominated by a few powerful companies, which often have
financial interests in all sectors from news gathering to publishing, eg four of
the largest newspapers each have their own news agency. Radio began broadcasting
in 1922, television in 1950. Due to the extent of the country, radio - and later
television - has been the main means of communication for decades. There are
about 3,000 radio stations, the vast majority of which are commercial and
privately owned. Five national, commercial networks control the majority of the
television stations. Rede Globo is by far the largest network; the second
largest is SBT. For years, the most popular programs have been the TV series telenovelas,
which are broadcast every night during prime time. The series have been exported
to over 100 countries, including Denmark. Also reality TV like Big Brotheris
popular. Satellite TV reaches the far reaches of the country; Cable TV was
allowed in 1995 and is very common.
Brazil - visual arts and architecture
Artfully decorated pottery, ax heads, arrowheads as well as amulets and idols
are the few traces left by Brazil's pre-colonial Native American population
(see Native Americans (art)). Colonial architecture and art found their
inspiration in Portuguese, Dutch and French style ideals. In Olinda, the church
Nossa Senhora de Graça (1584-92) with its strict and sparsely decorated style
became a model for the Jesuits' church building up to the middle of the
1700s. After 1750, the large finds of gold in Minas Gerais enabled the
construction of a number of richly decorated churches, including São Pedro dos
Clérigos in Mariana (1773) and the Rosario Church in Ouro Preto (1785), which
stand as striking examples of the dominant Brazilian Baroque and Rococo.
The most famous sculptor and builder of the time was António Francisco
Lisboa, called O Aleijadinho, who designed and decorated the Rococo church
of São Francisco de Assis (1766-94) in Ouro Preto. The influence of the Baroque
on the church building in Bahia and Minas Gerais is seen in particular by the
rich ornamentation of the church facades, the carved portals and the sumptuous
interior decoration of the altar, pulpit and chapels. Aleijadinho's masterpiece
is the statues of the Twelve Prophets (1796-1806) in front of the church of
Nosso Senhor do Bom Jesus de Matozinhos (1758-75) in Congonhas do Campo.
With the arrival of a group of French artists, the so-called "French mission"
to Rio de Janeiro in 1816, neoclassicism became the dominant idiom of the
time. The French master Jean Batista Debret (1768-1848) formed the school for eg
Manuel de Araújo Porto Alegre (1807-79), and the architect Auguste-Henri-Victor
Grandjean de Montigny (1776-1850) left his mark on Rio de Janeiro's architecture
through decades. At the turn of the century, classical austerity was replaced by
architectural eclecticism as well as art deco and art nouveau.
Only with the breakthrough of Brazilian modernism, which took place with the
holding of the "Week of Modern Art" in São Paulo in 1922, did one consciously
seek an independent national art. Although the leading painters of the time,
Anita Malfatti (1876-1959) and Lasar Segall, introduced European Expressionism,
Cubism and Futurism, the Modernists saw the particularly Brazilian way in which
European influences were absorbed; the author Oswald de Andrade has called this
cultural syncretism anthropophagia (cannibalism). The painters Tarsila
do Amaral (1886-1973) and Emiliano Augusto di Cavalcanti (1897-1976) expressed
modern idiom in simple, warm and colorful themes, while Cândido Portinari's
expressive realism formulated a socially marked protest.
In 1929 and again in 1936, Le Corbusier visited Brazil. Under his guidance, a
group of young local architects were commissioned to build the Ministry of
Education and Health (1938-43) in Rio de Janeiro. The group, later called the Rio
School, consisted of Lúcio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer and Affonso Eduardo
Reidy, as well as landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx
(1909-94). Functionalism ushered in a rich creative phase in Brazilian
architecture, culminating in the opening of the federal capital Brasília in
1960. The city's floor plan was drawn by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, whose
plastic monumental design characterizes its most important buildings.
In the 1960s, the Brazilian avant-garde sought a new design language with
concrete art, such as Amílcar de Castro (1920-2002), Lígia Clark (1920-88) and
Hélio Oiticica (1937-80). Among the best-known painters are Ivan Serpa
(1923-74), Carlos Scliar (1920-2001), Îberê Camargo (1914-94) and Flávio-Shiró
Tanaka (b. 1928). Rubens Gerchman (1942-2008) combines pop art with locally
colored expressionism. Industrial culture is sculpturally depicted by Cildo
Meirelis (b. 1948), Frida Baranek (b. 1961) and Jac Leirner (b. 1961), while the
ecological crisis is the theme of Frans Krajcberg (b. 1921).
Brazil - literature
the literature of Brazil - or rather the literature on Brazil - began on 1
May 1500 with Pêro Vaz de Caminha's letter to the Portuguese king. The letter
about the discovery of Brazil gave the first portrait of the country and thus
founded a genre that became typical of Brazilian literature already in the early
colonial period: the geographical and anthropological descriptions.
The colonial era
At the same time, Jesuit missionaries created a didactic literature, the
religious plays in Portuguese and the language of the Tupi Indians by
Father José de Anchieta, Brazil's first true literary personality.
The Baroque took on an absolutely crucial and long-lasting significance for
Brazilian literature, initiated by the small epic Prosopopéia (1601) by
Bento Teixeira (1561? -1600) and with the most important literary monument in
the Jesuit father Antônio Vieira's sermons. A great satirical talent showed the
poet Gregório de Matos, called "The Shaft of Hell" (1633-96), but the first
Brazilian poet with a work printed in his own lifetime was Manuel Botelho de
An actual Brazilian literature arose with the neoclassical, so-called
"arcadian" poets in Minas Gerais, marked 1768 by Gláudio Manuel da Costa
(1729-89) with Obras Poéticas. Costa participated in a conspiracy
against Portuguese colonial rule in 1789, as did Tomás Antônio Gonzaga
(1744-1810), author of graceful love poetry. The thoughts of the Enlightenment
found expression in the great epic poem, Uraguai (1769) by José Basílio
da Gama (1741-95), against the Jesuits, for "the noble savages".
The independence of Brazilian literature was won during the Romantic period
and manifested itself in 1836 (in Paris) with the magazine Niterói and the
collection of poems Suspiros poéticos e Saudades (Poetic sighs and
longings) by Gonçalves de Magalhães (1811-82). The biggest names, however,
are Antônio Gonçalves Dias and José de Alencar, who both included the Native
American past as an important component in the formulation of a national
self-understanding (Native Americanism). Several of the Romantic writers have
remained popular, such as the lyricists Casimiro de Abreu (1839-60) and Antônio
de Castro Alves. Martin Pena (1815-48) laid the foundations for Brazilian
theater with his well-written farces, and Joaquim Manuel de Macedo (1820-82) and
Manuel Antônio de Almeida (1831-61) contributed to the development of the novel.
Realism and naturalism broke through in 1881 at the same time as En
vranten herres considerations (da. 1956) by JM Machado de Assis, the
biggest name in Brazilian literature to date, and O Mulato by Aluísio
Azevedo (1857-1913). The lyrics were dominated from approx. 1880 of the
"objective" poetry of the Parnassian school, whose central figure was Olavo
Bilac (1865-1919), while the symbolism with João da Cruz e Sousa
(1861-1898) was of shorter duration.
Epoch-making for a critical immersion in Brazilian reality and a turning
point also for literature, the now classic masterpiece The Rebellion on the
Plains (1902, then 1948) by Euclides da Cunha became. A similar basic
attitude was seen in Lima Barreto (1881-1922) and in Monteiro Lobato
(1882-1948), the founder of Brazilian children's literature.
Modernism broke out violently in 1922 with the holding of "Week of Modern
Art" in São Paulo, a cultural festival that was to bring the latest trends in
Europe to Brazil and set in motion a movement to "Brazilianize" the country
through a radical break with it existing art and literature. Mário de Andrade
became the leading figure in the new direction. Oswald de Andrade resorted to
ideological (re) use of the Indian in the "Man-Eating Manifesto" (1928), and its
slogan "Tupi or not tupi, that is the question" was best expressed in the Amazon
poem "Cobra Norato" (1931).) by Raul Bopp (1898-1984). Modernism nurtured a
large number of high-standard poets, not least Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
At the same time - and partly as a reaction to the cosmopolitan tendencies of
São Paulo modernism - the regional literature of northeastern Brazil experienced
an impressive upswing, not least inspired by Gilberto Freyre's regionalist
manifesto of 1926, which highlighted the region as a subject of research and
literature. Also his literary innovative historical-sociological essay Casa-grande
e Senzala (1933, Mansion and Slave Hut) seemed to inspire regional
literature. Raquel de Queirós (1910-2003) formed with O Quinze (1930,
The Year 1915) a prelude to the very prolific novelists Jorge Amado and José
Lins do Rego and to Graciliano Ramos, whose narrative art is among the
highlights of Brazilian literature. Through Érico Veríssimo, southern Brazil
also got its great novel.
Vicícius de Morais (1913-80), best known as the fine poet of the bossa-nova,
together with João Cabral de Melo Neto created the connection between modernism,
which culminated in 1945, and the poetry of the following years. In the 1950s,
concretism developed that would replace the verse form with the "graphic space",
while Ferreira Gullar (1930-2016) renewed the engaged poetry with the
magnificent Poema Sujo (1967, Dirty Poem).
The prose after 1945 has similarly sought new paths with João Guimarães
Rosa as the most profound. Also Clarice Lispector has achieved wide
recognition; other authors have also been able to assert themselves
internationally, JJ Veiga (1915-99) with eg Drøvtyggertimen (1976,
da. 1979), Antônio Callado, Lêdo Ivo (1924-2012) with eg Slangeboet (1973,
da. 1984), Autran Dourado, Ignácio de Loyola Brandão (b. 1936) and João Ubaldo
Nelson Rodrigues (1912-80) modernized the Brazilian drama, which from the
1950s had a strongly socially critical tendency through, for example, Dias Gomes
(1922-99), Augusto Boal (1931-2009) and Chico Buarque (b. 1944).
Brazilian literature today has its own identity, which defines it both in
relation to the other great Portuguese-language literature, Portugal, and in
relation to the Latin American literatures in Spanish, with which it has had
very little historical connection. Like the Portuguese, Brazilian literature has
not been translated to a greater extent; several of its main works are thus also
awaiting a translation into Danish. The literature, which in Brazil has a
relatively modest audience, has come under increasing pressure from the mass
media, especially television, which, however, has also helped to spread the
knowledge of some of the greatest literary works. Prose writer Paulo Coelho has
if anyone managed to reach a wide readership, not just in Brazil, as in a few
years he took the position as one of the best-selling authors worldwide.
Brazil - music
In Brazil, the musical traditions of three continents meet: the original
Native American, the mainly Central and West African, and the
European-Portuguese. Especially the last two are mixed in popular music; the
inciting samba is the best known, but far from the only result.
Knowledge of Native American music is severely limited, partly
because the few living Indians live in isolation, partly because their music is
very difficult to understand, and finally because there is great diversity
(see Indians). Their view of music differs significantly from ours.
Music is ceremonial and forms a fundamental part of community life; it is not
perceived as created by humans, but composed of the knowledge they receive from
gods, animals, or alien peoples. The sound of music and song describes this
knowledge and constitutes a means of transmitting it to the participants.
Brazilian popular music, "musica popular Brasileira", encompasses a
wide range of styles and instruments, all of which are rooted in the country's
three cultural traditions. The musical centers are the northeastern state of
Bahia and Rio de Janeiro in the south.
Here the concentration of African slaves was greatest, and here the
Afro-Brazilian cults candomblé, macumba and umbanda have
had a significant influence on music life.
In the early 1900s, the samba emerged, which above all is the symbol of the
Rio Carnival. Here, the European march, the music of the dance halls and the
Cuban habanera mix with the African rhythms and the instruments and
traditions of the Indians for colorful costumes for an impressive ensemble.
A popular dance music with swinging and soft rhythm, baion,
originated among the poor of Bahia, the so-called "baianos". The polished and
record-friendly samba canção became the musical starting point
for Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto (b. 1931), when in the late 1950s
they created bossa nova, which quickly gained international prominence,
especially through tenor saxophonist Stan Getz.
Choro emerged in the 1870s as a kind of salon orchestra that played
the European dances according to Brazilian tradition. Since then, the repertoire
and instrumentation have gradually evolved in line with popular music from polka
and waltz over tango and samba to a virtuoso instrumental genre, often referred
to as "Brazilian jazz".
Around 1970, Gilberto Gil (b. 1943) and Milton Nascimento (b. 1942) the tropicalismo movement,
which radically renewed the music by mixing samba, bossa nova and regional
styles with pop and rock. Brazilian music is constantly evolving and there
is a constant interaction between Brazilian styles and new influences from
Brazil has also fostered several classical composers. Most famous is Heitor
Villa-Lobos, who often mixed folkloric elements in his music.
Brazil - film
Brazilian film already had world format in the 1930s thanks to
experimental directors such as Humberto Mauro (1897-1983) and his film Ganga
Bruta (1933, The Brutal Gang). The 1940s and 1950s were dominated by the chanchada genre; similarly
constructed films with samba music, as popular as the telenovelas of modern
Brazil. With the inauguration in 1949 of the prestigious studies Vera Cruz, the
established film industry sought to create quality films of international
standard. Under the direction of the Italian Alberto Cavalcanti, a total of 18
films were produced here, including O Cangaceiro (1953, The Bandit)
by Lima Baretto (1905-82), but the studies went bankrupt in 1954. From the late
1950s, the independent and socially conscious movement stood cinema novo as an
exponent of the national film. Based on the slums of the big cities and the
poor Northeast, works such as Os Cafajestes (1962, The
Unscrupulous) were created by Ruy Guerra (b. 1931) and Vidas Secas (1963,
Dried Life) by Nelson Pereira dos Santos (b. 1928).
After the military coup of 1964, the cinema novo movement became more
introverted and realism was replaced by a political-allegorical form, primarily
seen in Glauber Rocha's masterpiece Antonio-das-Mortes (1969, Antonio
the Killer). From the 1970s, the Brazilian quality film flourished with
the state Embra film as a major producer. Former cinema novo director Carlos
Diegues (b. 1940) was behind the successes Xica da Silva (1976) and Bye
Bye Brazil (1980), and the new generation got off to a good start with Dona
Flor and Her Two Men (1976) by Bruno Barreto (b. 1955) and Pixote(1980)
by Hector Babenco (b. 1946). In 1983, a downturn for Brazilian film began. Among
the few significant films of this period is Babenco's Kiss of the Spider
Woman (1985, The Spider Woman's Kiss), produced as an
American-Brazilian co-production. From the late 1990s, Brazilian films once
again attracted international attention. The most important recent name is
Walter Salles (b. 1956), who broke through with the touching Central do
Brasil (1998, Central Station), escaping from Diarios de
motocicleta (2004, Motorcycle Diary) about the young Che
Guevara. International attention also received Fernando Meirelles (b. 1955)
with Cidade de Deus (2002, City of God), which depicts young
people in the slums of the big city.
Brazil - sports
Football is Brazil's national sport. The game came to the country around 1894
and quickly gained a foothold in the wealthy cricket clubs and in the church
schools. It was not until around 1930 that the various races were integrated
into the tournaments, and since then a professional football career has been one
of the few means for disadvantaged young people to socially ascend into
Brazilian society. As the only country, Brazil has participated in all World Cup
finals and has won the World Cup five times (in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and
2002). The Brazilian playing style is characterized by brilliant technical
ability combined with a rhythmic elegance. Rio de Janeiro is home to one of the
world's largest football stadiums (Maracanã) with room for just over 100,000
spectators. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, is the most
adored of all Brazilian footballers.
At the international level, Brazil has also made a name for itself in
athletics, beach volleyball, volleyball and in Formula 1 motorsport with names
such as Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet (b. 1952).