Education in Brazil

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.

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.



POPULATION: 205,717,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)

AREA: 8,459,000 km²


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%

COIN: real




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)




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 century.

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 industrial nation.

  • Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as BR which stands for Brazil.

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 oppressed.

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 religious communities.

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. Check youremailverifier for Brazil social condition facts.

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 countries.

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 in 1960.

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 Oliveira (1636-1711).

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”.

19th century

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.

20th century

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 Ribeiro (1941-2014).

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 outside.

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).

Brazil Education