Information about Brazil
The Federative Republic of Brazil, or Republica Federativa do Brasil in Portuguese, is South America's largest country and the world's fifth-largest country.
It borders every nation on the South American continent except for Ecuador and Chile. Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and the department of French Guiana are to the north; Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to the south, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Bolivia and Peru to the west.
Brasilia is the national capital city, which replaced the beautiful Rio de Janeiro after 1960.
However, Salvador de Bahia used to be the colonial capital before both. So Brasilia is the third city in Brazil to become the capital.
Due to their large population, it is claimed that Brazil boasts three great cities o regions. One of them is the Metropolitan Region of Sao Paulo with a population of 20,237,000 covering an area of 8,051 km2.
Thus, it becomes Latin America's largest megalopolis regarding the area it covers and the second one in terms of population. It can be compared to Mexico City, New York or Tokyo.
The second one is the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro, another densely populated area where eleven million people live. Finally, the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte with about 5,653,000 inhabitants.
Climate in Brazil
The climate of Brazil varies according to the altitude and latitude of the area; from the mostly tropical Amazonas and eastern coast to the dry weather of the interior of the country.
In general terms, Brazil has a tropical climate. Moreover, it is a notoriously humid country with sharp seasonal variations mainly in the south region.
The rainy season takes place at different times of the year depending on the area. While in the north area it lasts from January to April, Northeast Brazil experiences a rainy season that centers on the months of April through July. In Rio and Sao Paulo it takes place between November and March.
The seasons in Brazil are the direct opposite of those in Europe or the United States, except for the north area. The winter lasts from June to August with average temperatures ranging from 13ºC to 18ºC.
The summer lasts from December until February inclusive and the average temperature during this season is 30ºC. However, the annual average temperature is about 28ºC in the north and 20ºC in the south.
Ethnic groups and Languages
Brazil has long been a melting pot for a wide range of cultures and races. Brazilians are descended mainly from Europeans, basically from the Portuguese, Italians, Spaniards, and Germans but also from Africans, indigenous people and a small minority is of Asian and Arab descent.
Portuguese is the official language and it is spoken by the entire population. Indigenous communities speak their native languages also, in addition to Portuguese.
Due to the wave of immigrants that arrived in the country during the late nineteenth century, a number of small communities can be found nowadays in Brazil, made up of German, Italian, Japanese and Korean speakers.
Due to the wide range of immigration waves and the mixed races which are very common in this country, Brazil is essentially a multicultural society.
Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are leading cultural centers of considerable national and international importance.
The main museums in Sao Paulo are: Sao Paulo Musuem of Art, Museu De Arte Sacra (Sacred Art Museum), Brazilian Art Museum, Modern Art Museum and the Museum of the Portuguese Language.
Moreover, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museu do Indio (The Museum of the Indian) are the most interesting museums in Rio de Janeiro.
Music in Brazil
Brazilian popular music is very well known worldwide and includes a wide variety of styles. Samba, bossa nova, choro, axé, lambada and forró among others, are some of the styles developed by Brazilian music.
Moreover, Vinicius de Moraes, João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, Rita Lee, Maria Bethânia, Roberto Carlos and Daniela Mercury are some of the most distinguished Brazilian musicians.
International styles such as rock and roll are very popular here as well. Regarding more radical musical styles such as metal, bands such as Sepultura, Angra and Soulfly are the main ones.
As for pop-rock, Legião Urbana, Ingenheiros do Hawaii and Os Paralamas do Sucesso are the best known bands as well as guitarist Baden Powell among others.
Finally, concerning classical music some of the most outstanding performers are the pianist Nelson Freire, the sopranos Bidu Sayão and Guiomar and maestros Eleazar de Carvalho and Isaac Karabtchevsky.