Brazil – Half of South America
Brazil is the largest country in South America which covers nearly half of the continent. It took its name from brazilwood and is the world’s largest tropical country. The capital of Brazil is Brasília (Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil until 1960). Brazil shares borders with every South American nation except Ecuador and Chile.
Brazil’s population is a mix of several different ethnic groups: Native American, European, African, and Asian peoples. Most Brazilians speak Portuguese. Roman Catholicism is the main religion.
Brazil is one of the world’s top producers of oranges and coffee. Farmers also grow sugarcane, soybeans, corn, cassava, rice, bananas, tomatoes, and many other crops.
In 1500 the navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral claimed the land for Portugal. The country was a colony of Portugal for more than 300 years. In 1822 Dom Pedro declared Brazil’s independence from Portugal and became emperor of the new nation. In 1889 Brazil became a federal republic with an elected government.
The Amazon River, the largest river in the world in terms of the amount of water it carries, is a key natural feature of Brazil. The São Francisco River is the longest river contained entirely in Brazil.
The Neblina Peak (Pico da Neblina) in the Imeri range is Brazil’s highest peak. It is 3,014 meters high.
The large monkey called the “muriqui” is found only in the eastern forests of Brazil. It is one of the world’s most endangered animals.
Most of Brazil’s energy comes from the hydroelectric power created by dams.
– The capital of Brazil was designed by Oscar Niemeyer – one of the world’s best architects. The great city was built for 3.5 years.
– The Statue of Christ the Redeemer, a symbol of Brazil, is one of the tallest statues in the world. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
– Brazilian film directors Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund made a film about the life of the inhabitants of the favelas under the name City of God.
– Brazil’s national sport is association football. 74.5% of Brazilians of both sexes are interested in football. Pelé, a Brazilian national hero, is considered to be one of the greatest football players ever. Brazil national football team is the only one in the world to participate in all World Championships and became the champion five times. Every Brazilian city has at least one football stadium.
– Another passion of Brazilians is dancing. The famous Brazilian carnival takes place in February, in Rio de Janeiro – 4 days of uninterrupted fun, costumed parades and samba.
– The Brazilian Government cares about the environment. 5 000000 cars in the country run on biofuel.