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Facts and Statistics

Location: Eastern South America bordering Argentina 1,224 km, Bolivia 3,400 km, Colombia 1,643
km, French Guiana 673 km, Guyana 1,119 km, Paraguay 1,290 km, Peru 1,560 km, Suriname 597
km, Uruguay 985 km, Venezuela 2,200 km
Capital: Brazilia
Climate: mostly tropical, but temperate in south
Population: 184,101,109
Ethnic Make-up: white (includes Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish) 55%, mixed white
and black 38%, black 6%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 1%
Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 80%
Government: federative republic
Language in Brazil
Language is one of the strongest elements of Brazil's national unity. Portuguese is spoken by nearly
100 percent of the population. The only exceptions are some members of Amerindian groups and
pockets of immigrants, primarily from Japan and South Korea, who have not yet learned
Portuguese. The principal families of Indian languages are Tupí, Arawak, Carib, and Gê.
There is about as much difference between the Portuguese spoken in Brazil and that spoken in
Portugal as between the English spoken in the United States and that spoken in the United
Kingdom. Within Brazil, there are no dialects of Portuguese, but only moderate regional variation in
accent, vocabulary, and use of personal nouns, pronouns, and verb conjugations. Variations tend to
diminish as a result of mass media, especially national television networks that are viewed by the
majority of Brazilians.
Reflecting the mixed ethnic background of the country, Brazilian Portuguese is a variation of
the Portuguese language that includes a large number of words ofIndigenous
American and African origin.[8]
Minority languages are spoken throughout the nation. One hundred and eightyAmerindian
languages are spoken in remote areas and a number of other languages are spoken by immigrants
and their descendants. There are significant communities of German (mostly the Hunsrückisch,
a High German languagedialect) and Italian (mostly the Talian dialect, of Venetian origin) speakers
in the south of the country, both of which are influenced by the Portuguese language. Not to
mention the Slavic communities, Ukrainians and Poles which are also part of these minorities

If you are invited to a Brazilian's house: .  Handkerchiefs are also associated with funerals. bring the hostess flowers or a small gift. they are typically found in  lower paid jobs such as teaching.  Hugging and backslapping are common greetings among Brazilian friends.  Avoid giving anything purple or black as these are mourning colours. although social discrimination on the basis  of skin colour is a daily occurrence. Families tend to be large (although family size has been diminishing in recent years) and  the extended family is quite close. etc. there is a class system in Brazil. she should extend her hand first. starting with the left and alternating cheeks.  Orchids are considered a very nice gift. In general. The 1988 constitution prohibits discrimination against women. but avoid purple ones. and nursing. since it implies that employing people one knows and trusts is of primary importance. The one place where women are achieving equality is in the government. The Brazilian Class System  Despite the mixing of ethnicities. people with darker brown skin are economically and socially disadvantaged.    The middle and upper classes often have only brief interaction with the lower classes usually maids. There is a great disparity in wage differentials--and therefore lifestyle and social  aspirations--among the different classes Although women make up 40% of the Brazilian workforce.  Gift Giving Etiquette If invited to a Brazilian's house. Etiquette and Customs in Brazil  Meeting Etiquette Men shake hands when greeting one another.  Gifts are opened when received.  Few Brazilians could be described as racist. drivers.  Women generally kiss each other.  If a woman wishes to shake hands with a man. but inequities still exist.Brazilian Family Values  The family is the foundation of the social structure and forms the basis of stability for  most people. administrative support. while maintaining steady eye contact. The individual derives a social network and assistance in times of need from the family.  Nepotism is considered a positive thing. Class is determined by economic status and skin colour. so they do not make good gifts.

If you did not bring a gift to the hostess.  Brazilians dress with a flair and judge others on their appearance. adapted to Christianity.dressing. Arrive at least 30 minutes late if the invitation is for dinner. Casual dress is more formal than in many other countries. flowers the next day are always appreciated. Carnival celebrations are believed to have roots in the pagan festival of Saturnalia. became a farewell to bad things in a season of religious discipline to practice repentance and prepare for Christ's death and resurrection. which.  Arrive up to an hour late for a party or large gathering. . The Brazilian Carnaval is an annual festival held forty-six days before Easter. Always dress elegantly and err on the side of over-dressing  rather than under.