Discovering Brazil


It is difficult to discover quality, trustworthy information about the country, especially if you don’t read Portuguese. Here you will find a list of the essential posts, plus the best sources on the web, to guide you in the maze of Brazilian facts, trivia and services. You already might have found the more general information from other weblogs, the CIA FactBook, Wikipedia or got some information from your Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. In Discovering Brazil you will find a lot of resources we have used at MasterClassBrazil. We will keep this information up to date on all aspects we are covering, whether it is culture, technology, business, society, or management.

¦ Economy and politics ¦ Media, News and Miscellaneous¦ Way of doing business ¦ Language ¦ Fashion ¦ Film ¦ Folklore ¦ Food ¦ History ¦ Kids ¦ Music ¦ Nature ¦ Science ¦ Society ¦ Sports ¦ Visual Arts ¦ Way of life ¦

"festa-sao-joao"

Discovering Brazil São João in Piraí, Rio state. Photo by João Vicente/JVC, via Flickr

Economy and politics

From the Web:

  • You probably should begin with the country’s main official website, that is very superficial, but offers content that targets different audiences (journalists, students, investors, tourists). Then, check on the Financial Times, that puts together recent articles about the country. Try also the in-depth analysis at Political Risk Latin America, which offers statistics and a general analysis of Brazilian economy. All the information produced by Bovespa – São Paulo Stock Exchange – is translated into English. Good news for the growing number of foreign investors.
  • BNDES, the Brazilian Development Bank, which finances most infra-structure projects, has a website that gives hints of the way the country is growing.
  • The Central Bank offers all sorts of economic indicators, articles about the market expectations, inflation reports and press releases.
  • The American Chamber – Brasil has attracted as members almost all American companies with operations in the country and a great number of large size Brazilian companies. It is now the biggest among the 104 American Chambers in the world.
  • Talk 2 Brazil is a business talk-show produced by Tom Reaoch, an American consultant that lives in Campinas, in the state of São Paulo. It is aired every Monday by LA Talk Radio, but you can also listen to older interviews on his website.
  • The National Congress has a decent bilingual website, if you want to take a virtual tour or learn how it works.
  • Check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs´s website for a series of booklets on several industries and commodities produced in the country. It also lists all Brazilian embassies, consulates and missions in the world.
  • From Deep Brazil: Deep Brazil offers an X-ray of a country larger than life, immensely attractive to tourists, immigrants and investors, and culturally fascinating. X-Ray of Brazilian agriculture/ Hydro-power/ Electoral circus

Media, News and Miscellaneous

From the Web:

  • Folha is bringing you up-to-date news in English, Portuguese and Portuguese language.
  • If you want an extremely quick but reasonably decent overview of what’s going on in the country, check this Country Profile frequently updated by the BBC.
  • The Brazilian government created a pretty helpful website if you want to learn about: federal projects, government structure, economy and investments, your money taxes, pensions, savings, all sorts of basic info for tourists (visas, vaccines, extradition law, main attractions), help to the foreign press. Of course, it is an official source, with its dose of propaganda, but it is definitely useful.
  • The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’s Brazil Portal is a great news aggregator. Try also the Brazil Weekly.
  • IBGE, the federal bureau of statistics, is your best source to understand how social and economic issues are evolving.
  • Gringoes, a great source for foreigners moving to Brazil, offers tons of cool info: instructions on how to make phone calls; the contacts of foreign schools, associations and commerce chambers; safety tipsbest places to live; and a good list of links.
  • Are you looking for jobs in the country? Try these websites: CathoIndeed (Brazilian page) and  Adzuna (Brazilian page). Good luck!
  • Two great sources about Brazilian culture in general that you cannot miss: The Good Blood and the Londonian Jungle Drums.
  • Finally, if you can read Portuguese, try the Latin American Information Center(University of  Texas in Austin) or Brazilink, that offer good lists of links to Brazilian organizations that are reference in their domains and all sorts of services. Unfortunately, most of the sources they suggest are only in Portuguese.
  • From Deep Brazil: Soap operas/ Classic commercials/ Watch Brazilian TV on the web

Way of doing business

From the web

Language

From the Web:

  • An advanced Portuguese vocabulary list, perhaps useful for those travelling to Brazil or Portugal on Business. This list is a comprehensive Glossary of Terms in Portuguese used in the areas of Finance, Accounting and Legal Matters. Much more useful (and funny) language information at the “Portuguese Blogger”.
  • If you want to learn Portuguese use the BrazilTranscript blog. If you want a better comprehension you need to listen more. Listen and read, an easy way!
  • The must-read Brazilpod, produced by the University of Texas, is your best friend, if you want to learn Brazilian Portuguese by yourself. The British newspaper The Guardian published a phrase book, tips of pronunciation and a short guide to Brazilian gestures. Besides, a few Brazilian teachers have great blogs that may help those who are studying Portuguese. Try, for instance, Portuguese Tips or Brazilian Portuguese. You can also check Eyes on Brazil, which has a series of cool “Tricky Verbs/Words in Portuguese” posts. Great for those puzzled by the peculiarities of our language. Also, here on Deep Brazil, check for Brazilian Babel and So you think you understand Portuguese?
  • From Deep Brazil: Literature / Brazilian expressions inspired by History / Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil / Learn Portuguese free online / 30 words that separate Brazil from Portugal /Brazilian Babel

Fashion

From Deep Brazil: São Paulo Fashion Week/ Rio Fashion Week/ Five needle masters

Film

From Deep Brazil: Limite, great silent movie/ Coffin Joe/ José Padilha

Folklore

From the Web:

  • Maria-Brazil offers an overview of our folklore (music, festivals, crafts). And try these posts: How to Find a Husband – the Brazilian way, Scary lullabies, Saints without a halo and Wisdom of the roads.
  • From Deep Brazil: Carnival/ Popular saints/ Lullabies/Truck bumpers wisdom / Honouring Saint John / Musical families / Rain prophets / Recife and Olinda: Brazilian Carnival beyond Rio / 13 things you didn’t know about Carnival

Food

From the Web:

  • For Brazilian recipes, look for Maria-Brazil. Also try Sonia Portuguese, that offers bilingual recipes that help learning cooking vocabulary in Portuguese. In depth articles about several regional cuisines can be found in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs´s websiteCachaça Agora is a funny blog by an American obsessed with the Brazilian national spirit.
  • From Deep Brazil: Comfort food/ Cachaça labels/ Brazilian fruits/ Bars/ The best caipirinha ever/ 10 drinks as cool as caipirinha/10 unforgettable Brazilian dishes / 7 Brazilian fruits that could be the next açaí

History

From Deep Brazil: A country explained in 100 images / Zeppelin over the tropics / UFOs over Brazil / Brazil in WWII

Kids

From the Web:

  • Beloved Brazilian cartoon Turma da Mônica’s website offers a few games in English and a “journey through the regions of Brazil”.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a printable booklet that might be useful for young students that are learning about the country.

Music

From the Web:

  • Brazilian Music Charts
  • Brazilian Music is a good source of news on Bossa Nova, Música Popular Brasileira(MPB) and Brazilian Jazz. All Brazilian Music gives an overview of different musical styles and lists the best artists. Go Go Gringo’s Blog covers sambabaile funk and hip hop. You should also check MuzicMuse, that covers mostly the period between 1930 and 1980.
  • From Deep Brazil: Rapper Emicida / All Chico Buarque free / Top 10 Brazilian albums of 2010 / Samba de roda, mother of Rio’s Carnival / 10 Extraordinary Musicians you should listen to / Brazilian music with English subtitles / If Mozart, Bono, Jimmy Page and Shiva were Brazilian… / King Roberto rules / The Brazilian king of Broadway / Farewell, White Feather / Cool podcasts of Brazilian music. If you are looking for podcasts, check these posts on Deep Brazil: 10 extraordinary Brazilian musicians you should listen to and Starting 2010 with Brazilian music. Also check periodically for Brazilian Hit Parade posts, that present what is playing in the country’s radios.

Nature

From Deep Brazil: Climate change/ Cerrado/ Listen to Brazilian birds/ Earthquakes,volcanoes/ Floods in Summerland /The most beautiful Brazilian waterfalls /In the Amazon, one new species every three days /Biopirates attack!

Science

From Deep Brazil: Where to find Brazilian academic studies /Brazil, 20 years from now

Society

From the Web:

  • A few important organizations have websites in English (sometimes also in Spanish and French). Among others: Viva Rio (field work, research and lobby to promote a culture of peace and social development), Instituto Socioambiental (promotion of sustainability and Native Brazilians rights), Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica (the main non-profit engaged with protecting the Atlantic rainforest), Ibase (a think tank that researches democracy, inequality and social exclusion) and Instituto Pólis(dedicated to urban problems and citizen rights).
  • Indigenous People of Brazil, published by Instituto Socioambiental, is definitely the most complete online source about Native Brazilians.
  • Check Some Things Around, that offers encyclopaedia-like topics about the human and biological diversity of the country. It also focus on navigation and the Brazilian coast. GreenBrazil is a good clipping effort that puts together info about both environmental issues and solutions. Tropical Biodiversity, written by Steven Alexander, an American that works with ecotourism and education in Santarém, in the Amazon, since the late seventies, is an amazing photoblog.
  • O Mangue, a blog written by a bi-national couple of anthropologists, offers fantastic insights about Afro-Brazilians, their culture and the challenges they face. It also publishes in-depth posts about prostitution and other social topics.
  • From Deep Brazil:Brazilian women today/ Being gay in Rio/ Shortcut to understand the Brazilian people / Gipsies in Brazil / BBC documentary about Brazilian slavery / Blacks that built Brazil / 10 quotes of Brazilian self-hate / Healthier Brazilians / Beloved Criminals/Tolerant neighbors /5 million workers under age

Sports

From the Web:

  • If you want to follow the Brazilian soccer team in the next World Cup, this blog is probably your best option.
  • You should also visit Agogô, the Dutch Magazine of Brazilian Culture and The Capoeira Blog (a great source for beginners). And Mandingueira is for the she-capoeiristas.
  • From Deep Brazil: Brazilian ballet – but you can call it capoeira

Travel

From the Web:

  • Begin with this good interview with Michael Sommers, author of the guides Moon Brazil and Moon Rio de Janeiro at Jungledrums. Then visit BrazilMax , “the Hip Guide to Brazil”, a very complete road map for foreign tourists. Complement it with Brazil Biodiversity, that suggests the best ways to spend your day in several cities. You can also give a try to the official Brazilian Tourism Portal and to the independent Brazil Travel Blog.
  • A few newspapers published in English created specific web pages that offer great tips. They review hotels and restaurants, suggest destinations and what you shouldn’t miss. Try The New York TimesThe Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.
  • From Deep Brazil: World Heritage sites/ Waterfalls/ Nudist beaches/ 20 best tips if you are visiting the country /Compare São Paulo to foreign metropolis

You can also visit websites that offer specific information about several Brazilian states:

  • Amazonas – Info about the state that is in the heart of the Amazon.
  • Bahia – You will find some useful information about Carnival events here.
  • Distrito Federal – The basics about Brasilia can be found here.
  • Pará – Check for the beauties of the state that is the gateway to the Amazon region.
  • Pernambuco – This area is also covered by the beautifully illustrated Recife Guide.
  • Rio – The Official Rio Guide tells you absolutely everything you need to know to enjoy the Cidade Maravilhosa (Wonderful City). The Rio Times is a great source of local news and Rio Nightlife is essential for party people.

Visual Arts

From Deep Brazil: Art Gallery/ Vik Muniz/ 19th century art / Krajcberg, the poet of fire /Brazilian Baroque

Way of Life

From the Web (mainly expats trying to understand the country):

  • Not Quite a Gringo is an American from Puerto Rico living in Brazil, with a light, rich outlook of the country’s daily life.
  • Eyes on Brazil (mentioned earlier) is written by a foreigner who’s a great observer of the Brazilian way of life.
  • Flor da Maçanilha has great insights about life in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.
  • An expat living in Goiânia offer some good tips, if you are traveling to this region.
  • Maps and Legends was written by a British expatriate in Natal, in the Northeast (he is not updating it anymore, though). It is particularly interesting for those who want a Christian approach of the country.
  • Minas International wants to connect the fluent English-speaking community (both foreigners and Brazilians) in Minas Gerais.
  • Danielle in Brazil is an American who followed her love to a small town in São Paulo. She offers great tips that might help your immigration process, specially if you intend to become an English teacher (more here).
  • A few websites offer good information on the national lesbian and gay scene. Try, for instance, the Rio Gay Guide.

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Brazil © by F H Mira

Economy

Economy Characterized by large and well developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil?s economy outweighs that of all other South American countries and Brazil is expanding its presence in world markets, where it is currently the 8th biggest economy (by GDP – purchasing power parity) in the world. It has weathered many storms, such as the military dictatorship 1964–1985, hyperinflation …

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Political and Legal

Political Brazil political and legal system has been governed as a Federal Republic since 1985 and consists of 26 states and a federal district. These states are divided into five regions, namely: North (Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins) North East (Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe) Central West (Goiás, …

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Business culture at Bradesco

Social & Culture

Language in Brazil Most Brazilian executive accept English as the language to do business, but most of the business should be conducted in Portuguese. The non-Portuguese speaking executives may need an interpreter for most of business relationships, and the correspondence, often, should also be in Portuguese (as technical data should be in metric system). Spanish isn’t …

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Embrear 190

Technology

Technology Brazilian science and technology have achieved a significant place in the international arena in the last decades. Brazil is in the top 10 of most industries in the world and the high literacy rate and good educational system creates a sound foundation for future developments. Basic, technological and applied research is mostly carried out in public universities …

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  • Elias

    Nanon, oops!

    Brasil are now bigest than UK.
    SO are UK 9th?

  • More on Capoeira – how to capoeira
    This site Capoeira moves talks alot about capoeira and everything with regards to it. Think it’s good since the capoeira blog is now on hiatus.