Culture in Brazil with Igor Miura
We ventured into South America for the first time. We were lucky to have Igor Miura as our guest speaker during Atlas Talk 7, where he introduced Brazil to our live online audience.
Not only did we gain a detailed insight into culture in Brazil, we were enriched with interesting stories about Igor’s personal background. Being partly Japanese, he is one of many people representing the rich cultural diversity in Brazil. Through Igor’s stories, we hear about the weather, the geography, the education system, the people and most importantly, what to do in Brazil.
Cultural Diversity in Brazil
You may have heard a description of Brazil as the ‘melting pot of the world’. This is because of the diverse ethnicities that make-up Brazil’s population. And it’s not small population either, approximately at 211 million people in 2020. Brazil has its indigenous people, who have mixed with immigration from Europe, Africa and Asia over the past three hundred years.
The Portuguese colonised the South American country during the 16th century. The Japanese influence is distinctive, with the Japanese population in Brazil being the largest outside of its native country. There is even a district called Liberdade that is home to many people formerly from Okinawa.
Language and English learning
Igor Miura is an English teacher, and a practitioner of Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and even a little bit of Italian. His surroundings in the bustling Rio de Janeiro contribute to his passion for language and English learning. There are many students seeking to improve their skills. A method that Igor uses particularly well, is online English conversation. Igor features regularly on his entertaining YouTube videos, explaining the every day usage of English.
More about the language culture in Brazil though, a visitor would notice that nearly 100 percent of the population speaks Portuguese. There are no dialects of Portuguese either, with variations between regions only represented in accents, vocabulary and grammar. This may be interesting to some, knowing that Spanish is the main language in many South American countries. In Brazil, there is the largest population of Portuguese-speaking people in São Paulo. Other languages spoken in Brazil include Spanish, German, Italian and Japanese. Finding someone to do an online language class with probably wouldn’t be difficult!
What to do in Brazil
Being the 5th largest country in the world comes with many options for what to do in Brazil. Let’s start with the beauty of its nature. There are striking coastlines that overlook pristine blue waters. There is, of course, the Amazon rainforests. There are the spiky mountain ranges of Rio de Janeiro. The outdoor adventures you can have are simply, limitless. Here is a list of wondrous places which may inspire your post-COVID travel.
Then, there are the cities. Life in South America is commonly stereotyped as fun-loving, and the cities of Brazil reflect similar values. Though cities like São Paulo are centred around business, more coastal cities such as Rio de Janeiro idealise a more balanced lifestyle. Try interesting international cuisine such as Feijoada, or watch the game that everyone loves, football. World-famous events like Carnaval take place in cities like Salvador, with performers spending months preparing to take over the streets. Brazilians tend to be open and friendly, and small-talk will definitely reward any visitor with new insights into life in Brazil.