Brazilian culture and people are multiform. The richness of the culture
and its variety comes from the people, one of the most ethnically diverse
in the world. The south experienced a massive immigration of Germans and
Italians, and also Russian, Polish and Ukrainian immigration to a lesser
Paulo is a melting pot. There is no better definition for it. There is a
large Japanese community in the state in addition to a little of
everything else also: Italians, Arabs, Spanish, Portuguese and Jews to
name just a few. Walking on the streets of Sao Paulo is an amazing
exercise in guessing people’s ethnic heritage.
It has the same immigration background as New York, for instance. The
difference is, in Sao Paulo, interracial marriages have been common almost since its
foundation. This level of mixing produced what we like to call a
unique kind of people: Brazilians.
Rio de Janeiro and Bahia - to a higher degree - have a large black
population. The native Indians were pushed to the Central region, towards
the Amazon rainforest.
Birth of a Race: Brazilian People
One version of the history of Brazil’s ethnicity explains that when the
Portuguese first started colonizing the country, there weren’t many
European women in the colony. However, there were plenty of women amongst
Indians and black slaves. It seems that the Portuguese were less
restricted than the British, Dutch and Spanish colonists and took the
Indians and slaves as wives or concubines.
Somehow, this affected the face of the country forever and influenced the
future generations of immigrants. Hence, nowadays Brazil is home to
several black oriental people, to black people with green eyes and even to
oriental people with green eyes. Talk about exotic.
The mixing of the white European and black African created one of the most
celebrated Brazilian physical features: the “mulata”. Queen of carnival,
the Brazilian mulata are acclaimed in hundreds of songs. Without the
mulata, Brazilian Carnival would not be the same.
Diversity of Brazilian Culture
This highly mixed people created a rich diverse culture. From the
Capoeira, a kind of martial art created by the African slaves and very
popular in northeast Brazil, to the Brazilian version of the German
Oktoberfest in Blumenau, in the state of Santa Catarina. The variety is in
the architecture, music, cuisine and even dress codes.
important than anything, the diversity produced a people that are
friendly, creative, and always ready to smile, despite the hard times that
most of the population endures. Brazilians can dance, laugh and play no
matter what. And just like Christ the Redeemer at the top Corcovado, in
Rio, Brazilians will receive you with open arms.
Note: Although there is a high level of social injustice in Brazil, it has
more to do with classes than with races. There was never the kind of
segregation experienced by the black population in the United States.
There were never segregated schools, bathrooms, restaurants or assigned
places on the buses.
curiosity is that, an application form of any kind in the United States,
aiming to trace back a person’s ethnicity, is puzzling to Brazilians.
Coming from a country with such diversity, it is very difficult to fit in
any of the available “boxes”.