The Lusosphere: Brazil

When the Portuguese "discovered" Brazil this country was already inhabited by 2 million indigenous (which were divided into 3 main tribes: the Tupi-guarani, Jê and Aruaque. The Tupis were sub-divided into the Guaranis, the Tupiniquins and the Tupinambás).
So, in some cases when we use the term "discovery" (when referring to Brazil, Mozambique and Angola) we are in fact in error, since these nations had already been discovered by previous civilizations.

22nd of April 1500: Pedro Álvares Cabral arrived in Brazil, whom initially called it "Ilha de Vera Cruz" (Vera Cruz Island), since at first it was thought that it was an island; but after further geographic expeditions it was concluded that Vera Cruz was part of a continent and so the Portuguese re-named it to "Terra da Santa Cruz" (The Land of Santa Cruz; where today is Porto Seguro, in the Brazilian State of Bahia).

26th of April 1500: Father Henrique de Coimbra celebrated the first Mass. The indigenous witnessed this religious celebration with curiosity; which led the Portuguese to think that their Christianisation would be easy. However, they soon found out the opposite: the local Indians were not interested in being Christians, which made the Portuguese re-design the methods of their spiritual conquest.


1532-1822: the new colony is populated (the first village to be founded was São Vicente, in São Paulo), since there was the fear that this "new" land would be invaded by those who had been left outside the "Treaty of Tordesillas" (The Netherlands, France and England). Colonising this land was a form of protecting not only the territory but mainly the exploration of Pau-Brazil (from which derived the name of the land). Nevertheless, the French and the Dutch invaded Brazil. The citizens of the colony were Portuguese.
The economic power of this colony was built by African salves (who, along with the Indigenous, had no right to citizenship and, lived in poorly kept "senzalas"). Later on, in the XVII century gold was discovered, and as such the Portuguese King ordered its exploration (mainly in the regions of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso and Goiás).
There were several conflicts and colonial revolts (Ex: Emboabas’ War, Guarani War, Minas Conspiracy).
In 1821, Dom Pedro was advised by his father (the King John VI of Portugal) to declare the independence of Brazil and take the throne for himself (in order to protect the Portuguese sovereignty in Brazil). In 1822, Dom Pedro declared Brazil as an independent constitutional monarchy with himself as the Emperor.


Language
The official language is Portuguese.
Many say that the Portuguese spoken in Brazil is mellow, smoother than the one spoken in Portugal (due to its musicality, making it easier for a foreigner to learn it). And the reason for this is the fact that the language has suffered many influences (along its history): the indigenous influence (to start with), the African influence, the French, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Italian and the German.

Interesting Fact
We are used to hear that countries like the US, the UK, France or even Italy are a melting pot. However, Brazil remains the truest melting pot of them all (since its colonial times).
The Portuguese/Brazilians have always favoured assimilation and tolerance for other people; and while intermarriages were not acceptable in other Portuguese colonies, they were encouraged in Brazil.
The Brazilian society is mainly comprised by European descendants (Portuguese, Italian, German, Spanish, etc) but then it is also constituted by the mulattoes (of African and European ancestry) and the mestizos (of Indian and European ancestry).
In Portugal we usually say that all Brazilians are "achocolatados" (a bit chocolate) for we are under the impression that in all Brazilian families there is either African or indigenous blood.

Music
Brazilians use their music in a very powerful fashion so that socialpolitical messages get across to people and the country.
The Brazilian music was basically formed from European and African elements, brought by the Portuguese and the slaves respectively. The indigenous people didn't have much influence in the music produced in that nation (except for a few folk genres).

The main Genres are: Choro ("cry" in Portuguese), Música Popular Brasileira (known as MPB, to refer to Brazilian pop music), Bossa Nova, Música Nordestina (popular music from Northeastern Brazil); Música Gaúcha (from the Rio Grande do Sul state, in Southern Brazil); Repetismo (ballads); Frevo (from Olinda and Recife [Northeast] played during the Carnival); Forró (the foundation of lambada), Sertanejo (country music); Funk Carioca (it has nothing to do with Western Funk; it is a very peculiar sound that I will introduce here); Rock, Metal.
Then we have the Afro Brazilian musical genres: Samba, Capoeira, AItalicfoxé (some sort of religious music, part of the Candomblé tradition); and Samba-reggae. (For a more detailed information, click Here).
(On a personal note: Brazil produces the most beautiful love songs on earth - and many times they pay homage to Portuguese poets in doing so)

We shall begin by experiencing Bossa Nova, in the voice of the great João Gilberto (guitar) and Tom Jobim (piano) performing "Desafinado" (Lyrics & translation: Here). Enjoy!




Next Stop: Goa

Comments

  1. Thanks for that treat. My "todo list", currently has discovering Portugal on it. Maybe I need to discover Brazil too!

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  2. The history and insights you share encourage readers to broaden their horizons. To experience a place through astral travel or in physical experience shifts your awareness of it. Brazil has a timeless feel that vibrates through particular music. Paulo Coelho's writing is also a window into the collective soul.

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  3. Hi Max,

    Happy Maxday!

    "Later on, in the XVII century gold was discovered, and as such the Portuguese King ordered its exploration..."

    Even to this day, gold corrupts. California has had a lot of gold (California Gold Rush) and people still go to the region thinking they are going to strike it. Even if they do find gold, it is usually a speck. Boardinghouses, food preparation, sewing, and laundry were highly profitable businesses often run by women (married, single, or widowed) who realized men would pay well for a service done by a woman. Brothels also brought in large profits, especially when combined with saloons/gaming houses.

    "Many say that the Portuguese spoken in Brazil is mellow, smoother than the one spoken in Portugal (due to its musicality, making it easier for a foreigner to learn it). And the reason for this is the fact that the language has suffered many influences (along its history): the indigenous influence (to start with), the African influence, the French, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Italian and the German."

    Glad you mentioned this because I want to ask a question. When someone wants to learn Portuguese, there are usually classified as "European" or "Brazilian," which is the proper version if one were to engage in learning the language? Is there a discernible difference?

    "However, Brazil remains the truest melting pot of them all (since its colonial times). The Portuguese/Brazilians have always favoured assimilation and tolerance for other people; and while intermarriages were not acceptable in other Portuguese colonies, they were encouraged in Brazil."

    In Los Angeles, (also a melting pot), we have people from 140 countries who speak 86 different languages. Because America is a relatively new country, it is growing by leaps and bounds. People come here and don't leave.

    "Brazilians use their music in a very powerful fashion so that socialpolitical messages get across to people and the country. The Brazilian music was basically formed from European and African elements, brought by the Portuguese and the slaves respectively. The indigenous people didn't have much influence in the music produced in that nation (except for a few folk genres)."

    I found this to be true. I have a Brazilian CD with various artists and it has all of the elements of Bossa Nova, African, Salsa with a heavy emphasis on drums and percussion, yet very light. It is one of my favorite albums.

    "We shall begin by experiencing Bossa Nova, in the voice of the great João Gilberto (guitar) and Tom Jobim (piano) performing "Desafinado" (Lyrics & translation: Here). Enjoy!"

    Lovely song. I have heard it before by a female singer. Very sweet. The kind of music you can listen to while doing almost anything, walking, drinking in a cafe, or just listening. Ah, very relaxing.

    Informative post. I know more about Brazil now, other than Carnival and the "Brazilian."

    Thank you for broadening my horizons.

    Brazilian Cheers!

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  4. Hey Looney :D!

    "Thanks for that treat. My "todo list", currently has discovering Portugal on it. Maybe I need to discover Brazil too!"

    You are most welcome :D! Looney, you will love discovering Portugal (it is an amazing country) and Brazil (which is absolutely awesome). Both countries have warm people and excellent food!

    My friend, thank you so much for your comment and I am telling you: you will love it! :D

    Cheers

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  5. Hi Liara :D!

    "The history and insights you share encourage readers to broaden their horizons. To experience a place through astral travel or in physical experience shifts your awareness of it."

    :D thank you for your kindness. I totally agree with you on this one: one can travel through astral or physical trips and both experiences do shift our awareness of things and places.

    "Brazil has a timeless feel that vibrates through particular music. Paulo Coelho's writing is also a window into the collective soul."

    Aah, Brazil has a fantastic energy (it is extremely favourable to astral travels) and its music...my God...is quite an experience.
    Do you like Paulo Coelho? I have several of his books: they are good (my favourite is Brida). Anyway, one of his friends says that his translated works are better than the ones written in Portuguese LOL...I still need to confirm this information though *nodding*.

    Liara, thank you so much for your kind comment :D!

    Cheers

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  6. Hi Lady A :D!

    "Happy Maxday!"

    Happy Maxday, darling!

    "Even to this day, gold corrupts. (...) Brothels also brought in large profits, especially when combined with saloons/gaming houses."

    So true. Yes, I have watched many films on this issue...and it is amazing the amount of business it generated as well, isn't it?
    LOL oh well...usually wherever there's a man there is a brothel *nodding*...

    "Glad you mentioned this because I want to ask a question. When someone wants to learn Portuguese, there are usually classified as "European" or "Brazilian," which is the proper version if one were to engage in learning the language? Is there a discernible difference?"

    Shoot, girl. Indeed, the European Portuguese is the one spoken in Portugal and, the Brazilian Portuguese is the one spoken in Brazil (and we even have the African Portuguese, which differs from the mentioned ones although it is closer to the Brazilian Portuguese).
    You ask which one is the proper version...they are both proper, if you ask me (although a purist Portuguese will tell you that the one from Portugal is the proper one, since it is the original version); any one of them is good learn (but I should tell you that the European Portuguese is harder, a priori, because our vowels are more closed (generally speaking, because there some exceptions), our grammar is more complicated (in a sense that we actually use all tenses, and its particular rules, in our daily lives; whereas Brazilians simplify things - because the essence is the same, academically speaking), our vocabulary is a bit different too (although nowadays, by Brazilian influence, our Portuguese is changing. Many Brazilian words derive from the US english and the Spanish. For example, a nightgown in European Portuguese is "Camisa de noite" [night shirt]; in Brazilian Portuguese is "camisola" which for us means "sweater"), the phrase construction is a bit different as well, and the way we write some words also differ (for example: we write "colónia" [colony], Brazilians write "colônia"...see the difference? [the ^ sign closes the vowel, whereas the ´ sign opens it]) and that is basically it.
    Plus, the Brazilian Portuguese is almost sung, whereas ours is more flat. But whichever you decide to learn is cool: you'll be understood in both countries (and in our former African colonies).

    "In Los Angeles, (also a melting pot), we have people from 140 countries who speak 86 different languages. (...) People come here and don't leave."

    LOL "people come here and don't leave" lol...you kill me.

    "I found this to be true. I have a Brazilian CD with various artists and it has all of the elements of Bossa Nova, African, Salsa with a heavy emphasis on drums and percussion, yet very light. It is one of my favorite albums."

    Brazilians are sheer artists. They pick up any poem and make a superb song out of it. They take our poems (from famous Portuguese poets) and turn them into precious songs (we don't know how to do that, we do not have it in us - generally speaking).

    "Informative post. I know more about Brazil now, other than Carnival and the "Brazilian.""

    Ah, it didn't contain everything I wanted to talk about, but oh well...I am glad you liked it *bowing*. LOL and football (soccer), Brazil is also known for its national team *nodding*. I can tell you that I love Brazil and its people...girl, their food is a sin (specially their sweets...My Lord)!!

    "Thank you for broadening my horizons."

    You are most welcome, dear :D!

    Lady A, thank you so so much for your comment :D!

    Brazilian Cheers

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  7. Ciao Max,

    Brazil is a very beautiful country and its people is a warm one. It is culturally rich and in a near future it might become a major economic player if the population's way of life is improved (i.e. jobs and better housing).

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  8. I know much more than I did before and because of this awareness have a deeper appreciation for this part of the world.

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  9. Hi Max,

    Brazil is the country of Pelé, carnival, music and favelas. It's the true melting pot but it is also a place where a middle-class is almost inexistent.
    Brazil belongs to the so-called G20 which is remarkable but if the economic discrimination isn't sorted out justly, the progress will be derailed; and then non-democratic countries such as China and Russia will take the lead.

    This country is a democratic, modern and industrialized nation but every now and then we often hear stories of exploitation and social injustice. Albeit we wish all the best to Brazil and its people.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Max,

    "So true. Yes, I have watched many films on this issue[Brothels] and it is amazing the amount of business it generated as well, isn't it? LOL oh well...usually wherever there's a man there is a brothel *nodding*..."

    ROFL. You said it!

    Thank you for your thorough expertise on the language. I understand now. I like both and it is good to know that it can be understood in both countries. I like the stringency of the European version and the simplicity of the Brazilian version - and I LOVE the accent.

    "Brazil is also known for its national team *nodding*. I can tell you that I love Brazil and its people...girl, their food is a sin (specially their sweets...My Lord)!!"

    I know. They are fierce.

    Thanks again for the language lesson. It is most appreciated.

    Football Cheers!

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  11. Very cool info Max. I hope to experience it one day, but for now I am married to my house.

    I hope everything is great in your world! Take care.

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  12. Hi Dux :D!

    "Brazil is a very beautiful country and its people is a warm one. It is culturally rich and in a near future it might become a major economic player if the population's way of life is improved (i.e. jobs and better housing)."

    So true. I know that after they sort out their social injustice (and from what I heard President Lula has started to do some positive work on this) they will become one of the major economic players on earth - they have all the ingredients for such, right?

    Dux Probus, thank you ever so much for your input (I loved it) :D!

    Cheers

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  13. Hi Mark :D!

    "I know much more than I did before and because of this awareness have a deeper appreciation for this part of the world."

    I am so glad, Mark :D! Thank you for your delightful visit, it means a lot :D!

    Cheers

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  14. Hey C.C :D!

    "It's the true melting pot but it is also a place where a middle-class is almost inexistent."

    I am sorry but I must disagree. Brazil's middle-class is not almost inexistent...today it represents 52% of the population (100 Million Brazilians according to the FGV - Fundação Getulio Vargas). It is the first time in Brazil's history, but they made it.

    "Brazil belongs to the so-called G20 which is remarkable but if the economic discrimination isn't sorted out justly, the progress will be derailed; and then non-democratic countries such as China and Russia will take the lead."

    Indeed, they need to sort out their social and economic issues. I hear you.

    "This country is a democratic, modern and industrialized nation but every now and then we often hear stories of exploitation and social injustice. Albeit we wish all the best to Brazil and its people."

    *nodding in agreement*

    C.C, thank you ever so much for your comment...it is always an honour to have you guys here :D!

    Cheers

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  15. Hi Lady A,

    "ROFL. You said it!"

    ROFL ROFL...well...

    "Thank you for your thorough expertise on the language. I understand now. I like both and it is good to know that it can be understood in both countries. I like the stringency of the European version and the simplicity of the Brazilian version - and I LOVE the accent."

    You are welcome *bowing*. Ah, I love the accent too...it's hot lol.

    "I know. They are fierce."

    They are :D!

    "Thanks again for the language lesson. It is most appreciated."

    It was my pleasure, girl!! *big smile*

    Samba Cheers

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  16. Scott!!!! :D Hi!

    "Very cool info Max. I hope to experience it one day, but for now I am married to my house."

    Thanks, man! Aww that is so cute...:)! One day you will :D!

    "I hope everything is great in your world! Take care."

    Everything is peachy, thank you :D!!

    Scott, thanks for your visit (you were missed)!

    Take care

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  17. Love it Max,also love the info on their music, never heard of this person before but he's a great guitarist and can't beat his version of the song.

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  18. Nice reading this piece of history Max...event he Portuguese were to India also and still there remains some of their relics here...lovely post!

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  19. Hi! Going on my research (I seem to be doing a lot of that lately here!) if Lisbon had not had an earthquake in the eighteenth century where records were lost that could have shown that the Portuguese did in fact discover Australia, we could have well been cousins later on down the track!

    Now if you guys do finally find something that shows without a doubt that you did discover Australia, I might have to learn another language, real quick!

    Take Care,
    Peter

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  20. We have been to Brazil twice and it's one of my favorite country. True, life isn't easy and some cities are not that safe.

    But the country is just beautiful, and the people among the most welcoming.

    It's a true melting pot as you said. Nobody is just white or just black, people are of all colors and all complexions - people are just unique!

    It's so funny, meeting people who look almost Swedish (blond hair, fair skin, blue eyes) and some who have a darker skin than Togolese. Feng and I blend in just fine and it was very refreshing. And the last names can be German, Italian, Portuguese etc.

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  21. Hi Bob :D!

    "Love it Max,also love the info on their music, never heard of this person before but he's a great guitarist and can't beat his version of the song."

    I am glad you loved it, Lord of the Astropics :D! João Gilberto is a great Bossa Nova singer; and if you didn't know him I am glad that I got the chance to introduce him to you then :D!
    Di you try to play it?

    Bob, thanks for having dropped by :D!

    Cheers

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  22. Hi Kalyan :D!

    "Nice reading this piece of history Max...event he Portuguese were to India also and still there remains some of their relics here...lovely post!"

    Thanks, my friend *bowing*! Yes, they were (and that will be the next Lusosphere post: Goa).

    Thanks, Kalyan, for having dropped by :D!

    Cheers

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  23. Hi Peter :D!

    "Going on my research (I seem to be doing a lot of that lately here!) if Lisbon had not had an earthquake in the eighteenth century where records were lost that could have shown that the Portuguese did in fact discover Australia, we could have well been cousins later on down the track!"

    lol and I am glad you do your research :D! Indeed, we had an earthquake in 1755 (that destroyed all downtown Lisbon). Indeed, many records were swallowed by the earth...can you imagine if they hadn't? Australia today would probably speak Portuguese :).

    "Now if you guys do finally find something that shows without a doubt that you did discover Australia, I might have to learn another language, real quick!"

    LOL well, they might one day, cause recently we found (downtown) a Roman "spa" beneath the earth (during the construction of a new subway line), so who knows? Anything can happen!

    Pete, thanks a million for your super comment (I loved it) :D!
    In Portuguese, we thank people by saying "Obrigada" [if a woman] or "Obrigado" [if a man] :D.

    Cheers

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  24. Hi Zhu :D!

    "We have been to Brazil twice and it's one of my favorite country. True, life isn't easy and some cities are not that safe."

    True.

    "But the country is just beautiful, and the people among the most welcoming."

    They are, they are...and what about the food, girl? Sinful...

    "It's a true melting pot as you said. Nobody is just white or just black, people are of all colors and all complexions - people are just unique!"

    You know it!!!

    "It's so funny, meeting people who look almost Swedish (blond hair, fair skin, blue eyes) and some who have a darker skin than Togolese. Feng and I blend in just fine and it was very refreshing. And the last names can be German, Italian, Portuguese etc."

    And Japanese too!

    Zhu, thanks for having shared your experience with us all :D!

    Cheers

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  25. Max girl you did it again. Excellent post. I love learning from you, just from you, because reading history for me is like eating food you don't like, okay sometimes, because I like somethings in history. However, thanks for the cool facts. I like Brazil, may be one day I visit, and I heard that Portugal is beautiful too. Max on the other hand, how are you doing? Hope all is well with you. Anna :)

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  26. ...and just before I leave this post, I love your id pic, thanks for the smiles...

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  27. Hi Anna :D!

    "Max girl you did it again. Excellent post."

    Thank you, darling *bowing*!

    "I love learning from you, just from you, because reading history for me is like eating food you don't like, okay sometimes, because I like somethings in history."

    Aww, that is sweet of you; thank you *bowing*!
    LOL "reading history is like eating food you don't like" LOL LOL this was a great one.
    But I know what you mean...history is ill-taught most of the times; myself, I only had one interesting history teacher (the same for 3 years) all of the rest were boring like hell.

    "However, thanks for the cool facts. I like Brazil, may be one day I visit, and I heard that Portugal is beautiful too. Max on the other hand, how are you doing? Hope all is well with you"

    You are welcome :D! Oh girl, Portugal is gorgeous! Perhaps one day you'll visit me ;)!
    I am doing just fine, thank you for asking, darling :D! And with yourself and baby Matthew?

    "...and just before I leave this post, I love your id pic, thanks for the smiles..."

    lol thanks, I am glad you like it ;). Aah, you deserve all the smiles in the world, girl *hug*!

    Anna, thank you so much for having dropped by and for your friendship :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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