Brazil Religion, Transport, Geography, Politics and Population

Religion in Brazil

Most people in Brazil belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The most acute problems of the Brazilian church are the ignorance of the majority of the population and the lack of clergy. In terms of the number of Protestants (approx. 3 million), Brazil ranks first in South America, many people of African descent still practice syncretic and animistic cults.

Transport in Brazil

The most common and cheapest mode of transport is the bus. City transport is well developed, although it is equipped with cars of various brands, for the most part quite old. Prices are fixed – about 4 BRL. Buses connect most of the main cities of the country. Usually, long-distance buses are equipped with air conditioning, passengers are provided with a blanket, drinking water, and single seats are provided. Buses run even at night. Tickets can only be bought at bus stations.

The metro is only in Rio de Janeiro and Recife. It is amazingly beautiful, clean, safe. Works from 6.00 to 23.00, except Sunday.

You can travel in Brazil by air. If you plan to visit several cities in Brazil for one trip, it will be most profitable to purchase a special ticket “Airpass”, the Brazilian company Varig, valid for five air flights within the country.

In a taxi, the fee for 1 km is from 1 to 2 reais, for 15 km they take 10 reais. When boarding a taxi, make sure the meter is working. There are two types of taxis in Rio de Janeiro: yellow taxis and blue and red radio taxis, which are more expensive.

To rent a car in Brazil, you need a driver’s license and a credit card. Rental points are usually located near large hotels. and at airports (usually open from 9:00 to 16:00, and at airports around the clock). When renting a car, insurance is issued at the rate of approximately 10-13 USD per day, and a cash deposit is also required (if you have a credit card, this is not required). Traveling outside of Brazil with a rental car is prohibited.

Plant and Animal World in Brazil

Selva – humid equatorial forests of the Amazonian lowland. This is over 4 thousand species of trees, which is 1/4 of all species existing in the world. Animals, each in its own way, have adapted to existence among a dense forest intertwined with vines. Monkeys – howler monkey, capuchin, marmosets, slender-bodied saimiri spider monkeys with a muzzle coloring resembling a skull – spend their whole lives on trees, holding on to branches with a strong tail. Even tree porcupine and anteater, raccoon and marsupial opossum have tenacious tails. Cats – jaguars and ocelots – feel confident in the forest thicket. Not a hindrance forest thickets and for bats. Bakers and tapirs prefer swampy river floodplains. The capybara, the largest rodent in the world, is kept near the water. Amphibians and reptiles are diverse, including poisonous snakes (bushmasters, coral asps, rattlesnakes), boa constrictors, huge anacondas. In the rivers, caimans and flocks of bloodthirsty piranha fish lie in wait for a careless victim. Predatory harpies soar above the forest, urubu vultures – carrion eaters; multi-colored parrots fly in the crowns of trees; and toucans sit on the branches – the owners of a huge beak. The smallest birds on earth, hummingbirds, flicker in the air with bright colorful sparks and hover over the flowers.

To the east of the Amazon, the green forest sea is gradually replaced by stony light forest – caatinga. Poor soils barely cover the rocks, there is almost no grass.

In the very center of the Brazilian plateau lies the kingdom of shrubby and small-wooded savannahs and woodlands – campos serrados. Campos plants are well adapted to the change of dry and wet seasons, which last about half a year.

The farther to the east, to the humid breath of the Atlantic, the more trees close into a continuous cover of deciduous-evergreen forests, and the terrain becomes more and more high and rocky. The eastern edge of the Brazilian Plateau, cutting off to the ocean, is already mountain ranges, broken into separate huge blocks, steeply soaring above the tectonic depressions. Here is the highest point in Brazil – Mount Bandeira (2890 m).

To the west, the mountainous terrain gives way to the vast plains of the upper reaches of the Parana River – the Parana Plateau. Here are excellent conditions for growing coffee: the average temperature of the coldest month is not lower than 14 C, a sufficient amount of precipitation is about 1500 mm per year. In winter, a dry period is expressed, which is necessary for drying the grains.

The headwaters of the Pantanal River is a real paradise for a variety of birds; storks, herons, ibises, cormorants and roseate spoonbills are found here.

Minerals in Brazil

It is known that Brazil has the richest, although not yet well explored, mineral deposits. These are reserves of iron ore, manganese ores, bauxites, nickel, uranium ore. Brazil has reserves of potassium, phosphates, tungsten, cassiterite (tin ore), lead, graphite, chromium, gold, zirconium (a resistant refractory metal of great industrial value) and a rare radioactive mineral – thorium.

Brazil owns 90% of the world’s production of such precious stones as diamonds, aquamarines, topazes, amethysts, tourmalines and emeralds.

Banks in Brazil

Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 15:00. Currency exchange offices are usually open from 9:00 to 17:30.

When exchanging money, you need to take more small bills – it is easier to pay with them.

Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, etc.) are accepted everywhere in restaurants and hotels, sometimes in shops. The best credit card for traveling in Brazil is Visa.

Money in Brazil

The monetary unit in Brazil is the real. There are banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 reais and coins – in 1 real, 1, 5, 10, 50 centavos. In Brazil, you can use the usual credit cards: VISA, AMERICAN EXPRESS, MASTERCARD, etc. to pay for services and goods.

Rate: 1 Brazilian Real (BRL) = 0.21 USD

Political State in Brazil

According to politicsezine, Brazil is a federation of 26 states and 1 Federal District.

The head of state is the president. The president is elected by popular vote for a 4-year term.

The legislature is the bicameral National Congress. Consists of the Senate (81 seats, 3 deputies from each state and district are elected by majoritarian system for an 8-year term, a third of the Senate is rotated every three years) and the House of Deputies (513 seats, elected by a proportional system for a 4-year term).

Population in Brazil

About half of the population of South America, or a third of the population of Latin America, lives in Brazil. According to the 2003 census, there were 182,032 thousand inhabitants in the country. These are representatives of three major races – Mongoloids (American Indians), Negroids (Africans) and Caucasians. The latter are mainly descendants of Portuguese immigrants, and more recently, immigrants from Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland and Russia, as well as Arabs from Syria and Lebanon, have been added to them.

The official language is Portuguese, Spanish is also widely spoken, in tourist places – English.

Cuisine in Brazil

Each region of Brazil has its own type of cuisine. Bahian Cuisine: Vatapa – clams are cut or ground with pieces of fish, boiled in dende oil with the addition of coconut juice and slices of bread. The dish is served with white rice. Sarapateu – The pig’s liver or heart is cooked with the animal’s fresh blood, then tomatoes, peppers and onions are added and the whole thing is boiled together. Caruru – salted shrimp served with a spicy sauce made from red peppers and the Brazilian quiabou plant.

In the Amazon region, a typical dish is pato no tucupi, which consists of pieces of duck boiled in a thick sauce with herbs that burn the stomach hours after eating. Another typical dish of the area is tacaca, a thick yellow soup with dried shrimp and garlic.

The most typical Brazilian dish is feijoade. In Rio de Janeiro, where it is especially popular, feijoade is made with black beans, dried meat, smoked sausage, pork, garlic, pepper, and bay leaves. This dish is usually served in a deep bowl with cassava flour and, optionally, white rice. Sliced oranges, cabbage and pepper sauce are also served with this dish.

Brazilian beer is one of the best in the Western Hemisphere. For a long time, the production of the largest national companies was supervised by experts from Holland and Germany.

In Brazil, a strong, crystal clear cachaca vodka is produced from the spirit of processed sugar cane. Cachaca with lemon juice, sugar and ice is called caipirinha and is the most popular drink in Brazil, which is often served with feijoada.

Guarana is a typically Brazilian soft drink made from the fruit of the Amazonian forest of the same name.

Cuisine in Brazil

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