Once known mainly for its beaches and bossa nova, football, Carnaval, and the finest coffee in the world, over the last decade Brazil has emerged as the colossus of South America.
Brazil is the ‘B’ of the BRICS nations, the powerful bloc of emerging national economies whose influence is increasingly being felt in world affairs. Blessed with an abundance of arable land and natural resources, its economy today is the seventh largest in the world. From a country that went deeply into debt buying foreign oil, it is set to become a major oil producer and exporter, having recently discovered huge oil reserves offshore. Politically it a mature democracy, whose first woman president took office in 2011.
In Brazil size matters. With nearly half the land mass of South America, it is the fifth largest country in the world. Its territory covers four time zones and consists of a variety of different landscapes, climates, flora, and fauna, including “the lung of the world,” the Amazon rainforest with its incredible biodiversity. Because of its size and history there are marked regional differences, and the country is a melting pot of races and lifestyles, despite which Brazilians have a strong sense of national identity. It has a feeling of self-sufficiency and, partly due to its language, of almost being a separate continent within South America.
International attention will focus on Brazil even more in the coming years as it hosts the World Cup and the Olympic Games, and this new, revised edition of Culture Smart! Brazil will be an invaluable guide for businessmen, journalists, and travelers alike. It describes the historical influences that have shaped Brazilian society. It introduces the Brazilian people, their values, customs and traditions; how they go about their daily life and spend their leisure time; and the way they think and do business. It will help you discover for yourself the creative, energetic, soulful, good-natured, and open-minded people of this important and fascinating country.