With an area of 5.35 million square miles(equals to 8.45 million square km), Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. It also has the fifth largest population in the world with over 200 million inhabitants. Here are 15 interesting facts about Brazil that you should definitely know in case you are going to visit or live there.
1. Every Corner of Rio has a Key Maker/ Locksmith
Almost in every corner of every street in Rio de Janeiro, you will see a locksmith. I really don’t know why there are so many locksmith kiosks in Rio but I guess they are very service oriented because some of them work 24/7.
2. Hand Gestures
Brazilian people are very warm-blooded and show their feelings with their body languages. There are many hand gestures but it is good to know two of them which can be useful in Brazil.
The Sign “OK”
In many countries the sign of OK means showing an agreement. But in Brazil, it is not. It is a very offensive hand gesture. If you use “OK”, it means you are calling someone an a**hole.
In Brazil, while we were trying to get a taxi, we saw that taxi drivers make a hand gesture which we didn’t understand first. Then our Brazilian friends explained to us if a car or a place is full, the people use this hand gesture to tell it is full, there is no space.
3. Football (Soccer) is The Way Life
Football or futebol was brought to Sao Paolo by Charles Miller who is a young Brazilian-born Englishman in the late of 1890s. Since then Football is a very popular sport in Brazil. Every city in Brazil has a football stadium. Brazil won the World Cup five times and perhaps its most famous player is Pele in another name Edson Arantes do Nascimento. The gigantic Maracana Stadium of Rio de Janeiro has 180,000 seats.
4. Footvolley is Born in Brazil
In the beaches of Brazil especially in Rio de Janeiro, you will see many people who play Volleyball on the beaches without using their hands and only with their heads and feet. Footvolley is a combination of beach volley and football. It was created by Octavio de Moraes in 1965 in Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.
5. Stadiums for Samba Parades
Another famous thing of Brazil is absolutely the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro. The first Carnival parade was organized in 1855 and the first Samba School, Deixa Falar ( Let’em Talk), was organized by the black residents of Rio de Janeiro’s Estacio District in 1928. Nowadays samba schools and the carnival itself is a big economic resource for Rio de Janeiro and the other cities in Brazil. Samba parades/ carnivals are held and organized in Sambadromes where people sit in a tiered spectator viewing areas surrounding a long alley for the schools to parade down.
6. The Land of Dance
Besides its famous dance Samba, Brazil has many local and traditional dances such as Forro and Capoeira.
7. The Traditional Drink – Caipirinha
Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil. which is made of cachaca, sugarcane liquor, sugar, ice, and crushed lime slices.
8. No Coke Yes Guarana
You can definitely find Coca-Cola in Brazil but Guarana Soda is much popular than Coke. It is made of Guarana fruit. Outside Brazil it is also produced in Argentina, Portugal, and Japan.
9. Don’t get surprised if you see many Japanese
In 1908, the first Japanese ship, Kasato Maru arrived Brazil. Since then Japanese migration kept going on. Now around 1.6 million Japanese-Brazilians live in Brazil. Many of them reside in Sao Paolo and brought the seedlings of cherry trees so that you can see cherry blossoms a lot in Sao Paulo.
10. The Second Highest Number of Airports in The World
After the US, Brazil has the second highest number of airports with having more than 4000 airports in the country.
11. Sex Change Surgery is Free
LGBT people in Brazil have many legal rights. Since 2009, Brazil’s public health system provides free sex-change operations in compliance with a court order.
12. The Capital Looks Like An Airplane
The capital of Brazil, Brasilia is very young and new capital which is a very well planned city and build in only 41 months. The plan of the city looks like an airplane. The city has many modern buildings and the modern face of Brazil.
13. The Second Largest River – The Amazon
The Amazon River is the second longest river in the world with 6992 kilometers and it is the world’s largest river by volume. It discharges of about 209,000 cubic meters per second.
14. The Second Largest Hydroelectric Plant
The Itaipu Dam is located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay and is the second largest hydroelectric producer in the world. The dam is 7.7 kilometers long and 196 meters high. It is about the same height of a 65 story building. 40,000 workers build the dam in seven years. It took 12.3 million cubic meters of concrete to build the dam. The steel that is used in the construction could make 380 copies of the Eiffel Tower. Itaipu supplies 26% of the electrical power consumption of Brazil and 78% of Paraguay For more information about this huge power plant visit its website.
15. The Biggest African city outside Africa
Salvador is the capital city of Bahia state in Brazil and the first place in the South America where African slaves were brought centuries ago. With 82 percent of its population tracing their ancestry back to the days of slavery, Salvador is described as “the biggest African city outside Africa”.