Even though we often think about Brazil as beach or eco-tourism destination it’s good to remember that Brazil has a very diverse culture . The brazilians itself are a real proof of the cultural variety. Their roots are a mixture of indian, african and european blood. Here you can meet an afro-brazilian friend with blue eyes or indian background. It’s exactly this mixture of races and traditions that makes Brazil unique, when it comes to cultural heritage.
Today one of the most famous features of Brazilian culture is probably the music, but even it varies depending on which part of the country you are. In Rio de Janeiro the rythms are based on samba, but in Bahian, the most afro-brazilian state, you will feel the african influence. The african influence can been seen in rituals, religions and even the well known fight-dance capoeira has African origin. In the Amazon area you will find a lot influence of the indigenous cultures. Even today, there are tribus that has not had any contact with the white man and a large number of unknow traditions live in these isolated areas. Where as the yearly samba carnaval of Rio de Janeiro is the most well known brazilian festival, in the state of Amazonas the folklore festival of Parintins is celebrated every June. This festival is one of the greatest homage for the indigenous traditions, legends and rituals.
The cultural mixture of the past decades has left its’ impact on the brazilian architecture. In the southern part of the country you will find many little villages inhabited by the European settlers. These, often in mountainous areas located villages represent the central European style and you might easily imagine yourself at the German or Austrian Alps. Throughout Brazil you will find a large number colonial style villages and cities with narrow streets, colorful buildings and charming churches. One of the most famous colonial cities is with no doubt Ouro Preto, located in the state of Minas Gerais, about 100 km the state capital Belo Horizonte. Another very popular destinations with well conservated colonial style are Paraty in Rio de Janeiro, Olinda in Pernambuco, the historical center of São Luis and the island of Alcântara both in Maranhão and last but definitely not least Pelourinho, the center of Salvador with a great mixture of colonial architecture with afro-brazilian culture.
However the brazilian culture is not just about history. Even today, this enormous country has a large number of artists actuating in diverse areas of modern culture. The buildings of current capital Brasilia, were designed by Oscar Niemeyer, one of the most important names in international modern architecture. Brazilian writer, Paulo Coelho, has created a number of international best sellers and some of the world famous songs, like “Girl from Ipanema” are composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Brazil is full of culture and it’s up to you to choose whether you prefer history, folklore, music or arts…or maybe you passion is the same as the brazilians, a fully crowded football stadium with authentic touch of the popular culture!