Being a Brazilian myself, living in 5 different countries and traveling the World for most of my life, I have got asked about my country several times: How is it like? Are Brazilians that crazy for football? What is the typical Brazilian food? Are you from Rio? And so on. However, I have also got weird questions, some that made me laugh really hard, others that made me think: oh my, what kind of question is that?
On the other hand, I have also listened to people making comments about Brazil, as well as observed how the media sees my country and report it to the World. Sometimes I am a bit surprised by what I see, it makes me wonder if I also have the wrong information about other countries too! What comes into your mind when you think of Brazil?
Before you go on and make a comment below – very much appreciated and welcome by Gin and myself – I thought it might be interesting to share with you 7 myths about Brazil…
#1 The Capital of Brazil is not Rio de Janeiro
Nope! The capital of Brazil is Brasilia, located right in the middle of the country, built there on purpose and completely planned by architects.
Of course that for some of you this is obvious, but believe me, there are an unimaginable amount of people in the World that thinks that Rio de Janeiro is the capital of Brazil. However, Rio was once the capital of the country for a long time, between 1763 until 1960!
#2 The official language of Brazil is not Spanish
I know, South America is filled with Spanish speaking countries, BUT Brazil is one of the few ones that doesn’t speak Spanish (the French and British Guianas are other examples). There is only one official language in Brazil: Brazilian Portuguese. Though, most Brazilians can improvize Portuñol!
#3 Brazil is not a Jungle!
Once I got asked if in Brazil there are monkeys on the streets. Well, no. I lived in Brazil for over 20 years and I have never seen a monkey on the streets. And believe me, this was a serious question, I had to answer it to 2 different people so far.
Some other people asked me how it is like to live in a jungle. Of course my reaction was: I’m sorry? Then I got the reply: yes, you live in Brazil don’t you? So what? I still haven’t even been to the Amazon jungle yet! Unless you mean a “concrete jungle”, I don’t know how is it like to live in the jungle. Oh my!
#4 Brazil is not hot the entire year
When you think of Brazil you picture beaches, coconut water and SUN! Well, it isn’t always like this in every region of the country. From where I come from it’s summer the entire year – the Northeast region. However, in the South region temperatures drop to the negatives every winter, sometimes it snows and sometimes in places like São Paulo, there are hailstorms every year!
#5 The Carnival does not happen only in Rio
Brazil is huge, and it is only natural that if Carnival is largest event in the country, it is celebrated everywhere. Well, then it is obvious that the carnival isn’t only celebrated in Rio.
Just so you have an idea, in São Paulo the carnival is celebrated exactly as in Rio, with the Samba schools. Another very famous one is in Salvador, which disputes with Rio every year to see which one is the largest street carnival in the country. Also, in every region the carnival is celebrated differently… and not everyone likes carnival… I don’t!
#6 There is no Brazilian Stereotype
Brazil is a very cultural mixed country; there are Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Italians, Angolans and Spanish descendants, to mention a few. Which means that there are tall and short people, with blue, green and dark eyes, blond and brunette haired, as well as people with dark and bright skin. How can we Brazilians have a stereotype with such a huge mix? Hard.
#7 Not every Brazilian knows how to Samba
If you think I know how to Samba, you are wrong! And if you think that every Brazilian has that Samba magic in their feet… wrong again. Samba is pretty hard, I never learned how to do it, and admire people who can. I can count on my fingers how many people I know who can dance Samba. Oh well, sorry if I disappointed you.
Now you may comment… what comes to your mind when you think of Brazil?