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Brazil

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coat

Motto: Ordem e Progresso  (Portuguese)
“Order and Progress”
Anthem: Hino Nacional Brasileiro  (Portuguese)

Capital Brasília
Largest city São Paulo
Official languages Portuguese
Demonym Brazilian
Government Presidential Federal republic
Independence from Portugal: Declared – September 7, 1822 / Recognized – August 29, 1825
Area 8,514,877 km² (5th) / 3,287,597 sq mi
Population 2008 estimate 186.757.608 (5th)
Currency Real (R$) (BRL)

[show-map id=’3′] Geography
Brazil occupies roughly half of South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.  Brazil is bordered by the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. It spans four time zones, the westernmost of which, is the same as Eastern Standard Time in the United States.  Brazil has one of the world’s most extensive river systems, with eight major drainage basins, all of which drain into the Atlantic Ocean. Major rivers include the Amazon, the largest river in terms of volume of water, and the second-longest in the world.   Brazilian topography is diverse, including hills, mountains, plains, highlands, scrublands, savannas, rainforests, and a long coastline. The extensive low-lying Amazon Rainforest covers most of Brazil’s terrain in the North, whereas small hills and low mountains occupy the South.

Culture
A wide variety of elements influenced Brazilian culture. Its major early influence derived from Portuguese culture, because of strong colonial ties with the Portuguese empire. Among other inheritances, the Portuguese introduced the Portuguese language, the Catholic religion and the colonial architectural styles. Other aspects of Brazilian culture are contributions of European and Asian immigrants, Native South American people (such as the Tupi), and African slaves. Thus, Brazil is a multicultural and multiethnic society.  Italian, German and other European immigrants came in large numbers and their influences are strongly felt.  Amerindian peoples influenced Brazil’s language and cuisine and the Africans, brought to Brazil as slaves, influenced Brazil’s music, dance, cuisine, religion and language.  Brazil’s cultural tradition extends to its music styles which include samba, bossa nova, forró, frevo , pagode and others.  Brazilian Carnival is an annual celebration held 40 days before Easter and marks the beginning of Lent. Brazilian Carnival has distinct regional characteristics. Other regional festivals include the Boi Bumbá and Festa Junina (June Festivals).

*Content gathered from Wikipedia