Brazilian culture

Daniela Diana

The predominant cultural diversity in Brazil is also a consequence of the great territorial extension and the characteristics generated in each region of the country.

The white individual, who participated in the formation of Brazilian culture, was part of several groups that came to the country during the colonial era.

In addition to the Portuguese, the Spanish came from 1580 to 1640 during the Iberian Union (during which Portugal came under the control of Spain).

During the Dutch occupation in the northeast, from 1630 to 1654, came Flemish or Dutch, who stayed in the country, even after the retaking of the area by the Portuguese. In the colony, the French, English and Italians also contributed.

However, it was from the Portuguese that we received the fundamental cultural heritage, where the history of Portuguese immigration in Brazil blends with our own history.

It was they, the colonizers, who were responsible for the initial formation of the Brazilian population. This resulted from the process of miscegenation with Indians and black Africans from 1500 to 1808. For three centuries, the Portuguese were the only Europeans who could freely enter Brazil.

To learn more:

  • Brazilian Population
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Immigration from Brazil
  • Popular Culture

The Formation of Brazilian Culture

The formation of Brazilian culture resulted from the integration of elements from indigenous , from Portuguese colonizer , African black cultures, as well as from the various immigrants.

Indigenous Culture

There were many contributions of the Brazilian Indians to our cultural and social formation. From an ethnic point of view, they contributed to the emergence of a typical Brazilian individual: the caboclo (white and Indian mestizo).

In the cultural formation, the Indians contributed with the vocabulary , which has numerous terms of indigenous origin, such as pindorama, anhanguera, ibirapitanga, Itamaracá, among others. With folklore, remained legends such as the curupira, the saci-pererê, the boitatá, the iara, among others.

The influence on cooking was more present in certain regions of the country where some indigenous groups managed to take root. An example is the northern region, where typical dishes are present, among them, tucupi, tacacá and maniçoba.

Roots like cassava are used to prepare flour, tapioca and beiju. Several hunting and fishing tools , such as arapuca and puçá. Finally, several household items were left as inheritance, among them, the net, the gourd and the trough.

To learn more:

  • Brazilian Indians
  • Indigenous Culture
  • Indian Day

Portuguese Culture

Portugal was the European country that exerted the most influence on the formation of Brazilian culture.

The Portuguese performed a cultural transplantation to the colony, highlighting the Portuguese language , spoken throughout the country, and the religion marked by parties and processions.

Administrative institutions, the type of construction of villages, towns and cities and agriculture are all part of the Portuguese heritage.

In Brazilian folklore is evident the large number of Portuguese parties and dances that have been incorporated into the country. Among them, the cavalcade, the fandango, the June festivities (one of the main festivals of northeastern culture) and the bull's party.

The legends of folklore (cuca and bogeyman), the songs of roda (live fish, carnation and rose, roda pião etc.) remain alive in Brazilian culture.

If you want to know more about the folklore of the country: Brazilian Folklore.

African Culture

The African Negro was brought to Brazil to be employed as slave labor. As the cultures they represented (religious rites, dialects, customs and customs, physical characteristics, etc.) formed three main groups, which showed marked differences: the Sudanese , the Bantos and the Males . (Islamized Sudanese).

Salvador, in northeastern Brazil, was the city that received the largest number of blacks, and where several cultural elements survive.

Examples are the " baiana costume ", with turban, lace skirts, bracelets, necklaces, capoeira and music instruments such as the drum, atabaque, cuíca , berimbau and afoxé.

Overall, the cultural contribution of blacks was large:

In food , vatapá, acarajé, acaçá, cocada, kid's foot etc;

In dances (quilombos, maracatus and aspects of Bumba meu boi)

In the religious manifestations (candomblé in Bahia, macumba in Rio de Janeiro and xango in some northeastern states).

To learn more, also read the articles:

  • African Culture
  • Northeast Culture
  • Main Characteristics of Afro-Brazilian Culture
  • Samba
  • Afoxé

Immigrant Culture

The immigrants have made important contributions to Brazilian culture. The history of immigration in Brazil began in 1808, with the opening of ports to friendly nations by D. João.

To populate the territory came Portuguese, Azorean, Swiss, Prussian, Spanish, Syrian, Lebanese, Polish, Ukrainian and Japanese families, who settled in Rio Grande do Sul.

The highlight was the Italians and the Germans , who arrived in large numbers. They concentrated in the south and southeast of the country, leaving important marks of their cultures, especially in architecture , language , cuisine , regional and folk festivals .

The wine culture of southern Brazil is concentrated mainly in the region of Serra Gaucha and Campaign, where predominantly descendants of Italians and Germans.

In the city of São Paulo, the great flow of Italians gave rise to neighborhoods such as Bom Retiro, Brás, Bexiga and Barra Funda, where the presence of Italians is remarkable. With them came the typical pasta such as pasta, pizza, lasagna, cannelloni, among others.

To learn more:

Daniela Diana