The Brazilian culture has been influenced not only by the Portuguese, who brought their religion and language, but also by the native Indians, the large African population and other settlers from Europe and Asia.
Brazilian music, characterized by great diversity has been influenced from three continents and continues to develop new and original ways.
The samba, a mixture of Spanish bolero with the cadences and rhythms of African music, reached its greatest popularity during the thirties. Its greatest exponent was probably Carmen Miranda, known for his strong temperament and their headdresses made of fruit.
The melancholic style of bossa nova, which was influenced by the U.S Jazz, enjoyed great popularity in the 1950s, in the voice of artists such as Joao Gilberto and songs like “The Girl from Ipanema”.
The Tropical style is a mix of musical influences that arrived in the country in the sixties and made a more electric samba style. In recent years, it has become popular all over the world the lambada, influenced by Caribbean rhythms.
Among the Brazilian fiction writers, it is important to mention the concise and ironic style of Machado de Assi .
The son of a freed slave, Assis worked in Rio as a typesetter in a printing press and journalist in the nineteenth century.
The most famous Brazilian writer of the twentieth century is Jorge Amado, whose tales tell stories about the people and places of the Bay.
Officially, Brazil is a Catholic country but the religion of the country has incorporated other cults, like the Indian animism, African cults, Afro-Catholic, syncretism and cardecismo which is a spiritualist religion related to Eastern mysticism and is gaining popularity among the white population of the country.
The Portuguese, enriched with words from Indian and African languages, is the official language, but each region adopts its own accents, dialects, slang and jargon.
The basis of the Brazilian diet is white rice, black beans and manioc flour, combined with beef, chicken or fish. Other culinary specialties in the country are moqueca, a seafood stew with palm oil and coconut milk, the caruru, mixed vegetables with prawns, onion and pepper, and feijoada, a stew of beans and meat. In Bahia, you see many women dressed in white selling acaraje, mashed beans, salt and onion, and fried in palm oil.