Sunday, August 8, 2010

BRAZIL - Country profile

Following more than three centuries under Portuguese rule,
Brazil gained its independence in 1822,
maintaining a monarchical system of government
until the abolition of slavery in 1888
and the subsequent proclamation of a republic by the military in 1889.
Brazilian coffee exporters politically dominated the country
until populist leader Getulio VARGAS rose to power in 1930.
By far the largest and most populous country in South America,
Brazil underwent more than half a century
of populist and military government until 1985,
when the military regime peacefully ceded power to civilian rulers.
Brazil continues to pursue industrial and agricultural growth
and development of its interior.
Exploiting vast natural resources and a large labor pool,
it is today South America's leading economic power and a regional leader,
one of the first in the area to begin an economic recovery.

Flag of BRAZIL :

The flag of Brazil has a green field with a large yellow rhombus in the center. A blue circle is placed within the rhombus, with 27 white five-pointed stars of five different sizes arranged in the shapes of various constellations of the Southern Hemisphere. A curved white band also runs through the blue circle, inscribed in green capital letters with the national motto of Brazil: Ordem e Progresso ("Order and Progress").

This flag is sometimes nicknamed the Auriverde which means "(of) gold and green". The next-to-last stanza of Castro Alves's Navio Negreiro uses the term.

The modern flag was officially adopted on November 19, 1889. The concept was the work of Raimundo Teixeira Mendes, with the collaboration of Miguel Lemos and Manuel Pereira Reis. The design was executed by Décio Vilares.

The current national flag and ensign maintains the same design with some minor changes. The current 27-star version was adopted on May 12, 1992 (Law 8.421, May 11, 1992).

National anthem of BRAZIL :

Words by : Joaquim Osório Duque Estrada
Music by : Francisco Manoel da Silva
Adopted : 1890 (melody), 1922 (lyrics)

Brazil's anthem was originally composed in 1822 (the year of independence) and first performed in 1831. During the imperial period (1822-1889) and for the first few years of the republican period thereafter, the anthem was performed without words. After becoming a republic in 1889, it was often suggested among the republican groups in the country that a new anthem should be adopted, as the current anthem was composed during the imperial era, yet the anthem that had been in use was declared official on January 20, 1890. The anthem was still without official words, and each state started adopting their own words to the anthem. In 1906, it was brought forward that lyrics for the anthem should be written, and in 1909 a poem by Joaquim Osório Duque Estrada was composed. However it wasn't until 1922, for the 100th anniversary of independence, that Osório Duque Estrada's poem was adopted, with several changes to the text.

Brazil, like many other "federalist" nations, have regions that have their own anthems as well.


Portuguese lyrics

1. Ouviram do Ipiranga às margens plácidas
De um povo heróico o brado retumbante,
E o sol da liberdade, em raios fúlgidos,
Brilhou no céu da Pátrianesse instante,

Se o penhor dessa igualdade
Conseguimos conquistar com braço forte,
Em teu seio, ó, Liberdade,
Desafia o nosso peito a própria morte!

Ó Pátria amada, Idolatrada, Salve! Salve!

Brasil, um sonho intenso, um raio vívido,
De amor e de esperança à terra desce,
Se em teu formoso céu, risonho e límpido,
A imagem do Cruzeiro resplandece.

Gigante pela própria natureza,
és belo, és forte, impávido colosso,
E o teu futuro espelha essa grandeza,

Terra adorada, Entre outras mil, és tu, Brasil,
Ó Pátria amada! Dos filhos deste solo és mãe gentil,
Pátria amada, Brasil!

2. Deitado eternamente em berço esplêndido,
ao som do mar e à luz do céu profundo,
Fulguras, ó Brasil, florão da América,
Iluminado ao sol do novo mundo!

Do que a terra mais garrida
Teus risonhos lindos campos tem mais flores,
"Nossos bosques tem mais vida"
"Nossa vida" no teu seio "mais amores"

Ó Pátria amada, Idolatrada, Salve! Salve!

Brasil, de amor eterno seja símbolo
O lábaro que ostentas estrelado,
E diga o verde-louro dessa flâmula
"Paz no futuro e glória no passado."

Mas se ergues da justiça a clava forte,
Verás que um filho teu não foge à luta,
Nem teme, quem te adora, a própria morte,


English translation

1. The Ypiranga's placid banks heard
The resounding shouting of a heroic people.
And the sun of freedom, in bright rays,
Shone at this moment in the homeland's skies.
As the promise of this equality
Was secured by our strong arms,
In your bosom, O Freedom,
We are ready to die.

O beloved, idolized homeland, hail, hail!
Brazil, a vivid dream, a lively ray
Of love and hope settles on the earth,
As in your beautiful sky, smiling and limpid,
The image of the Southern Cross shines resplendent.
A giant by nature, you are beautiful,
Strong, an intrepid colossus,
And your future mirrors this grandeur.

O land we adore, among a thousand others
You are the beloved one.
You are the gentle mother of the sons of this land,
Beloved homeland, Brazil!

2. Eternally laid in a splendid cradle,
To the sound of the sea and the light from the depths of the sky,
Brazil, you gleam, fleuron of the Americas,
Illuminated by the sun of the New World.
Your smiling, lovely fields have more flowers
Than the most attractive land elsewhere,
Our forests have more life,
Our life in your bosom more love.

O beloved, idolized homeland, hail, hail!
Brazil, may you have as eternal symbol
The starry banner you display,
And may the green laurel of this pennant speak
Of peace in the future and glory in the past.
But if you raise a strong cudgel in the name of justice,
You will see that a son of yours does not run from a fight,
Nor does one who adores you fear death.


Location :

Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

Maps :

Area :

Total : 8 514 877 sq km
Land : 8 459 417 sq km
Water : 55 460 sq km

Note : includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo.

Coastline :

7 491 km

Elevation extremes :

Lowest point : Atlantic ocean 0 m
Highest point : Pico da Neblina 2 994 m

Terrain :

Mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt.

Natural resources :

Bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber.

Climate :

Current weather : mostly tropical, but temperate in south.

Population :

201 103 330

Nationality :

Demonym : Brazilian

Ethnic groups :

White 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7% (2000 census).

Religions :

Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, Spiritualist 1.3%, Bantu/voodoo 0.3%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.2%, none 7.4% (2000 census).

Languages :

Portuguese (official and most widely spoken language) ;

Note : less common languages include Spanish (border areas and schools), German, Italian, Japanese, English, and a large number of minor Amerindian languages.

Country name :

Conventional long form : Federative Republic of Brazil
Conventional short form : Brazil
Local long form : Republica Federativa do Brasil
Local short form : Brasil

ISO country code :


Government type :

Federal republic

Capital :

Brasília (population of city : 2 806 685 - 2008)

Other major cities :

Sao Paulo (largest city of Brazil), Rio de Janeiro , Belo Horizonte , Salvador, Fortaleza, Recife, Porto Alegre, Curitiba.

Administrative divisions :

26 states (estados, singular - estado) and 1 federal district* (distrito federal) ; Acre, Alagoas, Amapa, Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, Distrito Federal*, Espirito Santo, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Paraiba, Parana, Pernambuco, Piaui, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia, Roraima, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Tocantins.

Independance :

7 September 1822 (from Portugal).

National holiday :

Independence Day, 7 september.

Constitution :

5 October 1988.

Executive branch :

Chief of state : President Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (since 1 January 2003) ;
Vice President Jose ALENCAR Gomes da Silva (since 1 January 2003) .

Note : the president is both the chief of state and head of government.

Head of government : President Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (since 1 January 2003) ; Vice President Jose ALENCAR Gomes da Silva (since 1 January 2003) .

Cabinet : Cabinet appointed by the president.

Elections : president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single four-year term ; election last held on 1 October 2006 with runoff on 29 October 2006 (next to be held on 3 October 2010 and, if necessary, 31 October 2010).

Election results : Luiz Inacio LULA da Silva (PT) reelected president - 60.83%, Geraldo ALCKMIN (PSDB) 39.17%.

Legislative branch :

Bicameral National Congress or Congresso Nacional consists of the Federal Senate or Senado Federal (81 seats ; 3 members from each state and federal district elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms ; one-third and two-thirds of members elected every four years, alternately) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camara dos Deputados (513 seats ; members are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms).

Judicial branch :

Supreme Federal Tribunal or STF (11 ministers are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate) ; Higher Tribunal of Justice ; Regional Federal Tribunals (judges are appointed for life) ; note - though appointed "for life," judges, like all federal employees, have a mandatory retirement age of 70.

Currency :

Brazilian Real (BRL)

Agriculture products :

Coffee, soybeans, wheat, rice, corn, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus, beef.

Industries :

Textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment.

Exports partners :

China 12.49%, US 10.5%, Argentina 8.4%, Netherlands 5.39%, Germany 4.05% (2009).

Imports partners :

US 16.12%, China 12.61%, Argentina 8.77%, Germany 7.65%, Japan 4.3% (2009).

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