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Brazil - amaze us with your knowledge of the World Cup host

(73 Posts)
CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-May-14 16:09:41

With less than a month to go now until the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off, we thought it might be nice to boost our knowledge of the country that's holding it, beyond The Girl from Ipanema, the favelas, Pelé and Caipirinhas.

So treat this as a sort of Mumsnet Wiki - wow other Mumsnetters with things they might not know about the World's Fifth Largest Country (to start you off)....

juneau Tue 13-May-14 16:16:01

Brazil is one of the world's largest producers of coloured gem stones (aka semi-precious stones). I had a very fun afternoon in H. Stern in Rio watching them sort and cut and make them into jewellery. I had been paid my annual bonus just before going too, so I was fortunate enough to have a little bit of spending money on me grin

AtYourCervix Tue 13-May-14 16:56:05


spatchcock Tue 13-May-14 17:03:09

Haven't they destroyed favelas and made thousands of poor people homeless to make way for World Cup infrastructure?

Or were you looking for lighthearted here?

ToomuchToonow Tue 13-May-14 17:20:50

From Geography many years ago I recall the fact that Manaus; the city in the Amazon and where England will play its first match, has an implausably grand opera house built in the C19th. Funded by a rubber boom at the time.

From Wiki

The theatre's architectural style is considered typically Renaissance. The roofing tiles were imported from Alsace, the steel walls from Glasgow, Scotland and the Carrara marble for the stairs, statues and columns, from Italy. The dome is covered with 36,000 decorated ceramic tiles painted in the colors of the national flag of Brazil. The interior furnishing came from France in the Louis Quinze style. Italian artist Domenico de Angelis painted the panels that decorate the ceilings of the auditorium and of the audience chamber. The curtain, with its painting "Meeting of the Waters", was originally created in Paris by Crispim do Amaral. The theatre's 198 chandeliers were imported from Italy, including 32 of Murano glass.

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-May-14 17:27:49

ToomuchToonow - it's HUGE!

ToomuchToonow Tue 13-May-14 17:40:09

That info stuck, trying to think of more . . . the other thing that did is more about the river. To start with the Amazon flowed East to West, then the land lifted on the western edge of the continent (Andes) and the river (after a period of being a lake) flowed West to East.

I loved Geography

IpanemaMeisje Tue 13-May-14 17:43:14

They have a delicious berry called Acai which is also very good for you! It looks like a giant blueberry. My children slurp their Acai smoothies to get a purple moustache grin

juneau Tue 13-May-14 17:54:35

Haven't they destroyed favelas and made thousands of poor people homeless to make way for World Cup infrastructure?

I don't know that they've destroyed them, but the police have gone in and 'pacified' some of the favelas, which means kicking out the drug lords that ran them and bringing them under the control of the government/city. This also, inevitably, involved the deaths of some people. Favelas are pretty violent places though anyway.

juneau Tue 13-May-14 18:03:24

You're right spatchcock.

Here From the Guardian

RedundantExpat Tue 13-May-14 19:59:32

too sweet and too coconutty desserts and generally the cuisine is a bit of hit and miss judging from the meals I had cooked by Brazilians.

ruby1234 Tue 13-May-14 20:00:36

Someone I used to work with had a girlfriend from Brazil - she was called Ann.

JonSnowsPout Tue 13-May-14 20:27:28

I once had a Brazilian wax...

Quodlibet Tue 13-May-14 20:41:51

Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery, in 1873. Which means there are people alive today who would have had grandparents born into slavery. Goes some way to explaining the massive social divisions (often along racial lines).

The capital of Brazil is Brasilia, not RdJ or SP as many presume.

São Paulo has the world's largest Japanese population outside of Japan.

Quodlibet Tue 13-May-14 20:45:34

Also, the Brazilians have a phrase 'o jeitinho brasileiro' (sp?) or 'little Brazilian way' which basically describes behaviour most Brits would think of as cheating (or downright illegal), but they seem to view as kind of charmingly bending the rules a little bit. Think queue jumping, small bribes...

TalcAndTurnips Tue 13-May-14 20:53:11

Belo Horizonte (meaning beautiful horizon) - capital of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais and one of the host cities for the World Cup - is a Partner City/Town with Grimsby, Humberside.

peaz Tue 13-May-14 21:10:56

Moqueca is a lovely fish dish. Coconutty and yummy.

The football fans (at club level) have fierce rivalry between themselves. We went to see Flamenco v Botofogo at the Maracena and there were sections of the home team support chanting against each other.

The ferry ride back from Moro de São Paulo (nr salvador) is the worst crossing ever. 99% of the passengers were sick. Blueugh.

Gingerandcocoa Tue 13-May-14 21:12:31

In Brazil it's considered rude to blow your nose in public but it's fine to sniff very loudly and no one will get annoyed...

elQuintoConyo Tue 13-May-14 21:13:14

Brazilian women attained the right to vote in 1931.
Brazil is the fifth country to make seatbelts compulsory.
Brazil shares borders with every country on the continent except Chile and Ecuador.
Brazil is the fourth country in the world to abolish capital punshment.
Brazil has the highest number of AIDS victims on the continent.
There are more than 180 languages spoken in Brazil.
There are more Italians in São Paolo than in Rome.

The Boys From Brazil is an awesome film grin

HowardTJMoon Tue 13-May-14 21:20:31

According to the Associated Press, the Brazilian construction conglomerate Andrade Gutierrez gave $37.1million in political donations between 2008 and 2012. Entirely coincidentally, this was the time period when construction companies were being chosen. Also entirely coincidentally, Andrade Gutierrez got about a quarter of the construction projects. source

Also, the Mane Garrincha World Cup stadium in Brasilia is the second most expensive football stadium in the world coming in at $900million (first place goes to Wembley at $1.25billion). Brasilia's stadium was supposed to cost $300million. $28million of this cost overrun is allegedly down to the construction company (Andrade Gutierrez) wasting 12% of the steel. source

Quodlibet Tue 13-May-14 21:39:34

Howard 'Jeitinho Brasileiro' indeed.

TheSpottedZebra Tue 13-May-14 22:10:08

My 'big Tesco' have just created a section for Brazilian food - in the world food section, not seemingly connected to the world cup. This is interesting as I did not know that my town had much of a brazilian population.

It is also interesting as they have 4 - yes, 4! - different mixes for pão de queijo, aka cheese buns. And I like them very much.

ipswichwitch Wed 14-May-14 07:38:36

The second most popular sport (after football) is mixed martial arts, particularly Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The Gracie family adapted Jiu Jitsu so that shorter people can also use the techniques to defend against a larger person. This evolved into the sport of MMA, practices within organisations such as the UFC.

Formula One is also very popular, with Ayrton Senna being a national hero. He have a fortune to charities in Brazil and even had a cartoon series based on him called Senninha (Little Senna)

SmashleyHop Wed 14-May-14 13:19:58

My ex was from Brazil. Kanga is the word for whore. Guess how I knew when my ex MIL was talking about me in Portuguese?? wink

TheSpottedZebra Wed 14-May-14 13:47:34

Maybe she was just a massive Winnie the Pooh fan, Smashley?

<Pollyanna emoticon>

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