Brazil: Portuguese Language & Religion
Portuguese Language. The Spanish greeting "Buenos
días" is the way to say "good morning," "hello,"
or "good day" in every South American country except Brazil.
In Brazil, people say "Bom dia," which is Portuguese for
the same greetings. Brazil is the only Portuguese speaking nation
in the Western Hemisphere. But because there are many Brazilians,
Portuguese has become a major world language. Brazilian Portuguese
is much like the language spoken in Portugal except that it is spoken
with a different accent and intonation. A visitor from Portugal
would also have to learn new words that have been added to the language
by Africans and Indians.
Many educated Brazilians also speak Spanish, and many are fluent
in English and French. German and Italian are spoken by several
million in the southern states.
Most Brazilians are Roman Catholics. This gives
Brazil the distinction of having the largest Catholic population
of any nation in the world. There are also many Protestants in Brazil.
In fact, Evangelical Protestants represent the country's fastest-growing
religious group. Smaller numbers of Buddhists and Jews make their
homes in Brazil. An unusual mixture of African religions and Roman
Catholicism known as candomblé is practiced by many Brazilians
of African descent in the cities and the Northeast.
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