By Harry Greenbaum

Those information-packed volumes offer finished overviews of every nation's humans, geography, heritage, executive, financial system, and tradition

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Brazilian Portuguese differs from that spoken in Portugal, in part because of the infusion of Tupi Indian language patterns. More and more Brazilians are becoming interested in the preservation of their country’s pre-European culture and tradition. ” When early Portuguese navigators noticed a type of tree with reddish bark growing along the Brazilian coast, they were reminded of the glowing embers of a fire. Nearly all of Latin America—that vast culture region that extends from the Mexico’s border with the United States to the southern tip of South America—was claimed and settled by the Spanish.

Periods of huge wealth have often been followed by eras of grinding poverty for the country and many of its people. Coffee became a major Brazilian crop in the 1820s, and the growing and shipping of coffee greatly helped spur the growth of inland São Paulo and its port city of Santos. Coffee remains an important crop today, although it contributes a much lower percentage of the country’s wealth than it did in the past. In the 1880s, the Amazon region became an important area because of the increasing demand for rubber.

Service industries are beginning to expand at a rapid rate. Brazil looks to its past with pride and to its future with considerable optimism. q 2/26/03 11:33 PM Page 40 Brazil is known for its spectacular Carnival, held in the days before Lent each year. People of all classes spend vast amounts of time and money to make costumes and get ready for Carnival. Here, thousands of musicians and dancers are performing for an audience of about 100,000 people during Rio de Janeiro’s 2002 Carnival celebration.

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