Brazil: Wealth, Beauty and Poverty
Brazil makes up one fifth of BRICS, which are the world’s fastest emerging economies. Among the members of BRICS include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The vast land, resources, tourist attractions and the richness in culture makes Brazil stand out among countries in the world. However, even with the resources and wealth, poverty in part of the population is openly present. This paper will discuss Brazil with focus on its flag, wealth, poverty and tourism.
The current iteration of the Brazilian flag came into official use on November 15 1889. The flag has three distinct features: the bright green rectangle, a yellow diamond and at the center is a blue globe. Each of the features on the flag represent a feature in the Brazilian society. c on the flag is emblematic of Brazil’s vast nature, flora and fauna as well as the extensive agricultural fields. The yellow diamond on the other hand represents Brazil’s wealth in gold. The blue celestial globe represents Brazil’s position on earth. Within the globe are 27 white stars, each representing a state in the vast country and the Federal District. The arrangement of the stars is according to the constellations in the southern hemisphere as seen from Rio de Janeiro in the early hours of the morning. Across the globe is an equatorial band with the country’s motto ORDEM E PROGRESSO, which means Order and Progress.
Brazil stands out as one of the largest countries by size in the world. It is the fifth-largest county in the world Russia, Canada, China, and the U.S. being larger than it (Baer, 2014). It measures 8.516 million km2 with a population of 209.3 million as of 2017 (OECD, 2018). Brazil’s vastness in land means the country is equally endowed with natural resources. Baer (2014) informs that the country’s natural resources include mineral resources such as iron ore, manganese, bauxite copper, lead, zinc, nickel, tungsten, tin, uranium, quartz crystals, industrial diamond and gemstones. For its energy needs, the country has coal and oil deposits, although they are of poor quality and inadequate for domestic consumption respectively. Exports additionally contribute to Brazil’s wealth. As an export-oriented economy, the country exports soybeans, iron ore, raw sugar, crude petroleum, poultry meat and poultry meat. Cars, vehicle parts, gold, coffee, aircrafts, helicopters and spacecrafts are additionally among the country’s exports.
Despite the large amount of wealth, Brazil continues to struggle with poverty and remains one of the most unequal countries in the world (OECD, 2018). The inequality means that while half of the country’s population lives large receiving 90% of the total household incomes, the other half languishes in poverty receiving the remaining 10% of the total household incomes (OECD, 2018). Rocinha favela, the largest slum in Latin America holding about 180,000 people in less than a square mile of land is perhaps the most visible evidence of poverty in Brazil. Average education for the favela’s residents is approximately 4.1 years, exacerbating residents’ poverty levels considering their unemployability due to limited education.
Despite the poverty, Brazil remains one of the most visited countries in the world. Feijoada and Brigadeiro, traditional Brazilian foods of beans and pork served with garlic rice, sautéed collard greens, a tangy vinaigrette, and farofa, toasted cassava flour and desert respectively, as some of the culinary attractions to the country. Perhaps the most notable of attractions are the annual Brazilian carnivals with accompanying samba music. Rio carnival, the largest in the world, involves parades and people in lively costumes, essentially making it a tourist haven. Another notable attraction is the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio. The statue is a tourist staple, attracting 3,000-4,000 visitors a day during peak visiting seasons. Copacabana beach is an additional destination given its mixture of spiritual and superstitious rituals and amazing display of fireworks particularly on New Year’s Eve. Rio is especially vibrant on the New Year’s Eve with music, parties and an extravagant display of art.
Baer, W. (2014). The Brazilian Economy: Growth and Development. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers
OECD (2018). OECD Economic Surveys: Brazil. OECD