Brazilian is an ethnic group

Society and ethnic groups in Brazil

Society in Brazil

As in Latin America as a whole, there is still a clear class difference in Brazil between people of Spanish origin and indigenous people. Citizens with European roots still clothe important business offices and higher social positions today.

The origin of the social extremes in Brazil can be found in the way of life of the fazendas. This feudal system of manors built by slaves still influences society today. The tradition of domination and submission still exists at times today.

The result is a complex system of different social, ethnic, cultural, religious, regional and political groups. On the one hand, there is an upper class in the centers like Rio de Janeiro; on the other hand, Indian tribes, large landowners and a modern workforce live side by side on an equal footing.

Brazil is a typical emerging country with a high degree of industrialization and a wide range of goods. Nevertheless, the majority only exist on the edge of the poverty line, especially in the outskirts of the cities - the favelas.

The willingness to commit crime is high among poor Brazilians. Alcohol and drugs "help" to make you forget the hard everyday life. State benefits such as pension, unemployment insurance or social assistance are minimal. Very few of them even enjoy it.

On the other hand, everyone who needs medical care is treated - even without health insurance. In many cases, however, those affected prefer to rely on old home remedies than go to the care of state hospitals.

Ethnic groups of Brazil

Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America. Three quarters of the population live in cities. There are two main reasons for this. On the one hand, the decades-long economic policy preference for industry over agriculture. On the other hand, the prevention of a radical land reform by the conservative large landowners.

Brazil has around 208.4 million inhabitants (2018), in 1960 it was 70 million. The population has more than doubled in the past 40 years. Most of the population growth is known to take place in the lower classes and preferably in the so-called marginal milieu. Large families are an important element of ensuring survival, as children and young people have to contribute to the livelihood.

The birth regulation on which the Catholic Church is based also plays a role, as does the lack of sex education. Last but not least, there is still the prejudice among locals that a “real man” must have as many children as possible.

Ethnic distribution in Brazil

The ethnic distribution can be defined according to the statistics as follows: white 53%, mulatto 22%, mestizo 12%, black 11% and other 2%. Portuguese people are the largest group, followed by Afro-Brazilians as descendants of the slaves. There are also other European immigrants (Southern, Eastern Europe, Germans) as well as Asians from Japan and Korea and Arabs from Lebanon and Syria.

Only a small number of the indigenous people of Brazil did not mix with other ethnic groups. Many of them live in the Amazon. Some have never had contact with the modern outside world. These indigenous people, such as the Yanomami, are threatened with extinction because of the makeshift airfields and roads that have been set up in their traditional areas and because of the cultivation of mountains and soya.

Groups of German, Italian and Japanese immigrants settled in the southern part of the country, where these ethnic communities still exist today (Blumenau). Brazil is also home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan.

The Afro-Brazilian population mostly lives in the northeastern states, such as Bahia. All of these groups influence the diverse Brazilian culture. About 90% of the people live on ten percent of the country's area. They live mainly on the east coast in cities from Fortaleza to the Uruguayan border.

Education in Brazil

The education system in Brazil is determined by public and private institutions, which are divided into the areas of pre-primary and primary schools, secondary schools and universities. Primary education for children is free and compulsory, but state schools usually have a bad reputation.

School-age children are usually between 7 and 15 years old. The school year usually runs from the beginning of February until the first half of December. The entire month of July is winter holidays. The upper school is completed with the 11th grade.

However, since many Brazilian young people have to drop out of training early in order to support their families, the illiteracy rate is relatively high. Various social programs try to counteract this.

Basically, a lot of money flows into the Brazilian education system; similar to the size of the German education budget. The Brazilian education system is under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education. Here curricula and compliance with the learning objectives are checked and determined.

The leading universities in the country include the University of Brasília (1961), the University of São Paulo (1934), the Papal Catholic University of Campinas (1941), the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1920) and the Papal Catholic University from Rio Grande do Sul (1948) in Porto Alegre.

Visit an indigenous village with the help of a guide! Far from any civilization ...