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This thread is dedicated to the mighty nation of Brazil. I just stumbled upon this brilliant article by The Economist magazine, printed in mid-2010. It makes the case that Brazil is The United States.

"(...) a strong argument can be made that Brazil is actually the United States—just disguised beneath a Carmen-Miranda-style fruit hat."

"Sounds a stretch? Think of two continent-sized countries built on gold rushes and cowboys, on sugar and slaves. Think of the United States being the first country to recognise Brazilian independence. Above all, think of the two countries' topographies. Both consist basically of big cities on the coast where most of the people live; a vast, spectacularly beautiful and largely empty wonder of the natural world in the deep interior (the Rockies for America and the Amazon for Brazil); and, in between, endless savannahs where all the food grows. In either place, it's soyabeans as far as the eye can see. Looking down from an airplane as it traverses the flyover states, you would be hard pressed to know whether you were crossing South Dakota or Goias, Mato Grosso or the corn belt."

"Perhaps Australia and Canada might say the same. So consider the people. Both the US and Brazil have similar collections of ethnic and racial groups. Each has big minorities of indigenous peoples, of blacks (because both had slavery until the second half of the 19th-century), and of immigrants from Italy, Germany and Asia (Chinese predominate in the US; Japanese in Brazil). São Paulo makes many of those hard-to-verify claims about itself: it is the largest Japanese city outside Japan, the largest Portuguese city outside Portugal, the largest Spanish city outside Spain and the largest Lebanese city outside Lebanon. In the same vein, New York is the world's second-largest Jewish city, its second-largest Italian city, and so on. Parts of Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil, still look and sound German, rather as parts of Cleveland used to. Even the largest ethnic groups are of comparable scale. In Brazil, people of Portuguese descent make up just over half the population. In the US, whites are just under two-thirds, and heading downwards."



São Paulo, New York of the South

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