Officially known as the Federative Republic of Brazil, the largest country on the South American continent, Brazil is located in Latin America. It's the 5th largest country in the world and the largest of all the Lusophone, or speakers of the Portuguese language,geographical regions around the globe.
Portuguese is the official language in Brazil, although many other minority languages also exist in Brazil. The name 'Lusophone' is derived from the province Lusitania of ancient Rome which includes most of what is today, Portugal.
Geographical Borders & Influence
A founding member of the United Nations, Brazil has one of the most rapidly developing economies in the world. It's coastline covers approximately 4,665 miles (7,491 km). Several archipelagos, like the Saint Paul and Peter Rocks, Fernando de Noronha, and Rocas Atoll are found in the Brazilian territory. Forming the border of all South American countries, except Chile and Ecuador, Brazil is eastern bound by the Atlantic Ocean. It's northern borders include Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname and Venezuela. Other country borders include: Columbia (NE), Paraguay and Argentina (SW), Peru and Bolivia (W) and Uruguay (S).
Etymology: A Red Ember Tree
The brazilwood tree which once grew in abundance along the nearly 5,000 miles of Brazilian coastline is the source of the country's name. “Pau-brasil” is the Portuguese word for the brazilwood garnering its etymology from the word 'brasil' which is formed from the Latin root 'brasa' meaning “ember” and the -il suffix (red like an ember). The deep, rich red dye produced by the brazilwood was one of Brazil's first commercial exports and was massively harvested by the Tupi, indigenous peoples of Brazil, in the 16th century. Brazil is home to 1 of 5 Christ Statues, depicting Jesus Christ of Nazareth with His arms open wide which sits amid the mountain ghetto in the heart of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil's capital.
Brazilian names consist of a given name and a surname. Some Brazilian families use two surnames making the name very long. The first surname is usually the mother's paternal last name and second surname is the father's last name. In a Brazilian name, the surname of the father is considered the primary one.
Brazilians didn't have their own given names during the Portuguese rule in their country. They weren't permitted to use surnames until slavery was abolished. During Portuguese authoritarian rule, the native Brazilians were christened with a Portuguese name (given name). Use of distinct African names or native Brazilian names were strictly forbidden. A different name was mandated for slaves within the plantation to which they belonged. Descendants of these Brazilian people have the Portuguese surnames, as the general practice was to name free slaves after their previous owners.
Brazilian people (non-slaves) chose to use the surname of their God-parents surname, adopting it as their own. In Brazil, descendants of renowned people use a surname consisting of both the given name and the surname of the ancestral families. This allows them to be recognized as descendants of their famous ancestors. This is a very rare pattern.
Brazilian names are commonly borrowed from the names of Catholic saints, especially among people with African or native Brazilian sisters. This religious naming custom is not as typical amongst those Brazilians descending from European ancestors. Brazil possesses a spiritually rich society formed from meetings of religious traditions of native Brazilians, African slaves and the Roman Catholic church. During the rule of Portuguese a diverse array of fusion, practices were developed under the name of Brazilian Roman Catholicism.
Suffixes & Multiple Surnames
A Brazilian name bears suffixes such as Júnior (abbreviated Jr.), Filho (son), Neto (grandson) or Sobrinho (nephew), whenever a child is named after a relative, e.g., grandfather, father or uncle. This is written with initial uppercase and without a comma. Filha (daughter) and Neta (granddaughter) are other suffixes used in a Brazilian name. Some Brazilian parents elect to use four surnames for their children with a view to honor each grandparent in the family. Some Brazilians find this practice a sign of snobbery, as noble families used to have large number of surnames. In Brazil, areas with more communities of non-Portuguese immigrants have only one surname.
In Brazilian society, a woman need not adopt a new surname following marriage. A woman may adopt the surname of her husband, continue using her surname, or stop using her birth name. For example, when “Abidemi João Silva” marries “Alanyo Abreu Almeida”, she has a choice to