Difference Between Brazilian & American Cultures

Written by christopher john
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Difference Between Brazilian & American Cultures
Brazil is South America's largest country. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Brazil and the United States share one common bond: Both cultures have greatly benefited from the rich mixture created by the diverse peoples who shaped their history. From the very inception of both countries, differences have existed, based in large part to the influences of the particular peoples that established and advanced each culture.

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Both Brazil and the United States were home to indigenous peoples that inhabited the land until the arrival of others. These "others" are who are identified with these countries today. The homelands of these new inhabitants influenced each culture. For the United States, British settlers brought the English language, which still remains as the country's official language. Brazil was settled by Portuguese, and Portuguese remains Brazil's official language. Brazilian Portuguese, however, is heavily influenced by the languages of the people that both countries imported for slave labour: Africans.

Soccer Vs. Football

Without question, the No. 1 sport in Brazil is football, or "futebol" in Portuguese. The love of the sport is so immense that it is nicknamed "o jogo bonito," or "the beautiful game." It could be argued that the favourite sport in the United States is also football, but the name is the only similarity these sports share. What Brazilians call football, Americans call soccer, and although the sport is a major game on an international level, it remains a sport that has yet to find firm-enough footing to compete with United States' football, baseball or basketball.


The traditional foods in both the United States and Brazil are influenced both by the native people, the subsequent settlers and African slaves. The food normally consumed on Thanksgiving, a United States holiday that tips its hat back to the country's colonial times, is a prime example of the foods that were eaten by natives and early settlers, and is still consumed today. These foods include turkey, corn and sweet potatoes. Slaves ate what is now called "soul food," and includes such dishes as chitterlings, pigs' feet and stews. In Brazil, native Indian, Portuguese and slave influences remain in such dishes as feijoada, considered the country's national dish, containing beans, rice and pork. Other popular regional dishes include the fragrant soup tacaca, and stew called moqueca. Quindim is a popular dessert, containing sugar, coconut and egg yolks.


Brazilian styles of music differ from musical styles in the United States. Samba, synonymous with the country, and with Rio de Janeiro in particular, is both a style of dance and music, dating back to the country's colonial times. Other genres of Brazilian music include bossa nova, which evolved from samba, as did samba-reggae. Also popular is MPB, which stands for musica popular Brasileira. United States' music, which reflects multiethnic influences just like Brazil's music, include blues, rock 'n' roll, and rhythm and blues.

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