Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Around The World: BRAZIL ........ Part 7

The most popular sport in Brazil is football (soccer). The Brazilian national football team is ranked among the best in the world according to the FIFA World Rankings, and has won the World Cup tournament a record five times. Basketball, volleyball, auto racing, and martial arts also attract large audiences. Others sports practiced in Brazil are tennis, team handball, swimming, and gymnastics that have found a growing number of enthusiasts over the last decades. Some sport variations have their origins in Brazil: beach football, futsal (indoor football) and footvolley emerged in Brazil as variations of football. In martial arts, Brazilians developed Capoeira, Vale tudo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In auto racing, three Brazilian drivers have won the Formula One world championship eight times.


Brazil has hosted several high-profile international sporting events, including the 1950 FIFA World Cup and has been chosen to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The São Paulo circuit, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, hosts the annual Grand Prix of Brazil. São Paulo organized the IV Pan American Games in 1963, and Rio de Janeiro hosted the XV Pan American Games in 2007. On 2 October 2009, Brazil was selected to host the 2016 Olympic Games, the first to be held in South America.
In May 2010 Brazil launched TV Brasil Internacional, an international television station, initially broadcasting to 49 countries. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, described its aim as "presenting Brazil to the world".

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Around the World: BRAZIL .......... Part 6

The core culture of Brazil is derived from Portuguese culture, because of its strong colonial ties with the Portuguese empire. Among other influences, the Portuguese introduced the Portuguese language, Roman Catholicism and colonial architectural styles. The culture was, however, also strongly influenced by African, indigenous and non-Portuguese European cultures and traditions. Some aspects of Brazilian culture were influenced by the contributions of Italian, German and other European immigrants who arrived in large numbers in the South and Southeast of Brazil.
Brazilian art has developed since the 16th century into different styles that range from Baroque to Romanticism, Modernism, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstractionism.
Brazilian cinema dates back to the birth of the medium in the late 19th century and has gained a new level of international acclaim in recent years.
Brazilian music encompasses various regional styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. It developed distinctive styles, among them samba, música popular Brasileira, choro, sertanejo, brega, forró, frevo, maracatu, bossa nova, Brazilian rock, and axé
Brazilian cuisine varies greatly by region, reflecting the country's mix of native and immigrant populations. This has created a national cuisine marked by the preservation of regional differences. Examples are Feijoada, considered the country's national dish; and regional foods such as vatapá, moqueca, polenta and acarajé. Brazil has a variety of candies such as brigadeiros ("brigadiers") and beijinhos ("kissies"). The national beverage is coffee and cachaça is Brazil's native liquor. Cachaça is distilled from sugar cane and is the main ingredient in the national cocktail, Caipirinha.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Forts of Maharashtra: Visapur Fort ......... Part 2

The main characteristic of this fort is the strong fortification built on a large plateau, to make it one of the strongest forts. A large plateau of this size is found on many less forts. It is difficult to fire cannons on the fort due to its position. We can see the injuries of destruction caused by Mughals and British on Bhaje caves, but this has not affected Visapur much. The long stretched ramparts fascinate us. On this same plateau we can see a huge stone wheel. It was used for grinding the mixture of lime, jaggery & lead. This mixture was used as cementing material for building purposes. The wheel was driven by bulls, and is the big one of its kind. Other things that add to the uniqueness of the fort are constructions like the bastion on the western side of the fort. This bastion, unlike others is completely within the main ramparts. Such a construction is rarely seen on other forts. The other remnants include old residential places. There is a fountain on the northwestern side.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Around The World: Brazil ......... Part 5

The population of Brazil, as recorded by the 2008 PNAD, was approximately 190 million (22.31 inhabitants per square kilometer), with a ratio of men to women. of 0.95:1 and 83.75% of the population defined as urban. The population is heavily concentrated in the Southeastern (79.8 million inhabitants) and Northeastern (53.5 million inhabitants) regions, while the two most extensive regions, the Center-West and the North, which together make up 64.12% of the Brazilian territory, have a total of only 29.1 million inhabitants.
Most Brazilians descend from the country's indigenous peoples, Portuguese settlers, and African slaves. Since the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500, considerable intermarriage between these three groups has taken place. The brown population (as multiracial Brazilians are officially called; pardo in Portuguese) is a broad category that includes Caboclos (descendants of Whites and Indians), Mulattoes (descendants of Whites and Blacks) and Cafuzos (descendants of Blacks and Indians). From the 19th century, Brazil opened its borders to immigration. About five million people from over 60 countries migrated to Brazil between 1808 and 1972, most of them from Portugal, Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan and the Middle-East.
In 2008, the illiteracy rate was 11.48% and among the youth (ages 15–19) 1.74%.
Roman Catholicism is the country's predominant faith. Brazil has the world's largest Catholic population. According to the 2000 Demographic Census, 73.57% of the population followed Roman Catholicism; 15.41% Protestantism; 1.33% Kardecist spiritism; 1.22% other Christian denominations; 0.31% Afro-Brazilian religions; 0.13% Buddhism; 0.05% Judaism; 0.02% Islam; 0.01% Amerindian religions; 0.59% other religions, undeclared or undetermined; while 7.35% have no religion
The largest metropolitan areas in Brazil are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte — all in the Southeastern Region — with 19.5, 11.5, and 5.1 million inhabitants respectively.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese which is spoken by almost all of the population and is virtually the only language used in newspapers, radio, television, and for business and administrative purposes. Brazil is the only Portuguese-speaking nation in the Americas, making the language an important part of Brazilian national identity and giving it a national culture distinct from those of its Spanish-speaking neighbors.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Around The World: Brazil ......... Part 4

Brazil is the largest national economy in Latin America, the world's eighth largest economy at market exchange rates and the ninth largest in purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Brazil has a free market economy with abundant natural resources. The Brazilian economy has been predicted to become one of the five largest in the world in the decades to come, the GDP per capita following and growing. Its current GDP (PPP) per capita is $10,200, putting Brazil in the 64th position according to World Bank data. It has large and developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing and service sectors, as well as a large labor pool.
Brazilian exports are booming, creating a new generation of tycoons. Major export products include aircraft, electrical equipment, automobiles, ethanol, textiles, footwear, iron ore, steel, coffee, orange juice, soybeans and corned beef. The country has been expanding its presence in international financial and commodities markets, and is one of a group of four emerging economies called the BRIC countries.
Brazil pegged its currency, the real, to the U.S. dollar in 1994. However, after the East Asian financial crisis, the Russian default in 1998 and the series of adverse financial events that followed it, the Central Bank of Brazil temporarily changed its monetary policy to a managed-float scheme while undergoing a currency crisis, until definitively changing the exchange regime to free-float in January 1999.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beautiful Temples Around the World

Murudeshwara Temple , Murudeshwar (165 km from Mangalore), Karnataka.

Shore Temple , Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Sri Hoysaleshvara Temple , Halebidu (Near Hassan), Karnataka

Sri Madhuru Madananteshwara Siddivinayaka Temple , Madhur (50 kms from Mangalore), Kerala

Sri Shantadurga temple, Ponda, Goa

Sri Venkateswara Temple , Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh