Rio de Janeiro
Have you ever wondered what attracts most tourists to Rio de Janeiro? My interest was piqued due to mix compilations inspired by Latin America from one of my favorite DJs, Tiesto. Rio de Janeiro is one of the biggest cities for tourism in Brazil. It was the capital city of Brazil until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.
Rio de Janeiro’s popularity was not only prominent in the past but it is also a great place to visit today. It is annually ranked as one of the best tourist attraction centers in Brazil due to the city’s many unique features that draw tourists in. The beautiful geography and local cuisine are some of the unique specialties attracting people from different corners of the world. Exciting costumes, Picanha and carnival celebrations are some of the intriguing events found in Rio de Janeiro *(Chasteen and John, 30). Rio de Janeiro’s strategic position, its traditions, monuments, and the attractive features surrounding the city add to the visitors’ experience. Generally, culture, music, literature, and great locales contribute to the popularity of Rio as a vacation destination.
Before setting out on a trip to any city, it is advisable to expand your cultural knowledge so that you maximize your experience there. Rio is termed to be a cultural site due to its combination of historical and modern architecture, carnival celebrations, music, as well as an abundance of influential literature.
Carnival celebrations that happen at the peak of the summer for four days attracts thousands of people from all corners of the world. The summer festivities consist of colorful and interesting events in which participants from escolas de samba (samba clubs) engage in a competition. The participants present a variety of dance styles with stunning costumes following the samba beats in order to showcase different stories told through their performance. Undoubtedly it is the uniqueness of the event that presents unison and important cultural views, depicting equality and inclusivity concerns, that draws the attention of millions of people making the event very significant in the city.
The residents of Rio are popularly known as Cariocas. Cariocas have been credited with forming and participating in the famous samba and Bossa Nova dances. As of the 2010 census Rio’s demographics are white 47.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 43.1%, black 7.6%, Asian 1.1%, and indigenous 0.4% (Central Intelligence Agency). However, most of them follow the Rio culture and speak a common language, that being Portuguese.
Rio de Janeiro Geography
Rio is positioned in the far western part of Brazil’s Atlantic coast and close to the tropic of Capricorn. The core of Rio lies in the western shore plains of Guanabara Bay wherein several prominent beaches are found. In addition to the beaches, Sugarloaf mountain is a peak found at the mouth of the bay adding to the spectacular views of the area. The city experiences hot and humid summers with ocean breezes moderating the temperature. Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach and Prainha Beach are just but a few prominent beaches that attract people from different corners of the world. Several songs reference Ipanema and Copacabana beaches which helped lead to their further popularization. Most people spend their holidays basking in the beach sand and enjoying the cool waters of the region *(Dias et al, 46).
The climate is favorable and most enjoyable, especially during the summer. This makes people from cold or wet regions visit the region and enjoy the cool breeze while basking in the sand. In addition to the beautiful beaches of Rio de Janeiro, the city also has parks and ecological reserves such as the Tijuca National Park that attracts tourist. Flamengo Park extending from the center to south zone consists of monuments and museums. *(Gaffney and Christophe, 221). Precisely, every person will be grateful to visit the region and enjoy the monumental sites found in the city.
Brazil is considered a melting pot of different religions. Catholic, Protestant, Methodist, Episcopal, Pentecostal, and Lutheran Baptist are Christian churches found in Brazil and Rio city at large (Oosterbaan, and Martijn, 697). Brazil is said to have the largest population of people of Catholic faith in the world (Barooah). In relation to this, most of the Rio residents are termed to be strong Christians with their own religious ethos. One of the new seven wonders of the world is located in Rio, the Christ The Redeemer monument on the peak of Corcovado Mountain at 2,310 feet. The statue is visible from anywhere within Rio. It has a 26 foot tall base and stands at 98 feet tall with an outstretched arm-span of 92 feet (Murray). The statue is a symbol of the religious devotion of the area. However, despite Christianity dominance in Brazil, residents enjoy other religious diversities like Muslim, Jewish, Buddhism and Jehovah Witness. Interdenominational indifference is rare and everybody respects one’s religious belief, that is, Christians respect Muslims and vice versa. Cultural diversity and heritage contribute to deferent religions.
In general, Brazil boasts with a collection of religious ideas and arrays of affiliations. However, Brazil has been ranked more religiously inclined than the other South American countries. 90% of the Brazilian population believes in a supreme being ‘God’ and only 1% of its population does not place their belief on God in one way or the other (Oosterbaan, and Martijn, 699). Therefore, Rio is a religious city and believes in a Supreme Being whom they call God. The religious inclination in Brazil is said to be extremely diverse.
Therefore, the determinant factor for any tourist is the kind of religion he or she believes in. In Rio, almost all kinds of religions are present hence no factor that can hinder them from practicing their religion if they pay a visit to the region. Customs[image: ] Much of Rio de Janeiro’s reputation is centered by local customs and various intriguing celebrations such as festivities of Carnaval, capoeira a Brazilian art form which combines fight, dance, rhythm and movement (Princeton University), and the national sport – soccer. However, the city’s traditions are both sacred and secular whereby there are earthly carnaval festivities which are opposite to religious holiday rituals (Gaffney, 20).
In the weeks preceding the celebrations, the performers spend their time practicing and preparing for the rituals by forming bands which play throughout the neighborhoods of Rio. Apart from the annual celebration, there are also informal pre-festive celebrations known as blocos which take place in front of bars on the city’s streets and are easy to attend. In most of the city’s upscale venues, fancy balls take place. The Copacabana palace ball is said to be the most premier of these parties.
During the carnal festivities, streets flow with crowds due to high traffic as individuals are eager to catch a glimpse of the show in order to mark the carnival festivities (Chasteen and John, 30). Vibrantly costumed visitors to the city are able to watch the samba school parade from Sunday night until Monday morning.Another festival is known as Bumba-meu-boi that started in the 18th century. It typically takes place from June 13-29 and December 25 until January 6. It is a celebration that involves the symbolic killing and resurrection of a bull and used by lower class Brazilians to mock those of high social status. (Thomas) Visitors enjoy a performance by traditional dancers which use their cognitive skills to tell a story of a bull which was killed and resurrected by traditional music and healers (Chasteen, 31).
In Brazil, especially in Rio, you can find tantalizing and delicious foods. Feijoada is one of the delicious dishes found in Brazil. The recipe involves pork meat, dark beans, and spices that make it very tasty. Feiojada is served with rice, tomato salad and vinegar with cabbage baked bacon. The food is delicious and anybody touring the region should definitely sample the local cuisine. Every Saturday, and sometimes Wednesdays, in Brazil is Feiojada day. Generally the meal is symbolic of Brazilian history when poor slaves prepared their meals with discarded pieces of meat and leftovers. Its origin can be traced from the so-called dark slavery times.
Today the meal is carefully prepared and served mainly to recall the Brazilian history and slavery times. It is one the most preferred meals in Rio and tourists should make sure that they have a taste of tis traditional, delicious, food when they visit this region. Churrasco is another special dish that tourist enjoy eating in Rio restaurants.
Churrasco, or Brazilian barbeque, is not your typical American-style barbeque. The preparation of Brazilian barbeque is generally done by putting meats on large skewers to cook over a grill or firepit. Many people consider churrasco to be very flavorful, delicious, and tender. The preparation of churrasco is fairly simple, using only basic ingredients like salt in addition to the meat. Churrasciaria, or Brazilian steakhouses, are typically an all you can eat style. While there are many upscale restaurants in Rio, there is an abundance of street food vendors as well. The range of food you can find at the street vendors range from fresh fruit and vegetables to fried fish, burgers, and pizza. Many of these vendors are located near beaches or shopping areas, where many times tourists can enjoy live music performances.
Music and Literature
Rio de Janeiro is one of the cities among others in Brazil which is said to be the center of the urban music association in the country. Definitely, Rio is a place of choice for the visitors who like and enjoy listening, dancing, and watching music (Stroud and Sean, NP). Rio de Janeiro has had different kinds of music that are greatly played and enjoyed in the entire land among them being samba music which is considered a major unifying agent in the city. However, there exists an official song in the region known as cidademaravilhosa which is a favorite song when it comes to Rio’s carnival festival season and a civic anthem of the city. There is this unique song “The girl from Ipanema” composed by various artist in Rio which led to the popularization of the city. It is considered the main key song of the music genre born in Rio known as bossa nova (Stroud and Sean, NP). Additionally, there exists a unique genre in the city referred to Func Carioca. Rio de Janeiro has different scenes in a series of picaresque that evokes a touching transformation of Rio as an ancient town that has grown to be a prominent city.
The romantic relationship, commercial related issues, and the city’s’ history are addressed under a novel where one can access the information easily. Rio de Janeiro enjoys a great privilege as far Brazilian Academy of Letters’ basement is concerned. Generally, Rio de Janeiro has got a lot of inspirational and educative sources that educate and enlighten its visitors. Moreover, the kind of music played in the city enhances a quality entertainment to the visitors for it largely embraces its culture a thing that is intriguing to every individual that pays a visit to the city.
In conclusion, Rio is one of the cultural pots in Brazil and unique city with attractive monuments and museums. The strategic position and summer climate makes the city experience a large number of tourist. In addition, the cuisines and a cultural festive play a big role in attracting people from different regions. The Samba dancers offer a cultural exposure to the visitors as they entertain them with their cognitive dancing styles. However, attraction from beach topography also makes people desire to have a visit and bask in the sand whilst enjoying the cool breeze of the ocean. Concisely, touring Rio de Janeiro is a thing that a person would not regret doing due to the intriguing lifestyle that tourists encounter in the region.