The Portuguese gave Brazil its religion and language. The country’s native Indians, and a large African population, and settlers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia present a colorful diversity. Brazil has frequently been influenced by aspects of American culture. Fast food and music are becoming part of Brazilians’ lives but the traditional fares are as popular. The religion of most Brazilians is Roman Catholic but a majority of the population are non-practicing Catholics. Brazilian idea of culture is one mixed unity. The five official regions of Brazil were thought to divide the country between its cultural feats, but in fact there are several cultural differences between states in the same region.
People in the Northern states tend to be spread out. In the less-developed Northeastern states people in the countryside areas usually live in a feudal relationship with their land owners. In the Southeastern part of Brazil is found most of the culture that is known world-wide. São Paulo, the “engine of Brazil” is the financial, industrial and commercial center of the country, and has a very cosmopolitan culture.
The South is highly influenced by later European immigration, which took place by the 19th-20th centuries. The Germanic and Italian influences are clearly felt, especially in terms of appearance.The West Central part of the country is primarily grasslands and flooded lands. The countries surrounding it are very influential in affecting its culture.