Which is the eighth biggest economy in the world? Where in South America is Portuguese spoken? And which is the largest of the Latin American countries? Most Americans don't know that the right answer to these questions is Brazil.
A survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago from October 1999 to April 2000,and requested by the Brazilian Embassy,was presented in the conference “Moving Forward: Brazil's Image in the U.S.” last Friday in Washington,D.C. It concludes that a great number of Americans have never heard about Brazil and that they tend to confuse it to the other Latin American countries.
The survey shows that 39 per cent of the respondents think Spanish is Brazil's official language,suggesting a tendency on the part of respondents to group all Latin American countries together. A great number of them also think that Brazil's capital is Buenos Aires,which is in Argentina. Just a small group knows it is Brasília.
Eugene Robinson,assistant managing editor of The Washington Post,and Simon Romero,reporter at The New York Times,joined the conference to talk about their experiences as correspondents in South America,and specifically in Brazil. David Bell,a professor of Agriculture and Business at the Harvard Business School,members of non-profit organizations and the Brazilian Embassy also were in the panels to discuss ways to make Brazil get better known in the United States.
Although Americans don't know much about Brazil,almost all of them have a shoe or have traveled on a plane made in Brazil. Many probably drink Brazilian coffee every morning. But they just don't know it.
They also don't know that in 1824 the United States was the first country to recognize Brazil's independence. In World War II Brazil sent troops to Italy where they fought alongside the U.S. Fifth Army.
The relationship between the two countries will get closer in 2005,when the Free Trade Area of the Americas starts. Hopefully,more Americans will get to know about Brazil,a country that covers nearly half of the continent of South America and has so much to be discovered.
Test how much you know about Brazil:
1 – Which is the capital of Brazil?
a – Buenos Aires
b – São Paulo
c – Brasília
2 – Brazil produces 90 per cent of the world's supply of…
a – Gems
b – Oil
c – Iron
3 – Although the Brazilian constitution guarantees absolute freedom of religion,70 per cent of the population declare themselves to be…
a – Protestant
b – Roman Catholic
c – Islamic
Answeres – 1-c,2-a,3-b
Web sites about Brazil