By: Karla Anglada

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What is the daily lives of Brazilian pre-teens like?

Kids in middle-class and wealthy families usually have a housekeeper, so they have few, if any, household chores. In other families, girls older than age eight help clean the house, wash dishes, cook dinner, and watch younger siblings. Many children live in small rural(countryside) villages. They might not go to school for more than a few years because they are needed to work at home. Many city children live in very poor areas, called favelas (slums), where they don’t have good schools, safe streets, or healthy food. These children often must work to help support their families.

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What are some of Brazil's geographical features, and how do they affect the lives of Brazilians?

The exquisite Iguazu Falls are also known as the Iguassu Falls and the Iguaçu Falls. The magnificent spectacle of these 275 individual drops has awed tourists, locals and indigenous inhabitants for centuries. They originate from the Iguazu River and are located on the border of Brazil (in the state of Paraná) and Argentina. In fact, the Iguazu Falls are what divides the river of the same name into its upper and lower portions, a fact that has given rise to several myths and legends as to their origin. This river forms the boundary between Brazil and Argentina, making it a significant part of the political and geographical structure of the continent of South America.

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How do Brazil's resources affect the lives of the Brazilians?

Brazil is one of the world giants of mining, agriculture, and manufacturing, and it has a strong and rapidly growing service sector. It is a leading producer of a host of minerals, including iron ore, tin, bauxite (the ore of aluminum), manganese, gold, quartz, and diamonds and other gems, and it exports vast quantities of steel, automobiles, electronics, and consumer goods. Brazil is the world’s primary source of coffee, oranges, and cassava (manioc) and a major producer of sugar, soy, and beef; however, the relative importance of Brazilian agriculture has been declining since the mid-20th century when the country began to rapidly urbanize and exploit its mineral, industrial, and hydroelectric potential. The city of São Paulo, in particular, has become one of the world’s major industrial and commercial centres.

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What holidays do Brazilians celebrate, and how did they come to be?

One of the vibrant holidays celebrated by Brazilians is Carnival. Carnival is celebrated in many parts of the world, but Brazil is usually thought of as the country with the most exuberant and exciting carnival celebrations. The celebration originated in the Catholic countries of Europe as a party before the coming of Lent – the forty days Christ spent in the wilderness. It was traditional for the celebrations to end on Ash Wednesday when people then respected the period of abstinence for forty days. The term ‘carnival’ is thought to have originated from the Latin ‘carne levare’, meaning ‘to remove meat’, as eating meat would have been prohibited during Lent. Nowadays carnival is not seen as a religious celebration but more of a street party with lots of music and dancing. The annual carnival celebrations take place between the Saturday and the Tuesday that precede Ash Wednesday.

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