I've got a good number of brazilian friends. Love the climate and their emotional warmth, the income inequality seems messed up, but you can't have everything. I'd gladly live in places like, say, Florianopolis.
I see Brazil becoming a major world player in the future as they continue to develop while US influence declines and South America integrates. The Brazilian economy is largely dependent on exportation of ethnic German super models. Hopefully this continues.
Besides the shantytowns here and there where crime runs rampant, it's a pretty cool country which I wouldn't mind living in.
It's vibrant, exotic (hey, i'm scandinavian...), lots of nice music, nice food, capoeira, beautiful women, nice beaches...
Portuguese is also a nice language.
Like Alwar says... Brazil will probably become a major player in the future.
Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come
Grew up around lots of diplomats from Brazil (DC native). Generally very nice people.
I think when the average person thinks of Brazil they think of:
- that big jesus statue
- pretty girls
- City of God
- "that language that's like spanish, but more complicated" (i know it's portuguese, i'm just talking about average people)
- "oh, that's the big one in south america, I remember that from 3rd grade geography"
As far as how I rationally view Brazil - I don't know much about it. I figure it's probably a developing economy...otherwise I really don't know much about it.
Way back when they exported a lot of silver (that is, the Europeans did who forced the natives into slavery). Christianity did play an important role - I can't remember who but a major Christian player had the famous quote (regarding the slaves) "Are they not men?" Slaves gained greater rights after that, especially if they had mixed blood with the colonials. And they imported a lot of african slaves (better immunity than natives, who died on contact with old world disease), hence Brazil's now ethnically mixed/diverse population. Then there was a revolution/power change of some sort? along with industrialization. Similar to most post-colonial south america I guess.