It’s nine o’clock and the hotel phone rings in your room. You pick up the receiver, and you hear a voice, a truly charming, fresh and sincere voice: «Hi, darling! Time to wake up, darling!».
That’s the message of the hotel’s receptionist, who you don’t know or with whom you have just changed a brief compliment. And that isn’t an isolated salutation. When you arrive at the hotel reception you will find the same tone and truly smiling faces - something that has nothing to do with professional obligations or impositions but with a certain way of living and relating.
We can’t generalise, of course. But it’s very much like that in Salvador da Bahia. Its people – and the people of Bahia State – are truly friendly and have a special way of facing life, with a persistent and strange joy and intensity.
There is a different spirit and culture in the big Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo. Paulistas – the inhabitants of Sao Paulo – do not share the extravagant and unplanned life of the cariocas (the inhabitants of Rio) or the friendly way of the Baianos (the inhabitants of Salvador and the state of Bahia). They do not share the «seize the moment, life is a Carnival, we are all in the same boat», of many other Brazilians. Their relationships are more formal and distant.
And if you go further south, to locations where people are mainly of European origin or to the Minas Gerais region, on the inland, just an hour from Rio by plane, you will face people – the Mineiros - who are also much more cautious and mistrustful than the Cariocas or the Bahianos.
In such a big country, with so many cultural influences as Brazil, this is not strange. It’s a direct consequence of the way the different original cultures blended: the European (namely Portuguese), the African (mostly from the sub-Saharan west coast’s culture) and the Indian (the Tupi, the Guarani, the Gê, the Arwak, the Cari and other groups). The Europeans brought with them mainly their language and Christian faith; but the Portuguese also brought the culture of their slaves, the African culture of Angola and other sub-Saharan regions, with its religion, its music, its joy of life – a culture that would shape the Brazilian spirit in an unexpectedly strong way, much more profound than in North America.
The African culture – Brazil people
Entertainment, cuisine and nightlife in Rio de Janeiro
Entertainment, cuisine and nightlife in Bahia
Beaches with high cosmopolitism and animation
Tropical Beaches with music, animation