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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class - Holidays in Brazil Series at PortuguesePod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind holidays and observances in Brazil. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 7 Independence Day
As you know, Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese. It’s the only country in the whole of the Americas that uses Portuguese as its official language.
In spite of the Portuguese domination, Brazil won its independence in 1822 in a rather unusual way.
In this lesson, we'll find out how Brazil achieved its independence, and how they celebrate “Independence Day,” or Dia da Independência.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
What year did the Portuguese arrive and set up a colony in Brazil?
If you don't know yet, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
Brazil was a “colony,” or in Portuguese colônia, of Portugal for 285 years. However, when Napoleon invaded Portugal in 1815, the Portuguese Court was forced to move to Rio de Janeiro, thus creating the "United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and Algarves." The Portuguese Court remained in Brazil until 1820, when the Liberal Revolution of Porto in Portugal forced King John to return to Europe.
The Portuguese Government sought to turn Brazil into a colony once again, but the country never returned to its former colonial status.
In 1822, a court order was issued by Pedro de Alcântara, the prince regent of Brazil, for his return to Portugal.
However, Pedro was petitioned to stay by the Brazilian people and decided to remain in Brazil. The day of his decision became known as “I Stay Day,” or in Portuguese Dia do Fico, marking the first step towards the country's independence.
Seeing that independence was inevitable, on September 7, 1822, after receiving a letter from his father demanding his return to Portugal, Pedro declared Brazil's independence on the banks of the Ipiranga River with the famous words “Independence or death!” or in Portuguese Independência ou Morte!
This holiday is also known as “Homeland Day” or “Seventh of September,” Sete de Setembro in Portuguese, and is celebrated throughout Brazil with civilian-military patriotic “parades,” or in Portuguese desfiles. Various public and military schools participate in these parades.
The most famous of these celebrations is in Brasília, where it is held at the “Esplanade of the Ministries,” or in Portuguese Esplanada dos Ministérios, in the presence of the President of the Republic, and is attended by around 50 thousand people.
What about Brazilians outside Brazil? Brazilian Day is also celebrated worldwide, usually during the month of September, as an event to commemorate the independence of Brazil, and it’s celebrated with a lot of Brazilian music and food.
Do you know where the name of Brazil comes from?
It comes from the name of a tree called “redwood,” Pau-Brasil in Portuguese, which is native to the Atlantic region. Its wood is reddish in color and it was used for dyeing textiles, but today it is at risk of extinction.
And now I'll give you the answer to our question.
In what year did the Portuguese arrive and set up their colony in Brazil?
Pedro Álvares Cabral arrived in Brazil on April 22, 1500. But for thirty years, the Portuguese showed no interest in colonizing or exploring the Brazilian land. Settlement only began in 1530.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
In your country, do you also celebrate Independence Day or a similar holiday?
Leave your comments on the lesson page at PortuguesePod101.com
And we'll see you in the next lesson!