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Brazil: Independence Day
Flavio Augusto jose  |  tribune1968@cnumedia.com
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승인 2016.09.27  15:30:59
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▲ Flavio Augusto Jose, Ph.D. Student, Dept. of Industrial Engineering


        The Brazilian Independence Day is probably the most important national holiday in Brazil, and it is celebrated every year on September 7th. The celebration usually happens in Brazil with parades and politicians’ speeches, but it is more a “non-working day” than a big party day – we celebrate more at carnival, Christmas and New Year, for example. The Brazilian community in South Korea is not so big and is spread out all over the country. What makes it difficult to celebrate is the date here. Last year some Brazilian colleagues and I celebrated our Independence Day telling people about our culture and showing Brazilian movies to them, and I heard other Brazilian groups did the same in other cities. This year we had the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the world’s eyes were on us, and people should be more interested in our vast and unique culture, formed by a mixture of native, European, African and Asian influences. So take your caipirinha, and let’s learn some of Brazil’s history, because it is not made of only of samba and football!
Our Independence (from Portugal) started with Napoleon’s Continental Blockade policy against Great Britain, the most important commercial partner of the Portuguese Empire at that time. The French demanded the Portuguese to cut off their relations with the British, or they would be invaded. Afraid of the French invasion, the Portuguese royal family, in a smart strategy, moves in 1808 with its nobles and servants to its richest and most developed colony at that time, the State of Brazil. The capital of the Empire also changed from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. Being now the center of the Portuguese Empire, political, economic and social changes started to occur in Brazil, and it was promoted to United Kingdom with Portugal and Algarves.
The royal family decided to go back to Lisbon when the Liberal Revolution erupted in 1820 in Porto, north of Portugal, and D. Pedro de Alcântara de Bragança was named Regent Prince of Brazil by his father, D. João, King of Portugal. Loyal to his father, the Regent Prince saw himself in a complicated situation when the Portuguese nobles planned to diminish Brazil back again to a colony. In 1822, January 9th, Prince Pedro officially refused to go back to Portugal as was demanded by the nobles and on September 7th, he demanded our Independence. The Independence War erupted and the Brazilian Army is born, formed by the colonial forces who wanted to be free, and fighting against the ones that kept loyal to Lisbon. After three years, a treaty was signed, in which Portugal accepted Brazilian Independence and Brazil had to pay compensation to Lisbon and started trading with the British. Brazil then became an Empire. Although the “real” Independence only happened years after the demand, September 7th is still considered our Independence Day. So, what did you do last Wednesday?

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