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At times these contrasts are translated into negative stereotypes as when inhabitants of São Paulo, the huge metropolis in southeastern Brazil, blame their city's poverty and high crime rate on migrants from the North.

Those who consider themselves urban sophisticates—particularly inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo—have a long tradition of maligning people from smaller cities and towns in the Brazilian interior, calling them uneducated hicks and hillbillies.

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The Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral arrived at present day Pôrto Seguro (Safe Harbor) in the state of Bahia on the Brazilian coast in April 1500 and named the new territory Ilha de Vera Cruz, Island of the True Cross, thinking he was on an island.

A year later, Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci sailed to Brazil on a voyage commissioned by the Portuguese crown and returned home with a cargo of hard, reddish wood.

The only exceptions are some members of Amerindian groups and pockets of immigrants (primarily from Japan and South Korea), who have not yet learned Portuguese.

The principal families of Indian languages are Tupí, Arawak, Carib, and Gê.

The Northeast has the greatest proportion of people of African descent, the South and Southeast are home to the bulk of Brazilians of European and Japanese ancestry, while indigenous peoples live largely in the North and Central-West.

Still, regional migration and extensive miscegenation (racial inter-breeding) has made Brazil one of the most racially diverse nations on earth.

There difference between the Portuguese spoken in Brazil and that spoken in Portugal comparable to the differences in English spoken in the United States and that spoken in the United Kingdom.

Within Brazil, there are no dialects of Portuguese, but only moderate regional variation in accent, vocabulary, and use of personal nouns, pronouns, and verb conjugations.

Brazil achieved independence in 1822 having been subject to Portuguese rule for more than three hundred years.

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