The thing we can immediately note when we look at countries like Brazil and Ireland, is how different they are. The most clear difference between both countries is geographical: Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, in terms of area and population. Ireland, on the other hand, is ranked 117th in terms of area and 124th for population, according to the worldmeters.
The weather is also totally different. Ireland’s oceanic climate makes it seem like it’s always raining or threatening to, while the tropical climate makes the majority of Brazil hot and sunny all year round. Besides that, the language, the food and the cultural habits are different, but if we look carefully, some important similarities between both countries can be seen.
Let’s see the biggest similarities which show us that the two countries are not worlds apart!
There are many Brazilians living here
If you are walking around the narrow and broad streets of Dublin, you would be able to hear many languages. According to the 2016 census there are around 13,600 Brazilians living in Ireland. But it could be even higher. As stated by the Brazilian Embassy, the number of Brazilians living in Ireland rose from 13,600 to 70,000 in the last five years.
Since Ireland has a total population of 4.8 million people, these numbers represent just 0.3%. But if we compare the amount of non-EU nationality, Brazilians are one of the most represented foreign national residents. There are more Brazilians than Americans (10,500) or Indians (11,500), for instance. So we can see that, with the proper proportions, we can find Brazilians a lot in Ireland, as well as in Brazil.
Let’s have a beer!
There’s nothing better than, after a day of work, getting out to drink some beer and chilling with friends. That is exactly the kind of thing Brazilians and Irish people would absolutely agree with. Both countries have going out for a beer as part of your everyday culture. Even though pub culture is not present in Brazil as a traditional habit like in Ireland, hanging out in the bar certainly is a part of Brazilian life.
According to the World Health Organization, Ireland is ranked among the most alcohol consumers in the world, drinking on average 12,5 liters of alcohol per year. Brazil on the other hand has half of this consumption, drinking about 7.32 liters of alcohol per year. However, a wide nightlife can be found in both countries and certainly Brazilian and Irish people would be together in matters of drinking a beer.
St. Patrick and St. John
The majority of Brazilians and Irish people are considered Christian. In Brazil, 86.8 percent of the population is baptised in Christian church. While in Ireland the percentage is 84.6. This means that religion is a big influence in the way people live and interact with the world in both countries. The most important example of this influence is the popular parties which happen every year in Brazil as well as in Ireland. St. Patrick’s day is held on March 17 and it is the most popular celebration in Ireland.
The first St Patrick’s Day parade took place in the United States in 1737, but the traditional festivity has happened for over 1,000 years in Ireland. In Brazil there is also a traditional celebration on behalf of a religious figure: the St. John’s party, popularly called “festas juninas.” It is held on June 24, but is celebrated in cities around the country for the entire month, especially in the northeastern region. Whether it’s drinking green beer, dressing up like elves, jumping over bonfires and eating pé de moleque, every single year Brazil and Ireland bring together thousands of people in a celebration that mixes fun, history and culture.
Diversified and multicultural cities
The diversity is one of the most notorious characteristics of Brazil. Historically Brazil has been a diversified and multicultural place. Folkloric dress, cuisine, religious practices and beliefs, among other aspects, vary a lot from region to region. Despite Ireland not having the historical diversity Brazil has, the Emerald Isle is absolutely a diversified and multicultural place. The most striking example is Dublin which is one of the most multicultural places with 17.3 percent of its residents recorded as non-Irish. From Galway to Dublin city as well as from Oiapoque to Chuí, we can find cultures from all over the world in the cities of Brazil and Ireland.
Passion for sports
Everyone knows that Brazil is the country of football. Currently, there are 656 professional football clubs working there. Sports, in general, is something that unites the Brazilian people. But what not everyone knows is that the passion for sports is also something that unites Irish people. Sports play an important role in local communities and society in general in Ireland.
The most popular games are played by the Gaelic Athletic Association or GAA, which include the most native sports: hurling, camogie and Gaelic football. Besides the Gaelic games, Ireland has Rugby Union, Association Football, Golfing Union, Horse Racing among other sports in the country. Certainly the physical activity and cheering for victory is something that connects Brazilians and the Irish.
So we’ve seen the five biggest things that Brazil and Ireland have in common. This makes us realize that what makes us different does not separate us.