The Guinness Book of World Records recently declared that 114-year-old Maria Gomes Valentim, a resident of Brazil, is officially the world's oldest living human! Brazilian culture has given so many wonderful things to the world, and people there are clearly happy, or they would not be living to be 114.
From caipirinhas to samba—the stand-out South American country has got it going on! Here's why:
1. Brazil: Oldest Woman
Maria Gomes Valentim: 114-year-old Valentim (known as Grandma Quita) is the world's oldest living human according to the Guinness World Records!
Havaianas: These flip-flops have been our go-to beach footwear for years!
Caipirinhas: The quintessential drink from Brazil combines three simple ingredients: cachaza (a strong liquor derived from sugar cane) lime, and sugar.
Samba: This joyful music is the soundtrack to Brazil’s world-famous carnaval and has origins in traditional West African rhythms.
5. J Sisters & the Brazilian Bikini Wax
J Sisters & the Brazilian Bikini Wax: What did we do before we knew about Brazilian bikini waxes? The masters of this artful trade are the renowned J.Sisters—who have been servicing their celebrity clientele out of their NYC base for over a decade.
6. Teeny Bikinis
Teeny Bikinis: The reason we need those Brazilian bikini waxes? Because the largest country in South America has exported their version of the bikini, which can get so teeny tiny it’s hard to tell the front from the back!
7. City of God
City of God: Arguably one of the best Latin American films of the last decade, this film brought the harsh realities of the rough and tumble Rio favela to a world-wide audience and launched director Fernando Meirelles and actress Alice Braga to international fame.
8. Sonia Braga
Sonia Braga: This gorgeous actress took the U.S. by storm when she starred in the Academy-award nominated film, Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1985 and dated some of Hollywood’s hottest leading men (Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood). Her niece Alice Braga is following in her footsteps.
Tropicalia: Led by iconic Brazilian musicians Caetano Veloso (pictured) and Gilberto Gil, Tropicalia is a revolutionary Brazilian art movement that arose in the late 1960s and encompassed theatre, poetry, and music.
Feijoada: Considered the national dish of Brazil, this delicious stew cooked over low heat in a clay pot combines beans and fresh pork or beef. Exact recipes differ region by region.
11. Black Orpheus
Black Orpheus: This 1960 movie by Marcel Camus put Brazilian film on the map, winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, and both the Academy Award for Best Foreign film and the Golden Globe.
Capoeira: The uniquely Brazilian martial art combines artful dance with lethal combat to make a deadly, if beautiful to watch and practice, form of self-defense.
Carnaval: The ultimate symbol of Brazil, this country takes their celebration of Lent incredibly seriously. Like so many of Brazils most important traditions, this celebration is heavily influence by Afro-Brazilian culture.
14. Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda: One of the most iconic characters to ever come out of Brazil, Carmen Miranda not only brought the South American culture to the United States but was one of the first openly-Latina performers to be considered the highest paid female entertainer in Hollywood.
Churrasco: The Portuguese term for “grilled meat” or “barbecue,” churrascarias have exploded across the United States! Churrasco originated with the gaúchos of southern Brazil traditionally from the Pampa region.
16. Issa Helayel
Daniella Issa Helayel: This London-based designer has gained recent fame as one of Kate Middleton’s go-to designers, but we’ve known about her, and her incredibly complementary and gorgeous dresses, for years!
17. The Lambada
The Lambada: Can a dance be so sexy that it is forbidden? YES! It might be cheesy, but we have to tip our hats to any trend that got the whole world dirty dancing.
18. Bossa Nova
Bossa Nova: The smooth sounds of bossa nova are now ubiquitous, but the musical genre is actually rooted in the much more percussion-based samba. Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto are widely credited with bringing this music to the masses on the soundtrack for Black Orpheus.
Pelé: The best soccer of all time, he’s revered by people all over the world and helped bring three(!) World Cup titles to Brazil in his prime. Now hailed as a national hero, he's inspired children in Brazil for decades.
Acai: This super-fruit is only now being embraced world-over for all of its anti-oxidants and medicinal potential, but Brazilians have been swearing by it for years.
21. Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto: This muse (she was married at one point to both João Gilberto and Stan Getz) brought the world “The Girl From Ipanema.” Enough said.