Caxias - BrazilCaxias do Sul (Portuguese pronunciation: [kaˈʃias du ˈsuw]) is a city in Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, situated in the state's mountainous Serra Gaúcha region. It was established by Italian immigrants on June 20, 1890. Today it is the second largest city in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The demonym of the citizens of Caxias do Sul is Caxiense.
A Caxiense (Portuguese pronunciation: [kaʃiˈẽsi]) is a citizen of the city of Caxias do Sul. A possible anglicization of Caxiense would be Caxian. Caxiense is also the name of a bus line with headquarters in Caxias do Sul. Caxiense provides transport service with a fleet of coaches to cities in the Serra Gaúcha. Caxiense also offers a bus service from Caxias do Sul to Porto Alegre and the Porto Alegre Salgado Filho International Airport.
The city has many tourist attractions: museums, churches, culture, music and all types of leisure activities. Nature can be found in the city and the surroundings.
The city also hosts the popular National Grape and Wine Festival, which celebrates the Italian heritage. It's one of the most famous events in the country and it's called Festa da Uva, when lots of merrymaking, wine drinking, grapes and people animate the month of February, every two years (on even-numbered years). Visitors may eat cheese, grapes and various Brazilian wines. Visitors interested in the regions wine can also visit the Château Lacave Castle, a 6th Century-style medieval structure that currently functions as a winery. Caxias do Sul is also one of the four settlements along the beautiful Caminhos da Colônia scenic tourist route in the Serra Gaúcha.
Caxias do Sul is served by Hugo Cantergiani Airport, formerly called Campo dos Bugres Airport.
In the early 17th century, the Jesuits founded missions to the east of the Uruguay river, and in the northwest of modern Rio Grande do Sul.
The missions were destroyed and their Guarani inhabitants were enslaved in large raids by bandeirantes between 1636 and 1638; however, in 1687, the Jesuits were back in the region, having refounded seven reductions, the Misiones Orientales. The region remained under Spanish sovereignty, though in practice the Jesuits operated quite independently, up to the late 17th century. But in 1680, the Portuguese founded Colônia do Sacramento on the northern bank of the River Plate, in what is now Uruguay. War ensued and was intermittent until the independence of Uruguay in 1828.
The logistics of defending Colônia against the Spanish resulted in a government effort to settle Rio Grande do Sul's coastal region with Brazilian and Portuguese colonists. In 1737, a fortified village (today the city of Rio Grande) was built at the entrance of Lagoa dos Patos. In 1752, a group of Azorean settlers founded Porto Alegre; to the west, Rio Pardo was also founded. Towards the middle of the century, Brazilians and Portuguese arrived to the west of the region, clashing with the Jesuits and the Guaranis. Up to 1756, the Guaranis fought back, under the leadership of Sepé Tiaraju, who was popularly canonized as São Sepé (Saint Sepé). However, the Portuguese and Brazilians eventually crushed the resistance, destroyed the missions, and the region came definitely into Portuguese hegemony.
In 1738 the territory (which included the present state of Santa Catarina) became the Capitania d'el Rei and was made a dependency of Rio de Janeiro. Territorial disputes between Spain and Portugal led to the occupation by the Spaniards of the town of Rio Grande (then the capital of the capitania) and neighboring districts from 1763 to 1776, when they reverted to the Portuguese. The capture of Rio Grande in 1763 caused the removal of the seat of government to Viamão at the head of Lagoa dos Patos; in 1773 Porto dos Cazaes, renamed Porto Alegre, became the capital. These historic acts where planned and directed by Manuel Sepúlveda, who used the fictitious name or pseudonym José Marcelino de Figueiredo, to hide his identity. In 1801 news of war between Spain and Portugal led to the capture of the Sete Povos and some frontier posts.
After the Paraguayan War, Rio Grande do Sul underwent important changes in its economy. Railways connected the countryside to Porto Alegre and Rio Grande. Together with the introduction of steam ships, this reduced the costs and duration of transportation, facilitating the province's exports. New cattle breeds were introduced, and barbed wire was used to demarcate properties.
As a consequence, the population of the province doubled between 1872 and 1890, from 434,813 inhabitants to 897,455. This was partly due to immigration: about 60,000 immigrants, mostly from Italy, and, in lesser numbers, from Germany, came to Rio Grande do Sul during this period. Most of the Italians settled in the Serra Gaúcha, and most of the Germans in the valleys of the Jacuí, Sinos, and Caí, as small landed proprietors, and agricultural producers. In the area of German settlements, a messianic movement, the Muckers (German for false Saints) erupted in 1874, and was smashed by the Brazilian Army.
Also during this period, the Liberal Party established its hegemony over the province, meaning control of the provincial legislature, the National Guard in Rio Grande do Sul, and most of the municipal governments. Before the War of the Triple Alliance, the Conservative and Liberal parties had alternated in local power, following the national tendency. But, from 1872 on, the Liberals, under the leadership of Gaspar Silveira Martins, were able to retain provincial power, even when the Conservatives won at national level.
European genomic ancestry predominates throughout Brazil at 80%, except for the Southern Region (which includes Rio Grande do Sul), where it reaches 90%. "A new portrayal of each ethnicity contribution to the DNA of Brazilians, obtained with samples from the five regions of the country, has indicated that, on average, European ancestors are responsible for nearly 80% of the genetic heritage of the population. The variation between the regions is small, with the possible exception of the South, where the European contribution reaches nearly 90%. The results, published by the scientific magazine 'American Journal of Human Biology' by a team of the Catholic University of Brasília, show that, in Brazil, physical indicators such as skin colour, colour of the eyes and colour of the hair have little to do with the genetic ancestry of each person, which has been shown in previous studies".
As of 2013 there are fewer than 30,000 Nisei in Rio Grande do Sul. Japanese immigrant families from São Paulo State began arriving in Rio Grande do Sul in the 1930s. In 1956 the first 23 official immigrants came to the state, and 26 families arrived at Rio Grande in the years 1956 through 1963. In 2013 Peter B. Clarke, author of Japanese New Religions in Global Perspective, wrote that "Nowadays we cannot speak of a Japanese colony in RS."
The state of Rio Grande do Sul is renowned as one of the most culturally rich states of Brazil. Rio Grande's music is a blend of many styles (most a continuum of rhythms found in neighboring countries), including the Chamamé, Milonga, Polca and Chacarera. Modern gaucho music or tchê music has been popular since the late 1980s. The inhabitants of the state are known in the country for drinking chimarrão, a local version of the mate drunk in neighbouring Uruguay and Argentina, and for consuming churrasco very regularly (a practice common due to the abundant sources of high quality meat), even going so far as considering this one of the most important elements of everyday life. Porto Alegre is home to Sport Club Internacional and Gremio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense. They are arch-rivals, one of the biggest rivalries in Brazil.
Each region of the state has its own cultural background. In the pampas (Southwest), the culture is still largely influenced by the old Gaúchos. Gaúcho is a term that can describe anyone born in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. However, it is also used to describe the 19th century rural workers of the region.
Other parts of the state have a slightly different culture, influenced mainly by German or Italian immigrants. After some generations, the descendants of immigrants were integrated in the local society, even though their cultural influences are still strong, mostly in the countryside. Despite these differences, the Gaucho people maintain a particular zeal for their culture and its variations.
Although the Gaucho culture and its Portuguese-based language prevails in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil, sharing many of its folklore characteristics with neighboring horseback livestock raising, grassland centered cultures, such as found in Uruguay and in Argentina, the state also has other strong albeit less prominent cultural focus areas.