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From Value One, Winter 2008-2009 No. 23
Metal One do Brasil Rep. Com. Prods. Sid. Ltda.
Heartwarming Brazilian Wedding
I have been invited to two weddings since I began this assignment. The most recent one that I attended was that of Erika, known as Metal One do Brasil’s superwoman. The ceremony was held in a church that had breathtaking murals, stained glass, and a solemn atmosphere. The canzone “Al di là” was sung live, and tears unexpectedly flowed at the climax. A reception with champagne and wine followed the ceremony, turning into a dance around the bride and groom and lasting until midnight. It was a warm, emotional wedding ceremony where the people who attended had fun and shared in the joy.
Erika’s wedding ceremony, conducted in a solemn atmosphere

Anecdotes about Goofs in Portuguese
Soon after I started working in Brazil, I had an opportunity to dine with representatives of a local manufacturer. When they asked me how I liked Brazilian food, I meant to say “gostoso” (delicious) but answered “perigoso” instead, which drew a big laugh. Perigoso means “dangerous.” I have one more story about a goof I made in the local language. Once, when cockily ordering a caipirinha (a local alcoholic drink containing squeezed fruit), I meant to say, “Put a lima (lime) in,” but I slipped and said, “Put a peru (turkey) in the caipirinha.” Lima is the capital of Peru, and I inadvertently got mixed up.
Outdoor Market on Sunday Mornings
On Sunday mornings, the public road in front of my residence is closed for an outdoor food market. Everything sold there is fresh, cheap, and plentiful. You can buy 12 bananas for 1.5 reais (approximately ¥75) or 12 oranges for 3 reais (roughly ¥150), for example. After shopping, many people fill up on big pastel and caldo de cana (sugarcane juice) from the pastelaria (fried-pastry shop) stalls. Big, deep-fried, and full of meat and cheese, this kind of pastry is a deadly foe if you have metabolic problems. Giving in to temptation the other day, I broke down and bought one, blowing on the piping hot pastry to cool it off before eating it. What a super taste! I just may try another.
Pastel, a deadly foe if you have metabolic problems and, as can be seen, much larger than a matchbook
ILAFA, the Latin American Iron and Steel Institute
The Instituto Latinoamericano del Fierro y el Acero (ILAFA) holds an annual congress for Latin American steel mills and customers. Member countries take turns providing the venue for this event. This year, it was held in Cancún, Mexico. Also, there were fewer participants, a bit over 800, than usual due to the impact of the sudden market changes. Along with various panel discussions that you do not get to hear ordinarily, you can meet representatives of Latin American mills and their customers and talk with them in person at the ILAFA congress. This is a Latin gathering, after all, and people feel at ease starting conversations with strangers, while chats with acquaintances start with an embrace. The accompanying photo shows our firm’s Central American partner being introduced to Usiminas’ new business vice president.

Iguazu Falls, a natural World Heritage site that far eclipses Niagara Falls in size
 
-About Brazil-
Population: 183.9 million (fifth largest in the world), including 1.5 million people of Japanese ancestry (320,000 Brazilians reside in Japan)
Size: 8.52 million km2 (fifth largest in the world in terms of national territory), accounts for approximately half of South America, is 22.5 times larger than Japan, and borders 10 countries
Capital: Brasilia, built in 1960 and shaped like an airplane with a large wingspan, with the National Congress, government buildings, and Supreme Federal Court located in the “cockpit” section
Special Features of Brazil
1. There are 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites (10 cultural and seven natural) in the country, ranking it 13th in the world in terms of number of sites. Italy is ranked first with 39 sites, and Japan has 13 sites.
2. The Amazon River is 6,516 kilometers long from its source to its mouth, and with a basin covering an area of 7.05 million km2, it accounts for two-thirds of all the freshwater in the world. The river serves as a habitat for more than 2,000 kinds of fish, the most in the world by far, compared to 250 in the Mississippi River and 200 in all of Europe. This region is so important that it is called “the lungs of the Earth.”
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