Samba is the image that most people conjure when they think of Brazil. Feijoada, black bean stew, is probably what really unites the whole of Brazil. They converge at samba schools every month.
On the outskirts of Rio, in what many might consider a favela, the Mangueira Samba School is one of the most down-home, down-to-earth places in Rio. Like other samba schools, it opens its giant hall to public once a month for a rowdy party with lots of dancing and music–not to mention feijoada.
Forget carnival or soccer. The bean stew with odd bits of meat is the one common denominator that glues together this vast nation of nearly 200 million people.
But partying might be a close second.