Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vancouver x Brasília

Vancouver x Brasília

I find comparing my hometown, Brasília, to Vancouver quite easy. It means there are both similarities and differences. In terms of nature, population, life and tourism they are similar. As Vancouver, Brasília has a lot of green areas and parks, and there is a big park in the center of the city as well, called City Park, where people can walk, cycle and roller skate, like in Stanley Park. I can also see a kind of similarity in the population. Both cities have a good number of inhabitants. Of course in my city there are not many people from different countries and nationalities, but most of them are from all parts of Brazil. I mean that its population, as in Vancouver, is based not only in who was born in these cities, but also in people from different places. Although there are some poor and homeless people in Vancouver, the city has a high standard of living. Likewise, in Brasilia happens the same. Both cities receive a large number of tourists and have a lot of touristy activities. Consequently, they suffer the effects of mass tourism in their economy and environment.

On the other hand, in terms of language, weather, views, and people they are different. In Brasília, as in all cities of Brasil, Portuguese is the only official language. Brazil is neither an English speaking country nor a bilingual one. The weather is really different too. My city is normally very hot and dry, and even the winter is not that cold and we never have snow. However, the weather in Vancouver is pretty cold and it rains a lot. Something really beautiful in Vancouver is that it has both mountains and sea. Brasília is a flat city and it does not have sea, only a large lake. Brazilian people, in general, are very friendly and outgoing. In the other side, Canadian people are closer and more serious.

In my point of view, globalization has changed my hometown in the last fifteen years. The plans to build the capital of Brazil in a specific area in the center of the country was always present. It took a while for the city to get off the ground, but now its importance is really big. Brasília is a new city (only forty eight years) and has gone global because of globalization. It has also brought people to visit the city, both for tourism and business, since it is a political centre. It introduced the American way of life in people's habits as well. As the years went by, letters and newspapers gave way to emails and the access to Internet, that allows people to have information from around the world and its country in a real time. As far as I'm concerned, globalization has brought positive things to my city. I can't think in a disadvantage, because as far as I know, it helped this new city to develop its potential.

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