Salvador de Bahia is the heartland of Brazil’s rich African culture, which is in many ways as deeply rooted in Brazil’s history as its Portuguese heritage. Brazil’s link to Africa originated with the arrival of slaves from the far away continent, who were brought to Brazil to work in the sugar and coffee plantations that proliferated in this coastal region of the country’s northeast. Salvador beats to the rhythm of Africa, and its music and dances are heavily influenced by its African background, as are its food, clothes, religious beliefs and customs, which are infused with local habits to create a unique melting pot of culture that can only be experienced in Brazil. Salvador is alive with movement and energy, and pretty much everywhere you go you will encounter the drums of live samba bands with locals shaking their hips in the streets, witness beguiling Candomblé rituals and be captivated by the twirling limbs of people practicing capoeira, a peaceful martial art native to this area of Brazil.
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