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The Guyana/Brazil Free Zone – a Beautiful Blend of Two Cultures

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Published: 26th of February, 2024 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: February 26, 2024 at 19:24 pm

The Guyana/Brazil free zone or “defined area” extends from the Kurupukari Crossing in Region 8 all the way to Bonfim and Normandy in neighboring Brazil. This means that free passage of goods and people, with exceptions of controlled substances, is allowed from Brazil to Guyana and vice versa within the free zone.

The “GuyBraz” fusion of Guyanese and Brazilian cultures is a beautiful, unique, and refreshing phenomenon that one has to see to believe and experience to truly enjoy and appreciate. The border regions of both countries share a similar cultural and geographical landscape. The Takutu River Bridge connects the two countries over the Takutu River. To the north of the Takutu Bridge is Guyana, and to the south is Brazil. Both countries are unique, and the fusion of the two cultures in the defined area is also unique. Here are some things in common between people of the Guyanese and Brazilian sides:

  • Farine – a product made from bitter cassava is a tradition of both Guyanese in Region 9 and Brazilians in Bonfim and Normandy.
  • Tasso – a unique method of preserving cow’s meat is common across both sides of the free zone.
  • Forro music is enjoyed both by the people of Region 9 and their neighbors in Bonfim.
  • Brazilian beers such as Schin is consumed more in Region 9 than the Guyanese beers.
  • Football is the sport of choice in Region 9 which is a spillover of Brazilian culture.
  • Region 9 residents import most of their goods and food products from neighboring Brazil.
  • Nightlife and the party culture is similar in both Guyana and neighboring Brazil.
  • Both Guyanese and Brazilians in the free zone area predominantly practice the Christian religion.
  • Most residents of the free zone area have both Guyanese and Brazilian residency or dual citizenship.
  • The Rupununi Rodeo tradition is also practiced in neighboring Brazil. Brazil has its own rodeo performances around the same time that Guyana does.

On the Guyana side of the free zone, English is spoken, but many residents are also able to communicate in Brazilian Portuguese. On the Brazil side, Portuguese is spoken, and most residents of Bonfim also speak English.

The Guyana/Brazil free zone groups together two distinct peoples who blend their cultures to form a new culture – the GuyBraz culture – a unique fusion of peoples and cultures that is unlike anything in the world.

The video above shows a Brazilian girl making farine from bitter cassava, but the culture is also practiced in Region 9, Guyana.

The video above shows a Brazilian girl peeling bitter cassava to make farine. A similar thing is practiced in Region 9, Guyana.

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