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Sao Joao De Meriti | Brazil

São João de Meriti (Portuguese pronunciation: [sɐ̃w ʒuˈɐ̃w dʒi meɾiˈtʃi], [miɾiˈtʃi]) is a Brazilian municipality in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Its historical name is São João do Rio Meriti. Its population was 598,456 inhabitants in 2013. It's located in the region of Baixada Fluminense, having 34.996 km² (13.451 square miles).

The city is known as "Americas' Anthill", because its population density is one of the highest in the continent (13,185/km² or 34,815/sq mi).

The Baixada Fluminense (standard Brazilian Portuguese: [ˌbajˈʃadɐ flumiˈnẽjsi]; local pronounce: [ˌbɐ(j)ˈʃadɐ flumɪˈnẽ(j)si] (literally "Fluminense Lowland") is a region in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in southeastern Brazil. It is located on Guanabara Bay, between Rio de Janeiro to the south, and the Serra dos Órgãos range of hills to the north.

Its municipalities are part of the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Region. The Baixada Fluminense region’s population is about three million, making it the second most populous region in the state, following only the city of Rio de Janeiro.

This region should not be confused with the Baixadas Litorâneas, located farther to the east in the same state.

The state is part of the Mata Atlântica biome and is made up of two distinct morphological areas: a coastal plain, known as baixada, and a plateau, which are disposed in parallel fashion from the shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean inland towards Minas Gerais.

The coastline extends 635 kilometers and is formed by the bays of Guanabara, Sepetiba, and Ilha Grande. There are prominent slopes near the ocean, featuring also diverse environments, such as restinga vegetation, bays, lagoons and tropical forests.

Most of the state however consists of highlands, often higher than 1000 m, formed by several mountain chains like the Serra do Mar which separates Rio from the state of São Paulo. The highest point of the state, the Pico das Agulhas Negras (Black Needles Peak) is located in the Serra da Mantiqueira which forms the physical border with neighbouring Minas Gerais.

Its principal rivers are the Guandu, the Piraí, the Paraíba do Sul, the Macaé and the Muriaé.

The industrial sector is the largest component of GDP at 51.6%, followed by the service sector at 47.8%. Agriculture represents 0.6% of GDP (2004). Rio de Janeiro (state) exports: petroleum 44.8%, fuel 17.5%, siderurgy 13%, chemicals 3.6%, not ferrous metals 2.8%, vehicles 2.1% (2002).

Participation in the Brazilian economy: 15.6% (2004).

There are 3,915,724 vehicles in the state (as of Jan. 2006), 10 million mobile phones, 5.3 telephones, and 92 cities.

The occasion of the last five days leading up to Lent is annually cause for a great explosion of joy in Rio – a round-the-clock party uniting emotions, creativity, plasticity, colours, sounds and much fantasy. It is the greatest popular party in the world, a unique record of the rich cultural melting pot typical of Brazil. In Rio, it is celebrated in various ways, most famously through the elaborate competition of samba schools comprising thousands of dancers in each school, each of which has composed a new "enredo de samba" (samba script) for the year that is released and popularized by the time Carnaval arrives, thus already recognizable for its lyrics, themes, and rhythms by the energized audience in the bleachers thronging to see the all-night competition of one samba school after another until dawn. Each samba school consists of 'alas' (wings) of samba dancers costumed to carry out one aspect of the theme of the song they all sing. This event began in the 1930s as a diversion for what politicians sought to assuage as an otherwise restive populace. It came to be held on the bleacher-lined Marques du Sapucai for decades until a covered Sambodromo was built in the 1980s.

In other parts of the city, Carnaval festivities include the Banda de Ipanema, a street parade of transvestite costuming that draws its throngs of revelers to the streets of Ipanema. In the city center on the final night of Carnaval, into the wee hours of Quarta Cinza (Ash Wednesday), a very different flavor of street parade is provided by Quilombo (the word given to slave refugee colonies) with authentic African costuming. For others, Carnaval is a time of clubbing in costume in more exclusive locales in the Zona Sul.

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