I'm not sure what we will eventually call the decade we're just embarking on - it's still not clear if we left "The Noughties" or "The Noughts" or something else last New Year's Eve at midnight. Will it be "The Teens"? I kind of hope not, as that has an unmistakable adolescent ring about it. Whatever the nickname turns out to be for the decade from 2010 to 2019 (or does the decade run from 2011 to 2020?) I'm convinced that it will be decade in which Brazil takes center place on the world stage. This rapidly growing country of 195 million people is already the Latin American economic powerhouse, and economists predict that by the end of the decade Brazil will have the world's fifth-largest economy.
Brazil has long been thought of, if it's been thought of at all, outside of Latin America as a beautiful, sexy but dangerous country full of beaches, gorgeous inhabitants and poverty. Although there is some basis to that stereotype, the reality of Brazil and it's position in the world has changed dramatically in the recent past, and it can no longer be reduced to a few postcard views and sensational newsclips in the eyes of the world.
Of course, the 2014 World Cup is only the first of two huge international sporting events during the decade. In 2016 Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympic Games, the first time they've been held in South America.
As the spotlight shines on Brazil in the lead-up to these events, I'm convinced there will be international appeal for all things Brazilian - music, film, fashion, sports and of course food. I hope that during the next while, Flavors of Brazil can do its own tiny bit to make the culture of this marvelous country more well known thoughout the world. I can't wait, it's going to be a great decade.