Brazil is rich in culture, excitement, history, and great food. They are offered to you in a relaxed, laid back manner that will make you feel like you’re a regular resident. Whether you’re in the country for brief visit or a longer stay, you will do well to understand Brazil culture and learn how to blend and flow with the Brazilian people and their etiquette.
Brazil Culture: Facts about Brazilian People
Brazil is predominantly a country of immigrants. It is a land of different ethnic groups that have come from Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and North America. After many years working under colonial rule and centuries of mixed marriages, ethnic lines gradually disappeared and gave rise to a unique culture that defines the nation.
Brazil culture is a lot different from westernized countries, and it manifests itself in the personality and nature of the Brazilian people.
One of the traits that easily sets apart the Brazilian people is their sincere generosity which they offer abundantly even to total strangers. Actually, when you meet a Brazilian, don’t be surprised to be invited for a meal in their home. Even if it means spending their last real, Brazilians will offer their visitors food or refreshments. Whatever circumstance is presented, they like to share whatever they have even if they are short of cash or financially-challenged.
Brazilian people are hopeless optimists even in the face of difficult situations and hard financial times. Brazil’s population is predominantly Catholic, and holds an unshakeable faith in God that enables them to get through their life’s various trials. They are open and at home when they talk about spiritual matters, not like most other cultures that believe their relationship with the Creator is a private affair, and should not be displayed openly.
Brazilian people value their relationships more than money or material possessions. They are not so much interested in money if it means putting a relationship in trouble. Family lies at the very core of Brazil culture, which is why large families are more of the rule than the exception. Many social activities revolve around these relationships.
Laid back attitude
Brazilian people follow a laid back and unhurried lifestyle than those living in more developed nations, although this may not exactly apply to Brazil’s more westernized urban centers like Sao Paolo. With their passive “que sera sera” (what will be, will be) manner of thinking, Brazilians take life as it unfolds, taking the flow (and occasional blows) of life calmly and patiently.
Brazilians tend to use physical contact when speaking with each other, thus you can expect them to touch your hand, arm or shoulder during conversation. Along with touching, they will also hug, kiss and enter your personal space when talking with you. Handshakes will take a little longer and they will stare straight into your eyes as they are holding your hand. Do not mistake that this has some sort of sexual connotation as this open-minded expression is part of Brazil culture.
Art and the love for soccer
Brazilian people are gregarious and are active in social circles. They can talk with you for hours without let-up particularly if the topic is about children, family and the all-time favorite, soccer. They prefer to conduct business in person and not through email or phone conversation.
Brazil culture richly depicts the Brazilian people’s love and appreciation for the arts. These are expressed through their local music, dance, poetry, literature and theater.
Brazil Culture: Learn Some Etiquette
When you travel to Brazil, you will do well to understand some basic etiquette so you’ll be able to express respect and appreciation in the proper manner.
- If you are invited for dinner in a Brazilian home, be sure to bring the hostess flowers or a small present. Brazilian people appreciate this gesture so much and will value you as a friend. Orchids are your best choice. Never give an item that’s black or purple in color, as these are seen as colors of grief and mourning.
- Don’t take punctuality too seriously. Actually, it is normal to arrive to an appointment or dinner at least a half hour late.
- Don’t dress shabbily. Just because you are invited to a poor section of the city, it doesn’t mean you can wear dirty denims and t-shirt. You need to show that your host’s hospitality is greatly esteemed and that you consider it an honor to be invited. While the occasion doesn’t call for you to dress up in a formal suit, you should by all means dress nicely.
Rich or poor, the people take pride of their Brazil culture and that will be clearly apparent the longer you stay in this friendly and welcoming country.