In this post, I’d like to share a little about the character and characteristics of the Brazilian people.
Brazilians are incredibly friendly and they love to chat. It’s not uncommon for them to strike up conversation with strangers that happen to be nearby. You’re likely to get into one at the supermarket register, for example, if you tell the person behind you that you’re worried that the long lines may mean you get caught in the oncoming rain on the way home.
The Brazilians are so fond of talking that they often use their mobile phones to chat with friends and family—in restaurants, coffee shops, or even while walking down the street.
Daily greetings always involve either a handshake, a hug, or a kiss (which is done by touching opposite cheeks together). They love physical contact. Men typically shake hands with one another or hug, while women or mixed-gender pairs will hug or kiss to greet each other. Brazilians delight in embracing one another when they reunite after a long separation or when there are celebrations.
Many Brazilians are fond of dressing up and greatly value cleanliness. Most get in the shower immediately after waking up. They take one before bed, too—meaning two showers a day, as if they always want to make sure they’re clean. The morning shower wakes them up and helps them feel fresh, after which they apply perfume, cologne, or aromatic lotion. After eating, they always brush their teeth—even at the office after lunch. The women frequent salons, so they always look beautiful. Even the men tend to regularly visit the barber shop.
Brazilians particularly treasure their families, getting together with them to talk and enjoy a leisurely meal at every opportunity—of course on Christmas and their days off, but also on birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day—you name it. They love getting together and having parties, toasting wine or champagne with, “saúde!”
One of the negative characteristics of Brazilians is that they tend to be late—even for things like group tours. I joined a bus tour to go sightseeing in Buenos Aires one time. The Argentinian guide said, “If we tell people to be here at 8:00 a.m., the Japanese will get here at 7:50, and the British will get here right at 8. The Argentinians will be five minutes late, and the Brazilians will come at 8:30.” She urged us to be on time so that we didn’t miss out on part of the tour. The Brazilian participants came on time, and the guide apologized at the end for having been rude.
Many foreigners who live in Brazil get frustrated by the fact that Brazilians don’t show up to things on time. Repairmen in particular, they say, can’t keep to a schedule.
Even if you invite a Brazilian to dinner at 7:30 p.m., they’ll come after 8:00 p.m. Unless it’s a formal dinner engagement, Brazilians consider 7:30 and 8 to be basically the same. If you tell them 7:30, they will take their time getting there because they’re worried you might not be ready by then. The idea is that getting together and eating is far more important than everyone arriving at an exact time.
Brazilian men are consummate gentlemen. They always defer to women, letting them go first through doorways or on and off elevators, and even giving up their seats to them on buses and subways. If you’re holding a baby, it’s not uncommon for them to carry your bags for you. They’re tremendously kind.
So, what do you think? I hope this post has made you want to get to know the Brazilians a little better.