Brazilian Culture

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Brazil is a country full of surprises and delights but also full of corruption and mystery. (João) In fact, it is not unusual to witness prostitution in Brazil's larger cities. (Lonely Planet) When meeting a Brazilian, they seem "normal" to an American; such was the case when I met my partner, João. This paper will cover various cultural aspects of Brazil, my partner's home country. There are many customs and courtesies one should understand to ideally communicate with a Brazilian. When greeting a Brazilian you kiss a woman once on each cheek, from left to right and you greet a male but giving him a handshake. Long handshakes are common in Brazil and good eye contact is important. (Maria-Brazil) There are a number of gestures specific to Brazilians. One is a greeting gesture, in which a person gives the "thumbs up" to signal ok or thank you. Another is "não-não" finger wagging, which is the most daunting if done right under the other person's nose but it is not a threat. (Lonely Planet) If a Brazilian doesn't want something they simply just slap the back of their hands. (Lonely Planet) These are just a few of the many gestures Brazilians use. Because of the differences in communication styles between Brazil and the United States it could be difficult for an American to communicate effectively in Brazil. Brazilians like being chatty, which is a practice that puts Americans off. Brazilians don't like "getting straight to the point". Brazilians are also "touchy" people, unlike most Americans. A person should always ask the Brazilian how their family is and personal questions before getting down to business. When speaking to a Brazilian you should not address them by their first name unless given permission to do so. When on the phone with a Brazilian, do not sound like you are pressed for time. (Maria-Brazil)

When doing business with a Brazilian, it's important to be introduced...
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