What are some distinctly Brazilian pastimes? How about business practices unique to the country? Inquiring minds want to know… and we’re here to answer! Become a pro in Brazilian culture. Check out six things you’ll only do in Brazil:
1. Greet Your Co-Workers With a Kiss on the Cheek
A kiss on each cheek is common practice when you greet someone — particularly among women, and also between men and women — regardless of whether you are meeting a close friend, a relative, or a co-worker. Don’t be caught off guard if the marketing manager greets you with a few kisses before the meeting!
2. Eat the Best Sushi Outside of Japan
Brazil has the largest Japanese community outside of Japan, so it’s no big surprise that this community thrives in Brazil. The Liberdade neighborhood of São Paulo, for instance, has transported every bit of Japanese culture to the South American continent, and you can find high quality, traditional Japanese food there, and it’s much cheaper than flying to Tokyo if you are in Brazil!
3. Embrace Small Talk… and Lots of It!
Americans tend to shudder at the thought of small talk… but be ready to talk plenty of it in Brazil. Meetings are usually preceded by a lot of friendly chit chat, which can take up to half an hour before actually getting down to business. Sports, the weather, kids…be ready to jabber on about it all. Don’t be thrown off by this — it is absolutely common, and unsurprising, given Brazil’s friendly and warm culture.
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4. Interrupt People Freely (Without Feeling Rude)
Annoyance with interruptions is another big North American cultural trait. But in Brazil, although still not particularly polite, it is considered acceptable to interrupt someone who is speaking. Communication in Brazil is often informal, so anyone who feels they have something to say will generally add their opinion. Don’t fight it — as the saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them!”
5. Watch Soccer Games in Practically Any Situation
It’s no news that Brazilians are soccer fanatics, and they take the love for sport seriously (understatement of the year). If an important game is on, you can expect to see it on a big screen at a bar or restaurant, on your friend’s TV set at home, or even at work… if the game is important enough. And don’t expect to work at all when the Brazilian team is at play – the country stops for the World Cup and the Olympics!
6. Eat Nothing but Pizza on Every Sunday
Abandon all hope of having anything but pizza on Sunday nights. Although restaurants usually open for business on Sundays, Brazilians in many parts of the country mark the end of the weekend by eating pizza. This is an unspoken rule, and while it’s not a universal practice, it’s practically a tradition in places where it happens. Brazilians stick vehemently to it, so go ahead and cheat on that diet every week!
Brazil has some pretty unique practices, and they all add to its uniqueness that visitors find so alluring. They’re guaranteed to show you a different and fun side of this fascinating culture!
Have you noticed any other uniquely Brazilian practices? Let us know in the comments — and follow Street Smart Brazil, your ultimate tour guide to be a successful businessperson (and tourist) in Brazil!
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