Brazil Lifestyle and Culture

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“You put the toilet paper in a trash can?”Yes, did you know that toilets in Brazil aren’t built to hold the paper without clogging, but bins are changed regularly for sanitary reasons?

Local businesses and informal events tend to run on a laid-back schedule. Things may not open or start at the specified time, don’t think too much about it or you’ll be disappointed often. Welcome to Brazil, the home for unique cultural blend and style.

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience and, should you choose Brazil, our tips will enhance what will already be a wonderful trip. Brazilian culture is one of the most distinct and unique in the world.

An eclectic blend of the old and the new combined with the perfect mix of race and ethnicities work to create a diversity that gives this country an extraordinary charm and a uniquely welcoming atmosphere.

Whether you are planning a short visit or a permanent stay, it is helpful to understand the Brazilian culture and its amazing people so you can fully appreciate everything this land has to offer. The culture of Brazil differs vastly from the westernized world, and this is very evident in the nature and personality of the Brazilian people.

Look at these cultural facts about Brazil:

⦁ When greeting someone, people say “tudo bem,” (pronounced too-doo behn), which means “all is well.” As a response, people generally say in affirmation, “tudo bem.” People also may greet by giving a small kiss on the cheek, only on the cheek, as the culture is typically very affectionate. Brazilians are physically expressive and will often touch your arm, shoulder, or hand when speaking with you half the times. When women meet they will exchange kisses on the cheek and men will greet each other with a handshake or pat on the back.

⦁ Brazil offers history, adventure, culture, and cuisine, all presented in an easy-going, relaxing way that makes visitors feel right at home.

⦁ One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Brazilian people is their generosity, which they show liberally, even to strangers. In fact, when you meet someone, it is not uncommon to be invited to their home for a meal. Better brace yourself for a great ride in Brazil.

⦁ People here are undeterrably optimistic. Predominately Roman Catholic, they have a strong belief in God, and it is this faith that sustains them through life's difficulties. The people of Brazil are comfortable with spirituality and talk openly about spiritual things, unlike many other cultures that feel one's religious allegiances should be private and personal, not discussed publicly for any reason.

⦁ Relationships are more important than money or possessions in Brazil. People take precedence and family is the very center of their culture. Large families are common and most social activities focus on these relationships.

⦁ The people adhere to a much slower pace of life than what those from western nations may be accustomed to, although there is some exception to this in the more westernized cities such as Sao Paulo. There is basically a 'que sera sera' attitude -whatever will be, will be - and the people take things as they unfold, accepting the 'flow' of life with calm and patience. You can expect to spend a lot of time waiting, so better just relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy the scenery of this beautiful country.

⦁ Brazilians have a great appreciation for the arts including dance, theater, music, literature, and poetry, and use these as a way of documenting and celebrating their unique culture.

⦁ Note, if you are invited to a home for dinner, bring the hostess flowers or even a small gift. The Brazilian people are very appreciative and value that quality in others. Orchids are particularly special, but never give something in purple or black, as these are considered mourning colors in this wonderful land.

"Brazil is a place to be" - Martin from Canada

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