Every culture has its own traditions, habits, and when it comes to Brazil vs the U.S, we will notice quite few cultural differences. I listed some cool Brazilian traits and customs that would be worth adopting in the U.S.
- Friendly greetings – this has been mentioned a couple times in some previous posts of mine, but it deserves to be revisited if not adopted worldwide! The cheek kiss is a super common way of greeting when meeting a friend in Brazil. It’s actually more like an air kiss, but nevertheless, much friendlier and warm than the impersonal handshake.
- Kisses in messages – since we’re talking about kisses… just so you understand how Brazilians are so fond of it, another common practice is to end text messages, emails and phone calls with the word “beijo” (kiss) or “abraço” (hug). So if you came up across weird abbreviations such as bjs or abs, now you know what they stand for.
- Month-long vacations – wouldn’t it be great for workers in the U.S to be able to take an entire month off work? Americans have fewer vacation days than people in most countries. In France, Germany and Brazil, per example, most people are entitled to 30 days off, and they actually use the entire period. And no, they don’t feel guilty or uncomfortable about that.
- Proper lunch break – the idea of having a quick lunch at one’s desk or not taking a break at all, is almost unperceivable by Brazilians. They value very much their lunch hour and by that I mean a full 60 min break. Sometimes even a bit more.
- Small talk – I know this it isn’t an exclusively Brazilian custom. Americans are not strange to small talk, but in Brazil it can get to a whole new level. Strangers struck up a conversation in the supermarket line, on the train, on the beach, elevator, you name it! Bear in mind that I am talking about big metropolis such as São Paulo and Rio, which can be compared to NYC, but you’ll rarely see people making small talk in New York. I’m still wondering why…
- Savory pastries – or salgadinhos in Portuguese, are Brazil’s best kept secret, but I think it’s my duty to share them with the world because they are simply too good! Brazilians don’t function without these super tasty savory snacks that can be found pretty much in every corner of the country, and pair very well with a cafezinho (macchiato). Some Brazilians are “coxinha” die-hard fans. After you try a pão de queijo, coxinha or empadinha you will understand why we should import them to the US.
- Adaptability and creativity – these skills are intrinsic to pretty much every Brazilian I know, and I believe they were developed out of necessity. Life in Brazil can be hard for many people, especially for the poor. There are tons of difficulties, problems, lack of basic services and other hurdles that must be faced every day if you want to get things done, but Brazilians always find humor in everything! The memes they create are pretty funny and clever and are internationally known across the social media.
Creativity and resourcefulness are valuable assets in today’s demanding and competitive world regardless of nationality or status.
Taking a Brazilian Portuguese course with BRIC Language with experience native teachers, will enable you to learn not only the language and its nuances, but also the culture.