Brazilian Habits

6 Brazilian Habits Americans Will Never Understand

Every culture has its own traditions, custom, and habits. The Brazilian culture also has its own singularities that may surprise you!

Here are six very smart and insightful ways Brazilians habits are different than American according to Simone Santos.

Brazilians work to live; Americans live to work

Brazilians work hard, but family and life outside of work always comes first. They appreciate and take all their vacation unlike most of Americans who don’t take all their paid time off in an entire year. Brazilians work to pay their bills and enjoy life.

Americans are defined by their work. Work is taken very seriously and it’s common for employees to work at least on a few jobs or 10hrs a day. When both cultures work together there may be some challenges because Americans may take it as if Brazilians are not serious about their work or Brazilians feel Americans don’t respect their personal time.

Soccer is more than just a Game

The soccer is getting slowly more popular in USA, thanks to the US Women National team. Americans will never understand how passionate Brazilians are about soccer or futebol. Brazil took a European game and reinvented it to be improvisational and creative. During the World Cup employers install screens in workplaces to try to keep workers on the job. People are very emotional about their teams and have become violent about the sport.

Brazilians do business with people; Americans with companies

If you want to do business with Brazilians you need to devote time to know the person you are dealing with on a more personal level. Brazilians need to know and trust their business counterparts. If there is no connection or affinity the deal may be off. As a new business partnership develops a lot of time will be spent dining and having coffee.

Americans, on the other hand, don’t need to develop personal connections. As a matter of fact, they prefer not to. They always separate business from personal. To them, it’s about getting the work done, no matter what it takes. Americans may not understand why it takes Brazilians so long to do something and why sometimes they won’t even talk about business in a business meeting.

Brazilians, on the other hand, are offended by Americans’ cold demeanor and lack of personal attachment. The key here is to be able to understand and respect each side and try to find common ground.

The Cheek Kiss

When it comes to greetings in Brazil, the cheek kiss is very common between women and when men and women meet. Men usually give a little hug and slap each other’s back.

Take note: the number of kisses varies by state. For example, in Sao Paulo, the standard is just one kiss. In Rio and Bahia, it is proper to give two kisses. In some other states like Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul, the norm is to give three. No matter where they are, when family members greet one another, three kisses is a very common custom.

Always start on the right cheek, and take note that often there is no actual contact with the lips, just touching the cheeks together and kissing the air.

Endless vacations

In Brazil, vacations are usually long and holidays are frequent. Many holidays easily transform into long weekends. It is common for working Brazilians to get 30 days of paid vacation and 11 public holidays, while Americans get around 10-15 days.

Many Brazilians prefer to take their vacations between December and February when it’s summer in the country.

Several Showers a Day

If you have Brazilian friends you already know that Brazilians take showering very seriously. The average Brazilian showers at least twice a day. The weather is sticky and people think nothing of showering once in the morning and again at night. In the humid summer, some Brazilians take as many as four showers in one day.