7 Brazilian behaviours that may raise the eyebrow of a first time visitor
Baring it all in public
It might disappoint the people watching fashionistas, wanting their fill of Latin-American style but when the weather is super-hot in Brazil it is a usual to see shirtless men going about their daily business. For some the sight of a shirtless torso is not a problem but it can come as a surprise to first time visitors who associate bare chests exclusive to the beach rather than on the high streets of Brazil.
Whistling in the street
Brazilians have a habit of whistling and singing out loud in the street. Any negative perceptions about this type of behaviour should be put aside whilst in Brazil. Just remember that in Brazil there is a saying that goes something like “Those who sing put their sorrows away” or, more literally ‘when you sing, you scare your evils away’ and that may well just be someone using an ingrained cultural behaviour mechanism to deal with their own problems.
Noise is a way of life
Returnee’s from Brazil may be surprised to how quiet their home country’s streets are in comparison to those of Brazil. This is because first-time visitors to Brazil have their ears literally assaulted by the cacophony of sounds from all corners wherever they go in the country. From drivers who seem to have been born with their hands on the horn to the animated pushbike street vendor complete with booming stereo pumping out music drawing attention to their wares whilst casually cycling through the streets unperturbed. Noise is one thing that is as certain as the abundance of sunny days all year around.
Talking with the mouth full
Talking with the mouth full is considered as rude in Brazil as it is in Europe. However, conversations among Brazilians tend to be very free affairs and perhaps this is the reason why it is common to see Brazilians happily in conversation each other whilst munching away unchecked. Although the practice of eating and talking is common place, mention the lack of social grace to a Brazilian and you will probably receive a blank stare of incredulity.
Yawning, coughing and sneezing without covering the mouth
Yawning, coughing or sneezing without covering the mouth is not recommended under any circumstances and although most Brazilians are aware that this is socially unacceptable, many don’t see it as a reference issue should they not cover their mouths whilst yawning, coughing or sneezing .
In most parts of Brazil, the drainage system is not as powerful as in Europe. It is therefore, common practice to avoid blocking the pipes by placing any used toilet paper in a basket usually located close by the toilet bowl. As embarrassing as it may sound, there are a lot of anecdotal evidence, where visitors to the country throw everything in the toilet bowl and then flood the bathroom when they pull the flush!
Kissing and caressing in public
Brazilians greet with one, two or even three kisses depending on the area of the country where one is located. Whilst some may feel uncomfortable with greeting kisses, most get used to this quickly when visiting Brazil or interacting with Brazilians. On the other hand, it is useful to note that Brazilians will openly and passionately kiss in public places regardless of social class or age. So don’t be overly shocked if you see Brazilians engaging in very open demonstrations of love in public.