Are you heading to Brazil sometime in the future? Well, we wish you good luck for that, but we wonder whether you have looked into things about which Brazilians are a bit sensitive and would expect from you to be a little considerate. Yes, we are talking about really important stuff, and you should very well acquaint yourself with those things.
Brazil is one of the fastest developing countries in the world. Mostly famous for its soccer achievements, this humongous South American nation offers attractive opportunities to foreign visitors who usually enjoy whatever comes their way.
While Brazilians are known for their chilled out, amiable behavior, there are certain things they take into account quite seriously, and if you happen to transgress upon certain limitations the country observes, you might become a subject of public censure.
If you wish to avoid those inadvertent actions embarrassing or offending the local Brazilians, you must read every word stated here carefully. Once you are well informed of certain things you are not supposed to do in Brazil, nothing can trouble you any more.
So, without further ado, here are 8 things you must NOT do while in Brazil.
1. Do not lose your patience
In case you are a stickler for discipline and punctuality, then you might have a rough time in Brazil. Everyone visiting Brazil should know that Brazilians are too laid back and have accepted lateness as a part of their lifestyle. Whether you are standing in a queue to an ATM or getting documentary work done, you will encounter delays.
You will often hear Brazilians tell you éstou chengado, which actually means “I am arriving”. Well, if you go deeper into the meaning, removing all the disguises, you will find out that the person has not yet even started from home!
You can counter all of this—with patience.
2. Portuguese is the way of life
Okay, while the entire continent mostly speaks Spanish, Brazilian stick to Portuguese. You will find it difficult if you do not know Portuguese, although a fair number of people do speak English.
It is strongly recommended that you brush up a little Portuguese. Go through language guides and learn basic words to ease your life in Brazil. With this, you will be able to assimilate in the Brazilian society and not feel left out.
3. Mind your fandom
We all know how much Brazil loves soccer. When you enter the country, you will find flyers and festoons with soccer-related impressions. This means they are pretty serious about soccer.
When you are traveling in Brazil, you must pay your respects to Brazilian soccer. You may have your own favorite, but it is better you keep mum about the same. In case, and God forbid, your favorite belongs to any of the neighboring countries, you should better keep shut.
Love for soccer is quite loud here in Brazil—we do not want you to get trapped in a situated which is nearly difficult to get out without embarrassment.
4. Safeguard your money and everything else of worth
If you are not already aware of this, then let us tell you that many Brazilian cities record some of the highest crime rates in the world. So, in case you have too much wealth to flaunt, keep it hidden.
Cities such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are notable mentions where the richer you are, the more vulnerable you will be to theft. Do not make yourself an inviting target: avoid carrying an expensive phone, keep hidden your camera, wear inexpensive watches, maintain a backup of all your documents and photos, and take other security measures you can reasonably take.
Keep the most important stuff such as passports and tickets in your hotel rooms—if these get stolen, then, Oh boy, you are in huge trouble.
5. Do not take liberty and act as if you know better
One thing Brazilians hate is foreigners expressing discontent about Brazil. It is quite common to come across travelers criticising the host country as if they know better and have been living in the country for time enough to make such remarks.
Brazilians love free speech but do not tolerate the ones that go beyond permissible limits. Do not criticise Brazil with some half-baked hearsay. Instead, we recommend that you be a little accommodating of negative things and praise the good things you encounter—this helps in building up a better perspective.
A positive approach will win you good Brazilian company!
6. Do not make the OK gesture
We all know the hackneyed OK gesture used all over the world: you simply position a finger and the thumb in a circle and there it is! Well, you can do the gesture as many times as you want in your home country, but do not even try doing the same in Brazil.
The OK gesture has vulgar underpinnings, and you will instantly attract glares and disgust from people the moment you gesticulate.
7. Keep close your consumption card
Many nightclubs and bars in Brazil operate, what is called, a consumption card system. In this system, every customer is handed over a card on entry for recording orders. You will have to produce the same when paying for the orders, and in case you misplace the card somewhere, well, you may end up paying hefty fines and facing an aggressive security staff.
So, DO NOT LOSE THE GODDAMN CARD FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!
8. About the beer
Brazilians love beer, and if you happen to order big bottles of beer, you better share them with others. If you do not share, you will be dubbed as an anti-social as well as a really awkward fellow. You might be attending the bar all by yourself, but you will be joined by others, and then you must do what every Brazilian does.
Well, it would not really hurt to share a couple of pints with fellow Brazilians—after all, they are hosting you in their country!