Some of our local Brazilian habits and customs can seem a bit strange to my foreign friends (AKA The Gringos). If you’re coming to join us in beautiful Brazil there are some things you need to know about us:
- We don’t touch our food
We are OCD freaks when it comes to hygiene. It is very common for us to take 2 showers a day, wash our hands all the time and brush and floss our teeth 3 times a day, even after the lunch break at work, and all for the sake of keeping everything clean.
2. Hugs and Kisses
Knowing how many kisses on the cheek to give is another challenge for you! 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. And in my home state, Minas Gerais, we say if you want to get married, for luck, you should give people 3 kisses – no, we don’t actually believe in that but it is always a funny icebreaker thing to do and say when greeting people.
Very important disclaimer: there’s no lips involved in the cheek kissing, just touching the cheeks together and kissing the air. #dontbeacreep
- After you wipe, don’t block the pipe - Gringo potty training:
Toilet paper goes in a little bin next to the loo. I know what you are thinking EWWWWW that’s disgusting!! For such hygiene freaks, it must seem like strange behaviour. I agree 100% but the plumbing here doesn't deal well with paper. It's gross with poop but hey, that's better than having to get a plunger out! #choices
- “I will be right there” actually means I will see you in an hour
Being late is part of who we are as Brazilians. If we say let’s meet up at four, we actually mean 5 or 6 pm. We are pretty laid back with time and is completely acceptable to us to be late to social gatherings. If we throw a party, we expect our guests to arrive at least 2 or 3 hours later, which means surprise parties are very hard to organize.
I find it so funny when my gringo friends are in Brazil and they are ready on time and must wait for at least one hour for the Brazilians to show up
If you plan something with a Brazilian, expect them to be late. Don’t be sad, it is not because we don’t care about you, it is because we are too relaxed, we don’t notice the time passing us by.
- The Goodbye Ritual
If you go to a party being hosted by a Brazilian and are ready to leave, be prepared. The will always tell you to “stay a little longer” and “it’s so early for you to go” even if the host is desperate for everyone to leave! You need to be ready to insist and explain your way out! Besides telling the host, you have to cheek kiss/hug and say goodbye to every single person in the party. #traditions
Hope this helps!
With love from