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5 Brazilian Habits and Customs you should Know!

Top 5 Brazilian Cultural Customs

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:

  1. 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.

If you are in a pub or restaurant in Brazil, keep it in mind that we do not eat with our bare hands. We use a knife and fork for EVERYTHING! Don’t be fooled, if we say finger foods, we mean napkin foods. If you can’t knife and fork it, you must napkin it. We NEVER EVER touch our foods. If you do it in front of us, be prepared to be judged!


        2. Hugs and Kisses

We are very affectionate people. When you meet Brazilians, you must know we really don’t believe in personal space. Expect to be given big warm hugs and to be touched when people are talking to you. Even if you go to a football match in Brazil, you should probably expect a big hug or two from complete strangers sitting next you when their team score. 


When it comes to greeting each other, the cheek kiss is the most common greeting between women/women and men meet. Men don’t usually kiss each other, instead, they give each other a little hug and a slap on the back.

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 are no lips involved in the cheek kissing, just touching the cheeks together and kissing the air. #dontbeacreep

  1. 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

  1. “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

         waiting for text from your friend


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.

  1. The Goodbye Ritual

If you go to a party being hosted by a Brazilian and are ready to leave, be prepared. They 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 at the party. #traditions



Hope this helps!

With love from

From Belo Logo - From Belo



1 comment

  • Well I never knew that!
    I definitely won’t eat with my fingers & if I ask you to supper at 7 – I really mean 8 (between you & me!). Jx


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