Cultural Musts In Brazil

The Brazilian culture is one of the world's most varied and diverse, this is due to it being a melting pot of nationalities as a result of centuries of European domination as well as slavery, which brought hordes of African migrants across Brazil's borders to live in and influence the local cultures with their ancient customs and ideas.

The European settlers also brought ideas, innovations, and belief systems with them, shaping the local societies significantly. These different influences have meant that the modern-day Brazilian culture is unique and complex. Before travelling to new countries, it's important to know a little about their culture, here we will give an insight into the culture of Brazil.

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Etiquette and Customs in Brazil

Different countries have different ways of greeting of each other, and this is no exception in Brazil. Learning these will make you feel more comfortable within their environment, whilst also showing gratitude for learning these prior to your visit. Here are some etiquette customs.

Meeting Etiquette

Brazilians are usually rather affectionate, tactile people. Upon meeting, men shake hands when greeting one another whilst also maintaining steady eye contact, while women kiss each other's cheeks in greeting, starting with the left cheek, then kissing the right. If a woman wishes to shake hands with a man, she should extend her hand first. It is common for hugging and backslapping greetings among Brazilian friends.

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Gift Giving Etiquette

With gift giving, if you are invited to a Brazilian's house, it is customary to bring flowers or a small gift. Orchids are considered a very nice gift, but avoid giving purple ones. The avoidance of giving anything black or purple is of high importance in Brazil as these are mourning colours. Handkerchiefs are also associated with funerals, so they do not make good gifts. In Brazil, gifts are opened when received.

Dining Etiquette

If you are ever invited to a Brazilian's house, you arrive at least 30 minutes late if the invitation is for dinner, and arrive up to an hour late for a party or large gathering. Brazilian's dress with a flair and judge others on appearance, casual dresses are more formal than in many other countries. In Brazilian culture, always dress elegantly, aiming for over-dressing rather than under-dressing. Also, if you did not bring a gift to the hostess, flowers the next day are always appreciated.

The Culture of Brazilian Music

Music is one of the most instantly recognisable elements of Brazilian culture with many different genres and styles emerging in Brazil. The samba, choro and bossa nova are just a few of these. Samba is one of the most popular music genres in Brazil and is widely regarded as the country's national music style. In the early 20th Century, modern samba emerged and was popularised in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian music is a unique blend of European harmony and melody, African rhythms along with Native American culture, all coming together to form the distinctive sound that is today known as Brazilian music. Brazil music is full of passion and sentiment, reflecting the very essence and soul of Brazil, and music plays a big role in the lives of many Brazilians all around the country.

If you've ever walked the streets of Brazil or been to a Brazilian beach, you can see how the people are full of energy and happy, the music is in their blood, in the way they walk, talk, dance and love. Brazilians are very passionate about music and it is part of their culture. Music helps them celebrate life and inspires happiness.

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Food Cultures

Food in the daily life includes rice, beans, and manioc – a root crop - forming the core of the Brazilian diet and are eaten at least occasionally by all social classes in all parts of the nation. Traditionally, the most important meal of the day is a multicourse affair eaten after midday. For middle-class and elite families, it might consist of a pasta dish or a meat or fish accompanied by rice or beans, followed by tiny cups of strong Brazilian coffee called cafezinho.

For the poor, it would be primarily rice and beans. The evening repast is simpler, often consisting of soup and perhaps leftovers from the midday meal. Brazil's national dish, feijoada, is served in restaurants, typically on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and when made at home, it is a favourite dish for guests.

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