05.23.10

The Friendly Brazilians

Posted in Excerpts at 08:35 pm by admin

          Anyone who has ever been to Brazil is very much aware of how friendly the people are.  Besides the beauty of this country, the most outstanding thing that visitors mention is how much they enjoyed the way they were treated by the Brazilian people.

          As I have mentioned in other blog entries and in my book, Divine Betrayal, Brazil has a very diverse population. Most of the settlers originally came from Portugal, Italy, Africa (as slaves), and Germany.  Brazil also has a large population of Asians, mostly from Japan, but lately from China.

          The language is Portuguese.  Portuguese is a Latin language and it is very similar to Italian.  It is not surprising that I find Brazilians also very similar to Italians.  The Brazilians are very demonstrative, and it is absolutely impossible to speak Brazilian Portuguese without using your hands. At a dinner table it seems like everyone is talking with loud voices, interrupting one another and speaking at the same time.  There is no such thing as a quiet, relaxing dinner with a group of friends or family.

            It is not unusual to meet someone for the first times, and to have him invite you to his home.  He really means it!  If you accept the invitation, you can be sure you will be very welcome. 

            On one of my trips to Florianopolis, I tried to get in touch by phone with an old family friend, who lived in a near by city, Blumenau.  I called information and reached a person with the same last name.  After a few minutes of conversation it was clear to me that he was not the person I was looking for.  After polite conversation, and establishing that it was the wrong number, the person said:  “I would love to meet you and your family. I would be honored to have you come and have dinner with my family.”  You may think this was strange.  I did not.  He really meant it, and I’m sure if I had the time to visit him, we would have had a great experience, and could have made a new friend.  Similar things have happened to me several times in Brazil.  It does not take long to make friends in Brazil, and I must declare that I have never met a Brazilian I did not like. 

            There is always hugging and kissing when you see someone, even if only a casual friend.  The greeting for women is kissing both cheeks, and for men it’s an “abraco” …a warm hug. It is very impolite to meet someone, even for the first time and not shake hands.  Just saying “pleased to meet you” is not enough.

             All our Brazilian friends love music and dance.  It seems like everyone in Brazil can sing, and sing well, and many can play the guitar.  Brazilian music if full of rhythm.  Everyone, even little children, love to keep time to the beat, with a coke bottle filled with stones, a matchbox, or just sticks hitting an empty can. 

            Brazilians love to eat. I have described the “feijoada” which is the Brazilian black bean feast.  In this meal, all meats and vegetables are cooked in the beans, and served with rice and a green or tomato salad.  Most of the homes of our friends have elaborate barbecues.  The meats are marinated and the man of the house prepares a large variety of meats for the guests: sausages, steaks, chicken, etc… These are accompanies by salads, the most popular being potato salad with lots of mayonnaise.  It is interesting that Brazilians marinate all meats, and find it strange when they come to America.  They complain that there is no taste, and it takes a long time for them to get used to “bland” American food.

            So with this in mind, I know you will have a wonderful visit to Brazil.  Even if you go to a large city, such as Rio de Janeiro remember this, shake hands with everyone, smile, accept their friendliness as genuine and you will have a marvelous time and maybe make some life-long friends.

19 Responses to “The Friendly Brazilians”

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    Sent from my Android phoneSome people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that..

    Sent from my Android phone

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