IntlMOVE: Culture Differences between the United States and Brazil

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When you move to Brazil, you will find that there are a lot of differences from the United States.

Of course the language is different, but there are many other subtle differences that you will need to know about before moving to Brazil.

IntlMOVE (www.IntlMOVE.com) has put together a brief summary of some of the cultural differences.

Nonverbal Communication in Brazil

Kissing on both cheeks is common among friends, family and acquaintances.

People in Brazil are much more open with touching, hugging, handshaking and kissing.

When children greet their teachers in Brazil, they will often kiss them on both cheeks.

They also will refer to female teachers as, Tia, which translates to aunt.

These types of interactions are common greetings, so relax and enjoy the friendly nature of Brazil. 

In the United States, it is very common to make direct eye contact to show respect.

The opposite is true in Brazil as respect is shown through avoiding direct eye contact.

Individuals in the United States value their personal space and will usually keep about three feet of distance between the people they are talking to.

In Brazil, personal space is much more relaxed and you will find the Brazilians will stand about one foot apart from one another when talking.

This will take some time to get used to, but try to avoid stepping back or showing that you are uncomfortable because this is considered very rude.

Punctuality

Brazilians are very relaxed about time compared to people in the United States.

People will usually show up late and events rarely start on time.

People in Brazil are not rude, but they put a very high priority on social interactions.

They will not rush a conversation or lunch in order to get somewhere on time.

This attitude towards time does not carry over to the workplace because employees are expected to show up on time.

Conversations

In the United States, it is considered very rude to interrupt other people while they are speaking.

In Brazil, you will find that interruptions are normal and people will often speak simultaneously.

It is also very common for people to sit in silence for long periods of time and this is normal in Brazil.

In the United States, people tend to get antsy or uncomfortable if silence lasts too long or when there is a break in the conversation.

Social Interactions

Individuals in Brazil love being around other people and getting the most out of their social interactions.

When you go out to eat in Brazil with your friends, you will be expected to split the check evenly among all those dining with you.

What you ate or drank is not taken into consideration, but this is the custom in Brazil.

Brazilians are also more accustomed to saying please and thank you more often than people in the United States.

Other Differences

People in Brazil would rather walk to their destination than drive or take public transportation.

Brazilians love being outdoors and interacting with their neighbors, friends and family.

Family plays a very important role in Brazil, so you will find that children live with their parents much longer than they do in the United States.

You will find many more differences when you move to Brazil, but be open to the new way of life.

Learning to embrace the Brazilian culture will help you get more settled in your new home.

For safe, reliable and efficient international movers, contact IntlMOVE (www.IntlMOVE.com) for your international move to Brazil.