Brazil has a population of 146 Million people concentrated on its two hundred miles of east coast. Over 90 percent live in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states. Brazil’s ethnic composition is 55 percent European descent (primarily Portuguese), 38 percent a mixture of cultures (African, German, Japanese, Amerindian, and so forth), 6 percent African, and only 1 percent Amerindian.
Portuguese is the official language. There is no official religion, however the predominant religion is Roman Catholic. But there are also Protestants, Judaism, Buddhism, and other religions.
Brazil Fun Fact
Brazil is the World’s 5th largest country . . . both by population and land area.
Nearly 50 percent of the population is under twenty years of age. Despite massive economic problems, Brazil is often regarded as a potentially rich country with a strong industrial sector, large agricultural production, and rich natural resources. An example of its potential for efficient utilization of resources is its processing of sugarcane into ethyl alcohol for fueling 1.5 Million Brazilian cars.
Appearance in Brazil
Conservative attire for men and women in business is very important.
Touching arms and backs very common
The OK hand signal is a rude gesture in Brazil
Behaviour in Brazil
Some regions have a casualness about both time and work. However Sao Paulo and Rio are not one of those. In these two cities, business meetings tend to start on time.
Business meetings normally begin with casual ‘chatting’ first
Midday is the normal time for the main meal. A light meal is common at night, unless entertaining formally
Expect to be served small cups of very strong coffee
In Brazil, restaurant entertainment prevails versus at home
Giving a gift is not required at a first business meeting; instead buy lunch or dinner
Toast: Saude (Sah-OO-Day)
Tipping is typically 10% in Brazil
If you hear the term jeitinho – it refers to the idea that nothing is set in stone, that a good attempt can break a rule
Communications in Brazil
Handshaking is common. Use good eye contact.
When women meet, they may exchange kisses
First names used often, but titles important
Music and long, animated conversation are favorite Brazilian habits. When conversing, interruptions viewed as enthusiasm. Brazilians enjoy joking, informality, and friendships
Good conversation topics: soccer, family, and children
Bad conversation topics: Argentina, politics and poverty