Brazil Etiquette & Culture

Brazil Introduction

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

International Business Dress and Appearance   Conservative attire for men and women in business is very important. 

International Business Dress and Appearance   Touching arms and backs very common

International Business Dress and Appearance   The OK hand signal is a rude gesture in Brazil

Behaviour in Brazil 

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture  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.

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture  Business meetings normally begin with casual ‘chatting’ first

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture  Midday is the normal time for the main meal. A light meal is common at night, unless entertaining formally

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture  Expect to be served small cups of very strong coffee

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture  In Brazil, restaurant entertainment prevails versus at home

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture  Giving a gift is not required at a first business meeting; instead buy lunch or dinner

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture  Toast: Saude (Sah-OO-Day)

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture  Tipping is typically 10% in Brazil

International business behavior, introductions, gift giving, protocol, culture  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 

International Business Communication, handshaking, introductions   Handshaking is common. Use good eye contact.

International Business Communication, handshaking, introductions   When women meet, they may exchange kisses 

International Business Communication, handshaking, introductions   First names used often, but titles important

International Business Communication, handshaking, introductions   Music and long, animated conversation are favorite Brazilian habits. When conversing, interruptions viewed as enthusiasm. Brazilians enjoy joking, informality, and friendships

International Business Communication, handshaking, introductions   Good conversation topics: soccer, family, and children

International Business Communication, handshaking, introductions   Bad conversation topics: Argentina, politics and poverty 

Reference: http://cyborlink.com/besite/brazil.htm


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