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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there!

Welcome to Brazil everyone! As a brazilian who graduated in International Relations, I'm quite interested by migration/immigration issues and very curious about the foreigners who live or have lived in Brazil.

I have lived sometime abroad (New Zealand, France and Germany) and I also have travelled extensively, as it's one of my passions.

I was asking myself what foreigners who live here think about the brazilian culture, specially in what "etiquette" is concerned.

What are your experiences and would you say to somebody who is coming to Brazil regarding this issue?

I will give an example:

In Europe (at least where I lived and been) it's very common to walk around with kleenex/paper tissues on your bag and to sneeze your nose in public when you got a cold. Some of you who live in Brazil might know that this habit is not so well seen here, as brazilians are obcessed with hygiene - they think sneezing your nose in public in a kleenex is dirty... I do not, and for me it's the right think to do when you have a runny nose... But... Who will convince people otherwise?! So since I got back from Europe, I do not do this anymore in public, but rather in a toilet, in privacy!

So, guys, what do you consider as key facts of "brazilian etiquette", if we can say so?

Looking forward to hearing from you!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'll post another thing related to the topic I proposed:

- In Brazil, when in a restaurant or bar with friends (or friends of friends) you're expected to say goodbye to every single person on the table, even if you don't quite know them! This also applies to parties in people's houses, but then if it's a big one, consider saying goodbye at least to the people with who you interacted! It's considered rude to leave a place without greeting everyone!

- When greeting, men shake hans with men and give a "virtual kiss" on the cheek when greeting a girl - the number of kisses vary from place to place. Here in Belo Horizonte you're expected to give two "kisses" and the person might also joke (it's a tradition) "three to get married" - that comes from a popular belief/tradition that giving 3 kisses will give you luck to get married, otherwise you "might be single forever" - and it's not marrying with the girl you're greeting, it's in general I mean.

Gay men also give "kisses" on the cheeks when greeting and also you can expect that from male family members.
 

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One of the things I found in regards to etiquette in Brazil is the amount of time that is reasonable to leave someone waiting or the time given for meeting generally. There were quite a few times when I met a Brazilian who was half an hour or even an hour late to meet for drinks (never in a professional meeting mind). I was also invited to people's houses and told a certain time, only to arrive and find that no-one was there and that they didn't actually expect me to arrive until an hour or two hours after the time they told me to arrive. This "Brazilian" idea of time is definitely something that takes some getting used to.
 

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This lack of time is cultural in South America. I lived it Argentina and they are the same when it come to arriving late. No one expects you to show up at the time stated. A half hour to hour is normal and expected but be ready to stay to the early hours of the morning for a party.
 

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Do these same rules of etiquette apply in Uruguay? My husband and I are planning to move there and would like to know the cultural customs.
 

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I have lived in Brazil for 25 years, and am naturalized Brazilian.
It amazes me, when Brazilians simply press a finger to one side of their noses, and blow the snot out of one side of the nose, then repeat with the other side.

Into the street, on the sidewalk, - I have even seen a man do it on a bus!

Using a tissue is a much better option IMHO. ;)

Not to forget constant spitting!

"Hocking up the flem" from the throat, and spitting it out everywhere.

I'm used to it, but still don't like it. :(
 

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When you go out at night for a few beers, in some places it is common to pee in the walls/corners...

It seems that this is getting better (less pissing), but has not gone away.

Also, be aware not to smoke indoors or under a roof, unless you see someone already smoking.
The laws against smoking vary from place to place, but restrictions are creeping up.
 

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In a Relationship

**Most of the girls might seem to be interested on you, but be aware, they might be doing that just to attract you and then say "no, no, you got me wrong, we are just friends".

**Also be aware with your girlfriend's girl friends, they might seem to be interested on you, but maybe that is a trap to check if your girlfriend can trust you or not.

House Parties

**Some people when they borrow things as cds and dvds, they might take forever to bring it back to you. Don't be shy asking them.

**If anybody invites you for a "churrasco", always ask if you should bring FOOD. If they say NO, that means NO, just bring BEER.
If they say "Ah, don't worry, only if you really want ...", means "Oh, yes, bring, more food is better, but since you bring beer I don't care".
The occasions you should not bring food are when you have no idea which kind of food will be served or if the person who invites you say "Come to my party, you don't have to bring any food". The golden rule is: ALWAYS bring at least 1 box of beer. If you want them to love you, bring a set of Bohemia or a bottle of Jack daniels, Ballantines, White Horse, Red /Black Label.
 
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