You know you are Brazilian when…

Fitinhas do Bonfim
Fitinhas do Bonfim
  • You applaud the pilot when the airplane lands. You also applaud the band when it plays the national anthem.
  • You wear the national soccer team T-shirt when you are abroad.
  • You watch all the matches of the World Cup among friends and family. Or in your work place, if necessary. The experience includes beer, swearing, crying and insulting the mother of the referee.
  • You wear really pointy shoes with high heels (well, if you are a girl).
  • You are in a foreign beach and you are the only straight man wearing speedos.
  • You drink coffee at least three times a day. Religiously. And you never heard of decaf. Or chicory coffee.
  • You despise the Wright Brothers – Santos Dumont invented the airplane!
  • You have at least one pair of Havaianas flip-flops.
  • You have already worn fitinhas do Bonfim (ribbon supposedly blessed in Nosso Senhor do Bonfim church, in Salvador. You make three wishes while you tie the knots. They will be granted when it gets rotten).
  • You think you can speak Spanish. You pronounce Portuguese words with Argentinian accent and believe Spaniards will understand you. It can be very embarrassing.
  • You learn how to carry your purse in a way nobody will be able to open it or drag it away. You choose fake jewelry that really looks fake. You lock your house with several keys. You take with you the sound system when you leave your car.
  • You have prejudice against Portuguese and Argentinians. Well, it’s sad, but it is a fact.
  • You kiss your acquaintances (of opposite sex) in the face twice when you meet. Women also do the 2-kiss ritual among them.
  • You visit daily the neighborhood bakery. To buy fresh bread. To drink coffee. To have lunch. To buy cigarettes, or ice cream, or a pint of milk, or chocolate. To chat with the chapeiro (the guy who makes warm sandwiches – they are invariably entertaining). To talk to the Portuguese owner. To watch TV (they are fairly common in padarias). To drink cachaça. To put a few chairs in the outside and play samba with your friends (while the girlfriends dance).

Anybody would like to suggest additions?

19 thoughts on “You know you are Brazilian when…”

  1. People ask you where you live (where your house is) and instead of giving the address you just say “you know the street where they sell meat on market day? well it’s that street, next to ‘bar do gago! (you know, the bar owned by that dude that stutters)”
    by the way, thats really where i live if you ever make it to garanhuns

  2. Israellies also applaud when their plane lands in Israel….but thats because they are home..not out of relief to have landed ..which is why brasillians applaud

  3. Never thought of it that way, but you are right. We Brazilians don’t really mind where we are landing. But I am not sure it is because we are pleased to land. I think we just want to throw a little instant party on board.

  4. Oh my God, Shame on me!
    I don’t fit myself in any of this categories, neither I like samba, carnaval, Brazilian soccer or Brasilian soap opera, but I’m a genuine Brazilian woman, born in Minas Gerais estate.

  5. I think you should be proud to be an atypical Brazilian. It makes you unique. Now, tell me the truth: you never, ever tied a fitinha do Bonfim to your wrist? Come on, confess!

  6. I love this posting! It made me laugh for hours. I would also say that if you are Brazilian you learn to Samba before you learn to walk.
    keep the posts coming I love reading them. Also if you are in Rio lets get some coffee. Beijos!

  7. On more Regina. In a more contemporary vein, you know you are Brazilian when you dominate a social net work like Orkut and have 300+ friends on your profile. Demonstrating in general the sociability a élan of Brazilians. Oh Regina, I’ll be in Salvador in two weeks but will bring you a fitinha do Bomfim upon my return See you on Orkut Regina

  8. Hey, you did befriend me on Orkut! Cool! Thanks for the fitinha. The last one I used brought with it my husband. It fell the week I fell for him (pun intended!)

  9. Stereotypes, stereotypes …

    Always some truth in them, but stereotypes and generalisations nevertheless.

    Thankfully most Brazilians are different and do not fit this mold.

  10. Yes, these are definitely stereotypes. Stereotypes can be harmful or plainly silly, which I believe is the case of these ones. And, now, just one more stereotype: we Brazilians don’t take ourselves too seriously and love silliness – like this sort of list.

  11. Oi Regina, adorei !!!!! one more. You learn to automatically say “apareca la em casa” (come by my hosue) when in reality you would be scandalized if the eprson actually did appear.

  12. Oi Re, really funny and true! Also, you know you’re a brazilian when you think it’s normal to arrive hours late for any event…in fact the real weirdo is the guy who actually turns up on time to find the host still in the shower…

  13. Ana, really cool to see you around (well, at least virtually, I doubt I will be able to visit Australia soon). I have been more than once the weirdo you describe (too much Swiss blood) – once I arrive on time at a party and the host was, effectively, leaving the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his head.

  14. Ok I got some. Im an American-born Brazilian living in Boston. I see Brazil only as “the old country” and as much as I love Brazil, I think it’s a really hard culture.
    1) You are so snobby that you live in America and look down on Americans.
    2) You think you don’t need English but always ask for an interpreter.
    3) You love to take pictures on motorcycles.
    4) You’re probably addicted to salons. And going to church.
    5) You have a baby by 22 or one kid in Brazil and another in America.
    6) You don’t value Brazilians or Brazilian goods. (I know a lot of Brazilian women who don’t date Brazilian men).
    7) You may have a drinking/smoking/mental illness issues but will never acknowledge or treat it. You also think its funny when another person says they have a condition or don’t take them seriously.
    8) You say you’re ok with gays but joke really cruelly about them.
    9) You obey your pastor like he is God, the law and a parent all in one.
    10) You always have to take a picture.
    11) You party too much and don’t plan ahead. You send too much money back to Brazil and you’re American-born children grow up poor and low here. Or start their lives in America with nothing.

    I hate to sound negative but Brazilians are amazing and contribute tremendously to America. They just need to get their act together and get serious. I was born and raised in LA and when I came to Boston for college, I was surprised at how rude, snobby and primitive the Brazilians here are. The community is already in the 3rd generation and most are still poor. They didn’t really accept me as one of their own because Im “aquela Americana.” The older Brazilians like 40-60’s are nicer. The religious ones just plain stupid and stifling.

  15. let’s not forget

    12) You’re overly friendly and trusting. BUT can be really inconsiderate.

  16. Jaqueline.
    I am sorry to say that but you sound like some brazilian guy broke your heart. Our religion is not stupid, but you president is stupid for doing war.
    Yes you are right, we don’t plan much but we are happy like that. You guys plan too much and live stressed out.
    And yes you are also right when you say we just want to send money to Brazil because to live our whole life in this miserable country would kill us!
    Hope you realized that our culture is very friendly and yet we can be very mean if someone tries to put us down! If someone acted snobby with you it’s because you did something to deserve it.

    “You’re overly friendly and trusting. BUT can be really inconsiderate.” Sounds like a very jealous statement!

    Do you wanna an advice? With this attitude you should stay away from brazilians otherwise you will get even more hurt by them!

  17. Jacqueline,

    I am sorry, but you should open your mind. You are looking at one very small side, at a Brazilian community outside of Brazil. The fact that some Brazilians can be snob is probably just a way to defend themselves from the American culture, where they face so much discrimination for not speaking English, etc…
    It is a pitty that you do not understand the Brazilian culture, and try to get any understand from it through a Brazilian community in the United States.
    You should at least read more about this culture. This website can actually help you to see what Brazil is about. By the way, Brazil is a Catholic country, so if we are talking about Brazilian culture, we will count the majority and its influences… not a small group in Boston or anywhere else but in Brazil.

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