Posted by: Melissa C | February 19, 2010

Cultural Awareness – Brazil

CLICK HERE to access a PDF file of this presentation!

Oi gente! Tudo bem?


  • Capital – Brasília
  • Language – Portuguese
  • Population – 198,739, 269
    • 5th in world
    • Second largest Black population after Nigeria
    • Largest Japanese population outside Japan
  • Religion – Roman Catholic 73.6%
    • No official religion
  • Area – 3,287,612 square miles
    • 5th in world
  • Independence – September 7, 1822

Business in Brazil

  • Understand cultural background of your client
    • Hugely diverse country
  • Use a jeitinho to avoid obstacles
    • A maneuver used to get around a rule
  • Lack of punctuality is a way of life
  • Avoid transactions during Carnaval
  • Sometimes find aggressive attitudes offensive
  • Expect long-term connections and relationships
  • Business not discussed during meals

Some Useful Facts…

  • Resent being spoken to in Spanish
    • Do not consider themselves Hispanic
  • “OK” gesture is extremely rude
    • “Thumbs up” is widely used
  • Hug/kiss are common greetings
    • Will evolve from handshakes
  • Communication in close proximity
  • Crime rate is spiraling in large cities
    • Be aware when walking at night or alone
    • Police can be potential threat
  • Soccer is always a lively topic for conversation
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes late to any function you are invited to

Implications in our Fields

  • Tourism and Hospitality
    • Major cities are tourist attractions
      • Rio de Janeiro
      • São Paulo
      • Brasília
      • Salvador da Bahía
    • Natural wonders
      • Amazon rainforest and river
      • Foz de Iguaçu
      • Beaches – Ipanema
    • Cultural and historical landmarks
      • Cristo o Redentor
      • Colonial areas
      • African influence
      • Indigenous population
    • Carnaval
      • World’s largest street party
  • Sport and Recreation
    • Soccer
    • Beach sports
      • Volleyball
      • Futevolei
    • Martial arts
      • Capoeira
      • Brazilian jujitsu
    • Auto racing
    • Rodeo

Upcoming Mega Events

  • World Cup 2014
  • Olympic Games 2016

Muito obrigado!



  1. Gostei Melissa!

    Do not apply the “15 minutes late” rule to interviews or formal meetings 🙂

    Queria estar na sua aula para assistir a sua apresentação.

    It’s very nice to see your passion for my country, Brazil! Muito obrigada pelo seu carinho ao “nosso” país!

  2. Definitely! That rule is only for parties you are invited to. Quando tem um reunião formal, chega na hora mas ainda vai esperar! 😉

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