Friday, August 15, 2014


Right now I feel like the observations I've made and all of the things I've experienced here are like being handed a bunch of puzzle pieces. I feel like over the course of the year I will be able to start putting together a clearer picture of what Brazilian culture is like, but for now all I have is glimpses and clues. It would be impossible to turn all of these observations into cohesive paragraphs, so for now I'm going to make a list as they come to me and hope you can take something from it. :)

-- You greet EVERYONE with a kiss on the cheek (Unless it's two guys, then they sort of bro hug/handshake)
--The biggest meal of the day is at lunch and parents come home from work to eat with the kids
-- Almost everyone has a maid/chef
-- Very loose with a lot of laws such as traffic laws, underage drinking, ect
--No one wears a seatbelt unless they are on the freeway
--All of the cars are stick shift
--It's unheard of to ever be barefoot (even in your own house)
--People dress in jeans and long sleeves even in 80 degree weather
--They almost never eat with their hands.. Sandwiches, pizza, ect is all eaten with a fork and knife
--Music is a huge deal. The main genres of Brazilian music that i've heard so far are Sertanejo (sort of like country but wayyy better in my opinion. This music mostly originates from where I'm living, the interior of Brazil), "Funk" (More typical of the Northeast region of Brazil, tends to be more racy, and usually comes out of poorer areas), Samba (I think everyone has a good idea of what Samba is). Brazilian music is so diverse and there are lots of other kinds of music that I haven't gotten to know yet. 
--The food is incredibly healthy, natural, delicious, and unprocessed (and labor intensive)
--Houses don't have central heating so seeing as it's winter I sometimes wake up in a room of about 50 degrees
--Even though it's winter here, during the day its about 70-80 degrees and blue skies :)
--Brazilians LOVE to laugh!!! :) and they don't seem to worry as much about offending people with their humor. 
--People are very laid back about things. They don't get overly worked up when there are problems
--Timeframes are very loose. It's super normal to show up to something an hour or so late, and no one will be upset with you!
--No one worries about their appearance for school. Girls usually have their hair in a ponytail and no one wears make up.However, they get very dressed up when going out or going to a party
--every girl's nails are SUUUPER long (and real, I asked!)
--the soil here is a bright red color, and when it rains, it looks like tomato soup running down the roads 
--Cities and towns are pretty spread out
--Tons of security on houses. Every single house I've seen has an alarm system, tall walls/gates surrounding it, multiple locks on all doors. My bedroom window for example has a heavy metal shutter which is about 3 inches thick that i lock every night, that's followed by built in metal grating which doesn't open, and finally the actual glass which I can slide open or close and lock.
--The plants are so colorful, interesting and bright and there are palm trees everywhere!! Yesterday I also so a cactus taller than the house it was next to hahah
--This part of Brazil is fairly mountainous with lots of rolling hills and i can't say enough about how beautiful it is
--Modesty seems to be a bigger deal here when it comes to clothing, and parents tend to be stricter when it comes to dating
--It's rude and weird to ever be in your bedroom with the door shut
--kids can legally drive at 18 and this is also the drinking age
-- A lot of diversity in appearances. For example, in my class, there are about 3-4 people with lighter skin, eyes, and hair than mine but then there are also a handful of people with very dark skin. 
--Although school is very short, lots of kids take extra classes at night or on the weekends
-- super steep roads and sidewalks in places (because they don't have to worry about snow!!)
--I don't think carpet is a thing here
--Kids can vote at 16 and at age 18+ its obligatory
--they love their telenovelas (brazilian soap operas)
--schools don't offer extra curriculars, but most kids have jobs, clubs, sports, or night classes apart from school
--BRAZILIANS LOVE BRAZIL. Although sometimes you will hear them complain about the politics or prices of things here, ect, Brazilians in general are very proud of their country (as they should be!!)
--drinking among teens seems to be more common here that the US but they seem to do it in more moderation

So.. there you have a tiny glimpse of some of the differences that I can think of off of the top of my head! 
Everyday Brazil feels more and more like home and I fall more and more in love with the culture and the people here. Happy weekend everyone! :) 

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