Visiting another country is an excellent thing to do to expand your culture acknowledgment and learn different things and habits. However, sometimes when you are in a different place, you can do or say something that can be rude for them, but seems normal for you. I include down below a summary for you of things the tourists do which are rude for Brazilians:
What Is Considered Rude In Brazil?
|Things Tourists Should Never Do In Brazil|
|1. Eat the food with your hands|
|2. Don’t brush the teeth after launch|
|3. Don’t have a shower daily|
|4. Talking with your mouth full or Slurp|
|5. Calling old people using “you” ( “Você”/ “Tu” ) pronoun|
|6. Fart or burp in public|
|7. Blowing your nose in public|
|8. Leave without saying goodbye|
|9. Open the fridge without asking permission|
|10. Ask about the other person’s income|
|11. Ask a woman her age|
|12. Throw toilet paper in the toilet|
My name is Claudio Pereira, I’m a 22 years old Brazilian photographer, and I’m here in this post to help you have the best experience when interacting with Brazilian people.
If you’re planning to travel to Brazil, it’s important to know about the Brazilian culture and etiquette rules if you don’t want to make a fool of yourself. I will help you understand more of our differences in this post.
If you also want to know if it is worth visiting Brazil, I have this post better explaining this.
Well, there are a lot of habits in Brazil which are also common in other countries, But here we have some rules that can appear peculiar for foreigners. In the next paragraphs, I will show you the 12 common habits from other cultures which can be rude for Brazilian people. Take a look down below and enjoy it!
1. Eat the food with your hands
Here in Brazil we never touch the food. If you will eat something outside your home, whether you’re alone or with your friends, It’s good to pay attention to that. Since eating your food with your hands can be really rude for Brazilian people, even the pizza.
This is because here in Brazil the people have lots of concerns about getting food poisoning, and because of that we usually eat our food using a plate with a fork and knife.
If you’ll eat food outside your homes, such as street food or fast food, It’s also common for Brazilians to eat sandwiches or savories with napkins. I think the only fast food we eat with our hands is french fries.
It’s also important to always wash your hands before meals. It’s another common habit of Brazilians, and if you don’t do that, it can seem a bad manner for them. So, pay attention to that too.
2. Don’t brush the teeth after launch
It’s a common habit in Brazil to brush the teeth after lunch and other meals. It is also common to find people who take kits with toothbrushes and toothpaste to work and school.
The Brazilian people have a concern about having bad breath and not brushing your teeth after lunch can seem rude to them.
So, if you will stay in Brazil for some time, the safer way to not get embarrassed about that when going to Brazil is to adopt the habit too.
3. Don’t have a shower daily
Maybe you heard about this one and not having a shower daily can seem rude for a Brazilian.
In different countries, especially the coldest ones, It’s a habit to not have a shower every day.
Although this is different in Brazil and showering everyday is a habit inherited from the indigenous people who lived here during the colonization times.
Brazil is also a tropical country, and usually, the temperature here is warmer than in the United States and Europe. This way is also a habit here to have a shower daily, because the person can have excessive sweating and smell bad quickly, due to the higher temperatures.
So, if you don’t take shower daily, it can be considered a bad manner in Brazil.
4. Talking with mouth full/Slurp
In some countries, it is normal to talk with your mouth full. Here in Brazil, this habit can seem rude, and it’s better to avoid it. It’s not like Brazilians don’t like to talk during meals, and it’s very common to have some dialogues while eating. However, the Brazilian people usually empty their mouths first before talking to others.
Slurping can also seem rude to a Brazilian, and we usually prefer to eat without making too much noise. In doing so, pay attention to this too.
5. Calling old people using “you” (“Você”/ “Tu”) pronoun
It can be different for you, but the Brazilians call the old-aged people (+60 years old) and their parents as “Senhor” and “Senhora”, which are equivalent to Sir and Madam in english, respectively. It’s a sign of respect for Brazilians to call these people as “Senhor” and “Senhora”.
Just be careful and don’t overuse it, because it can also seem rude for a young lady if you call her “Senhora”, since she can think you’re calling her old. You don’t want to be misunderstood like that, which can be very embarrassing for you.
6. Fart or burp in public
Some of you probably find it rude too, but fart and burp in public can be normal for some cultures. It’s not the case in Brazil. If you fart in public here, the surrounding people will look at you with a disgusted face, because it’s very inappropriate here.
7. Blow your nose in public
Like farting and burping, blowing your nose in public can seem rude to most of the Brazilian people. They usually prefer to do it in a bathroom or with a wet wipe quickly and silently, throwing it in the garbage as soon as possible.
The Brazilians won’t blame you if you blow your nose in public, but they’ll find it rude, especially if you do it without using a wipe. So be cautious doing this in Brazil.
8. Leave without saying goodbye
Brazilians are social people, and we like to have warm interactions when we have a friend’s meeting. So, another important Brazilian etiquette rule is to greet and say bye to everybody when you are leaving a social meeting.
If you leave the party or the place without greeting everybody you know there, they may think you are impolite or that you don’t like them. So, they’ll be happy and like you if you say bye and greet them before leaving.
It’s also important to say goodbye before hanging up on phone calls and text messages. The Brazilians like to say and receive a warm goodbye before disconnecting the phone call. In doing so, leaving without saying goodbye, even at the phone, can seem like you are a distant person to a Brazilian friend.
9. Open the fridge without permission
It’s normal in some countries to have free access to the host’s fridge when visiting somebody’s house. However, in Brazil, it can be considered rude, because here people always ask the host’s permission before opening their fridge.
Thus, in Brazil, when visiting hosts, it’s always good to ask them permission if you want to go to some other room in the house, like the bathroom or a bedroom, or use their home appliances, like the fridge, stove, washing machine, and others.
This way, remember this tip, if you open the fridge without permission in Brazil, the host may think you are impolite.
10. Ask about the other person’s income
Brazilians are usually shy to talk about their income, and unless you’re a close friend of the person, or if they ask you about it, it’s better to don’t mention it. They may think you want to pry into their lives.
It’s also considered a bad manner for Brazilian people to talk about your earnings if nobody asks you about it. Then, It is good to be cautious doing that with Brazilian people too.
If you are curious to know how much It is the cost of living in Brazil, and the average Brazilian income, I have this post that explains it well.
11. Ask a woman her age
This is a controversial point because it’s not all the Brazilian women who get offended if you ask their age. Usually, the middle-aged women (35-50 years old) are most prone to not like your question, but most of them probably won’t care about it.
They may assume you think they’re older, which can be an awkward situation for you. For this reason, the safer way is just to ask a middle-aged Brazilian woman’s age if she asked yours. The women with less than 30 almost always don’t give a damn about it.
12. Throw toilet paper in the toilet
Last, but not least, throwing toilet paper in the toilet can be rude in Brazil. If nobody saw you doing that, it’s OK. However, the Brazilian pipes are not prepared for this hygiene habit and chances are high that the toilet can clog and leak, which can be a shameful situation for you.
What can you do instead of throwing paper in the toilet? Well, in Brazil, there is always a garbage can next to the toilet, and you can discard the papers right there.
I need to agree that this isn’t the cleanest way to do it, and If I had the option, I would rather prefer to just throw in the toilet. But this is the option we have, so we need to keep this habit.
So, as you can see, there are some cultural differences in Brazil as in any other country. If you read this article, I know you want to have an enjoyable experience with Brazilians and understand our culture. Thank you for that, and I promise you that your Brazilian friends will appreciate it too.
If you’ll visit Brazil, I hope you have a great experience here. Understanding these topics can help you improve your relationships here while avoiding some embarrassing situations for you.
It’s always good to understand the cultural differences of the other places, and it helps us to improve our acknowledgment and understand other people.
And that’s it, guys. I hope you had enjoyed the post!
Have you ever made a fool of yourself with a Brazilian person? Share with us in the comments!
Also, if you have some questions, ask me in the comment section down below, and I’ll respond to you as soon as possible.
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He is a brazilian writing in english, a student of Medical School, and a Photographer during the free time. His passion for photography started in 2012 , and after discover it, he never stopped.