June 23, 2008

This is our regular column called Ask a Brazilian”, the idea being that you can quite literally ask a question of a Brazilian – for those issues you aren’t sure about but perhaps dare not ask someone else. It is meant as a bit of fun and answers should not be construed as expert opinion or the definitive reply on the matter. For that reason we ask you to please send comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

I find Brazilian women to be very beautiful, and I wouldn’t mind having a few dates with them. However, I don’t know the difference between Brazillian culture and North American culture. I want to know the differences between the 2 cultures on subjects like, courtship, sex, friendliness, etc. I know that not all Brazilian women are easy, so don’t mistake this email as me asking if they are. I’m genuinly curious, I study different cultures around the world and I simply want to know. I also want to know what kind of differences there are between classes and what to do and not to do.

— Zod


I love your question.

I’m not an expert and I don’t think you should be. We are from a different country not from a different planet. Dating a Brazilian is like dating anyone else.

Maybe for Americans Brazil is a distant world out there but for us… do you have an idea of how Americanized we are? Only by movies, music and television? My first love was Sean Astin (The Goonies), I dreamed about him All Night Long while Lionel Richie was playing.

Anyways… For me, the main difference between Brazilians and Americans is that you are less dependent when it comes to family. You guys leave for college when you’re 16, Brazilians tend to stay at home until there’s money enough to rent for an apartment, and that is, generally, 10 years later.

That decade affects a lot the way we go out performing ourselves. Mom and Dad very often tell us what to do, or at least what they think we should be doing, on a daily basis. It’s not that we follow their rules, it’s not that we have to, it’s just that is normal for a Brazilian to have someone else’s opinion over most everything they do. And of course, we do care about having approvals.

I might be completely misunderstood by saying that, I see you Americans functioning more as individuals and we Brazilians more as a group. I don’t mean to point bad or good, just differences. It can be great that you have your own strong opinions about everything earlier, it can be great that we live a life more surrounded by people. What’s best?

For you to understand what makes Brazilians “easy”… what’s easy for a Brazilian is to interact. Sharing intimacies comes more naturally to us. Even with strangers, Brazilians get along with people, that’s all. There is a lot of people in a Brazilian’s life, we tend to be nice. And don’t misunderstand being nice with being in love with you, even with Brazilian guys that’s tricky.

One tip: If a Brazilian girl goes after you she’s probably not in love, she’s just being friendly. And if you (gringo) are in fact interested in a Brazilian woman, becoming a friend is your best shot.

As for the classes, there are three: The poor, the middle class and the Brazillionaires. You will notice the difference between them right away.

Good luck on your dates!


Readers comments:

I adored your article date 23, June 08. A lot of people who has never been to Brazil think Brazilians are some mysterious race of people! That is completely the farthest from the truth. Brazilians love, raise kids, go to movies, dances, sports events and other things just like anyone else. Before I went to Brazil, I learned to ‘falo um pouca Portuguese’. I would go to ‘festas’ and ‘resturantes’ in Atlanta, GA and my Brazilian friends would teach me Portuguese and as I progressed in my Portuguese, I got to learn and study their culture also. After two years of ‘study’, I went to Brazil. Needless to say I had a blast because I could communicate and had RESPECT for the people of Brazil. I had learned that I am a guest of this country, I did not pre judge or judge someone or an aspect of Brazil that may be different than what happens in the US. ‘Americanos’ would be surprised just how many people from the US are in Brazil, especially in Rio and São Paulo. I wonder why someone would visit a country and not take the time to learn the basic language and culture of that country. You were easy on that last guys question about ‘differentes e armor’. You could have told him, ‘well, if you strike out at home in the US, then you might strike out in Brazil’

— Ty

Eu li a sua ultima coluna no site gringoes, e quando vc fala q a maior diferena entre os brasileiros e os americanos e o fatos deles não serem tão dependentes da familia como nós parece que vc quer depreciar os homens brasileiros, considerando-os como os chamados mama boys, e eu não concordo. Se os americanos saem mais cedo de casa e porque os EuA oferecem mais oportunidades para os seus cidadãos e aqui as coisas são mais dificeis, oque faz essa processo um tanto quanto doloroso para a maioria dos jovens brasileiros. De qualquer forma parece que h no comentario uma certa vontade de desmoralizar e depreciar os homens brasileiros. Desculpe se eu entendi mal mas como leitor e admirador do site eu não pude deixar de dar a minha opinião.

— Felipe

Having lived in several parts of the world over the last 40 years, I find that Brazilians as a whole are similar to the American (US) culture of the 50s and 60s. Not as fast paced as the US of today, and friendly and courteous like in the 50s/60s.

Much of the Brazilian culture comes from the same European countries as the US.

I currently live in Alemanha (Germany to Americans, Deutschland to Germans). I like the pace of Brazil.

— Dan

Are there any burning questions you have about Brazil, or other issues that you’re curious about, such as Brazilian culture? If so, send your questions to gringoes@www.gringoes.com with “Ask a Brazilian” in the subject. We will forward to our Brazilian experts, and publish the best questions (and replies) on the site.

Previous questions in this article series:

Ask a Brazilian: What Do the Police Do?
Ask a Brazilian: Contractor Frustrations
Ask a Brazilian: English Books and Brazilian Boys
Ask a Brazilian: Cold Cahaca
Ask a Brazilian: Interruptions
Ask a Brazilian: Travel and Security Concerns
Ask a Brazilian: Gestures and Toys
Ask a Brazilian: Hispanics or Latinos, and Duvets
Ask a Brazilian: Overbearing Sogros
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Bank Transfers
Ask a Brazilian: Swimming, Showers and New Year’s
Ask a Brazilian: Making Friends
Ask a Brazilian: Female Etiquette
Ask a Brazilian: Washing Machines
Ask a Brazilian: Picking Teeth
Ask a Brazilian: Lozenge or Candy?
Ask a Brazilian: Liberal or Jealous?
Ask a Brazilian: Truck Wheels
Ask a Brazilian: Tolerance
Ask a Brazilian: Screens
Ask a Brazilian: Brazilian Wax
Ask a Brazilian: Flashing Lights
Ask a Brazilian: Lemon and Limes
Ask a Brazilian: Shocking Showers

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