December 6, 2007

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.

Oi, Since arriving in Brazil I have noticed that girls and woman, many ages, seem to be hanging on and touching other girls all the time, rubbing and holding hands, Etc. Can you explain this as I feel it’s probably not a sexual thing as it’s on public display.


Hi, Jim!

You probably are not here too long, are you?

Two things:

Yes, Brazilians do kiss and hug more than others (let’s forget about the
Italians) and it is ok to kiss a girlfriend, and hug. Rubbing and holding hands I’d say is more common when you’re 16… under 18! At this point Women usually prefer holding a boyfriend instead.

I’ve been in Ibirapuera park today (São Paulo) and I’ve seen some rubbing hands myself. There were also teenagers, Jim, but in that case I guess they were making out… It’s kind of a trend among them now.

Welcome to Brazil, Jim, I hope I could help.


Vanessa T. Bauer

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 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: 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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