October 1, 2013

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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

This site is great! I recently moved to Brazil with my female partner. Although our city has gay rights and a gay parade each year I am still nervous showing public displays of affection. I read that “on the streets” gay relationships are not tolerated even though they are recognized by the government. Are my fears validated or have I been misled?

— Reba

Hello, Reba.

Where do you live?

If your are in São Paulo, where I live, and live among many gays couples that are close to me, I don&rsquot;t believe you will have any trouble. Go ahead and live your life, with love. If someone doesn&rsquot;t like it, their loss.

Beijos,

Vanessa Agricola

Dear Reba,

Brazil is famous for its people&rsquot;s diversity and its tolerance. That includes respect for sexual orientation as well and no need to say that São Paulo is famous for hosting the largest Gay Parade of the world.

But like any other society, Brazil struggles to make it a universal thinking. Unfortunately Brazil is also famous for it sexist approach in many regions. The debate over women&rsquot;s and gays rights is always on the agenda and our population is relatively far from being totally respectful towards gays.

There&rsquot;s been a lot of talks about Gay&rsquot;s rights recently and the media is helping a lot, fighting against conservative churches and political parties which insist on causing trouble to gay people instead of letting them live their lives and promoting free love.

Thank God even the Pope joined the fight now! Concerning prejudice and risk of aggression (verbal or physical), there is very little chance of happening to you if you are in a large or medium-sized city. Gay men face more danger, especially if kissing in public (like any other country).

But showing affection in a gentle way, just like any other type of couple will make your life very pleasant in Brazil.

Use your own common sense, but bear in mind that “Common Sense is not Common”.

Rodrigo

Rodrigo Chaves is the Director of Studies of English for Business, an English school focused at the Corporate Market in São Paulo

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 articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Hijab
Ask a Brazilian: Insects
Ask a Brazilian: Dogs
Ask a Brazilian: Yawning
Ask a Brazilian: Visas and Toilets
Ask a Brazilian: Meu Amor
Ask a Brazilian: Birthdays and Relationships
Ask a Brazilian: Tourism and Gestures
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: São Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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&rsquot;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

September 9, 2013

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&rsquot;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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

Hello, I am a Muslim university student from Canada, and I plan on doing an exchange program in Brazil in the coming summer of 2014. Since I’m muslim, I do wear the hijab (religious head scarf). My question to you is, what do the brazilians think of a woman who covers her hair, and if its going to be a problem. Will I be safe walking around?

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to hear from you soon!

— Hodan

There is no need to worry about wearing a hijab in Brazil, the only possible hassle is maybe coming on Summer, as it can get very hot in some regions.

Just like Canada, Brazil is a melting pot, famous for its people’s diversity and freedom of religion. Especially if you go to Bahia or anywhere close to the amazon jungle, where the array of churches and beliefs is vast.

As any other country in the American Continent, we had massive waves of immigration, mostly from Portugal, Italy, Japan and Africa (all over). But unlike Canada, the people tend to amalgamate very easily, given the friendly and open atmosphere of the country. Thus Religious syncretism is very common all around and it’s actually easy to see Catholic elements (like the Holy Mother) mixed with African Gods in the same religion, being worshiped together. From an anthropological perspective this type of religious practice is commom when different civilizations merge or live closely together.

The important thing is that people respect each other very much in all states of Brazil. Racism is something very much lighter when compared to Canada or especially the USA and Brazilian people are friendly regardless of your beliefs. By the way, the hijab can be seen as something intriguing here and people will certainly start a conversation with you all the time.

Welcome to Brazil!

Rodrigo

Our Brazilian-You-Can-Ask is Rodrigo, the Academic Director of English for Business, an English school focused at the Corporate Market in São Paulo.

Readers Comments:

Most travel sites recommend that you try to blend into the country you’re visiting. Your hijab would draw attention to you. In most of the country you do not see many hijabs. (Wikipedia’s article on Islam in Brazil.) You would be targeted not for religious beliefs but as a tourist.

Brazil has not seen a large immigration since the 1960’s. Canadians are used to immigrants and visible minorities, as we have seen heavier levels of immigration. A hijab does not stand out as much as it would in Brazil.
The fact is you’re coming from one of the safest countries in the world to one that is not so safe. The crime here is also more violent , murders for cells phone and for $R30.00.

Please come to Brazil, it is a beautiful country, just be careful… all the common sense stuff.

— Mu (a Canadian living in Brazil – have been coming here for 13 years, have lived here for 2. I have traveled the country extensively)

Salaams Hodan,

I am a Muslim from the UK and have visited Brazil numerous times over the last 15 years. While the numbers of Muslims are small outside Rio/São Paulo and one or two other places in the South (I visit Salvador mainly and this city of 2.5 million has around 25 muslims and 1 mosque) I have not encountered any problems apart from once when I was called Bin Laden as I was wearing a thobe.

In terms of religious diversity Brazil is still very much Catholic with small numbers of Jews but saying this its still a very tolerant place as most Brazilians are kind hearted and genuinely inquisitive without being judgemental

Enjoy your trip

— Hanif

Are there any burning questions you have about Brazil, or other issues that you&rsquot;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 articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Insects
Ask a Brazilian: Dogs
Ask a Brazilian: Yawning
Ask a Brazilian: Visas and Toilets
Ask a Brazilian: Meu Amor
Ask a Brazilian: Birthdays and Relationships
Ask a Brazilian: Tourism and Gestures
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: São Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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

April 30, 2013

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&rsquot;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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

I’m hoping to travel to Brazil this summer but am extremely worried about the “creepy crawlies”!

How likely am I to encounter a snake or scary spider? I’ll be staying in an apartment in Goais but frequently travelling to my partners family’s farm… I’m terrified!!! Help!

— Colleen

Dear Colleen,

Gois is famous for its wildlife and diversity.

If you are in the city, it is very unlikely to come across snakes or big spiders but remember that the state is actually on the border of the Amazon rainforest, the largest rainforest in the world, so it is advisable to protect yourself when visiting rural areas. You can wear long boots and carry a stick if you go trekking, or simply pay attention if you just visit your partner’s family in the farm.

But don’t worry too much because Brazilians who live in such places are fully aware of the risks and will make sure you are protected when visiting them, including parents-in-law.

Rodrigo

Our Brazilian-You-Can-Ask is Rodrigo, the Academic Director of English for Business, an English school focused at the Corporate Market in São Paulo.

Are there any burning questions you have about Brazil, or other issues that you&rsquot;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 articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Dogs
Ask a Brazilian: Yawning
Ask a Brazilian: Visas and Toilets
Ask a Brazilian: Meu Amor
Ask a Brazilian: Birthdays and Relationships
Ask a Brazilian: Tourism and Gestures
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: São Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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

April 2, 2013

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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

My question is about Brazilians and their dogs. I have lived in São Paulo and Santos for four years and I have never seen such angry, loud, neurotic, barking dogs in my life. They bark all day in the apartment or house and since they live in such close quarters and eveyone keeps their windows open, hot or cold, you hear dogs barking from several blocks away. The very few times I have seen a Brazilian attempt to quiet their dog, they yank at the leash and yell at the dog to stop barking… that is a clear message to the dog saying, “if you can bark (talk loud), I can bark”. I see the people sitting around talking on the street or in the park and the dog just keeps barking like an annoying child and the owner says nothing. Brazilians may be very humane when it comes to their love of dogs and adopting the homeless, however, they do not know how to discipline them… same as their lack of disciplinary skills for children.

— Robert

Hi Robert,

Well, I live in a place where there are plenty, plenty of dogs. But I do not have the same problem of the barking dogs, maybe because my building is old, and better constructed, so I do not hear them, or maybe because luckily there are no dogs at my floor. Instead my complaint is that the owners do not pick up their poops with the readily available bags sitting by them at the yard, but that is another story.

In regards to the barking, you are correct, brazillians talk to their pets, and since they do not care much about the barking bothering others, they just talk louder to their pets. It is really another cultural fact, just like raising the children, brazillians raise their kids and dogs differently.

Kind regards,

Teresa

Our Brazilian-You-Can-Ask is Teresa Cristina Asfour, a graduate in Computer Science and Post-Graduate in Project Management. She lived for 12 years in the USA working for a multinational IT company, and now lives in Brasilia – DF, working for the federal government. She can be reached by email at tecris@hotmail.com.

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

Previous articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Yawning
Ask a Brazilian: Visas and Toilets
Ask a Brazilian: Meu Amor
Ask a Brazilian: Birthdays and Relationships
Ask a Brazilian: Tourism and Gestures
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: São Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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&rsquot;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

February 20, 2013

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&rsquot;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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

Why don’t Brazilian cover their mouths when yawning… it is so unpleasant to see someone with their ‘pie hole’ wide open and I have to look the other way so as not to see the inside of their mouths.

— Robert

Hi Robert,

I have found that many Brazilians do not have as good habits as the average American has. In Brazil you can see people sneezing and coughing without covering their faces.

It is really a cultural issue, and less to do with politeness. Sometimes it impresses me in a bad way to see educated people in Brazil doing the same. Nevertheless, you will see some more educated people covering their mouths when sneezing, yawning and coughing.

Although it is not all Brazilians, I think it is part of a certain disregard to the others close to you, which is, in part cultural.

Teresa

Our Brazilian-You-Can-Ask is Teresa Cristina Asfour, a graduate in Computer Science and Post-Graduate in Project Management. She lived for 12 years in the USA working for a multinational IT company, and now lives in Brasilia – DF, working for the federal government. She can be reached by email at tecris@hotmail.com.

And an alternative response:

Brazilians do have some strange habits and this one is just part of a wide array of behaviors that seem to have no apparent reason but date back from the 17th century when many latin europeans – especially the portuguese – immigrated to the country.

The process started with the transference of the Portuguese Court to Brazil in 1808 – escaping from the Napoleonic invasion – that brought about 15,000 nobles to Brazil only in first months.

Different from the anglo-saxon tradition, the portuguese nobility did not see Work as a noble thing and being a lazy person with careless behavior was fashionable by that time. As a noble you would have many servants to do all the job and even Dom Joao VI, the emperor of Portugal who left his son in Brazil to be our first emperor was famous for his disgusting habits like keeping baked chicken inside his pockets.

Although most followers of the crown returned to Portugal after 1820 many brazilians were influenced by the laid-back style of the court which became widespread till nowadays.

Rodrigo

Our Brazilian-You-Can-Ask is Rodrigo, the Academic Director of English for Business, an English school focused at the Corporate Market in São Paulo.

Are there any burning questions you have about Brazil, or other issues that you&rsquot;re curious about, such as Brazilian culture? If so, send your questions to gringoes@www.gringoes.com

Previous articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Visas and Toilets
Ask a Brazilian: Meu Amor
Ask a Brazilian: Birthdays and Relationships
Ask a Brazilian: Tourism and Gestures
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: São Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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

October 9, 2012

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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

Hi I would like to ask a couple of questions if I may. I was reading your article this time about Business Visas, as I have been trying to find out how to get a Permanent Visa. I am married to a Brazilian Lady and have asked a number of times how do I get a Permanent Visa so I can stay in the country longer than 120 days. I&#145m told I can&#145t at least until we have been married for five years. Also I wanted to open a bank account as I have a CPF card but again Im told I can&#145t, I wanted to buy a home there and spend my summers in Brazil but everyone is making things difficult. Am I being mislead? Do you have any suggestions other than the Business Visa? Thanks for your time

— Jay in the USA

Hi Jay,

You should be able to get a Permanency Visa based on your marriage. Check with the nearest Brazilian consulate to you in the USA, as this process is usually completed quickest outside of Brazil.

The 5 year figure sounds like it might be confused with the citizenship requirement, for which you need to live in Brazil for 5 years.

Opening a bank account in Brazil is needlessly complicated, and is often a case of the branch manager&#145s decision. Although in theoretical terms only the minimum of ID is required, it is often a lot more e.g. further proof of address, visa, passport.

Best of luck,

Marco

Why don&#145t Brazilians flush toilet paper down the toilet when they&#145re done with it?

At first, I followed the local custom, but after a while, I suspected there was no reason why toilet paper couldn&#145t be flushed there, just as it is in the USA. So I started flushing my used toilet paper and I&#145ve not had any problem.

— Lance

Hi Lance,

Brazilian toilets clog! Typically if you go to to the toilet in Brazil and flush the toilet paper it will eventually all emerge back and… well, you will not flush your toilet paper anymore.

Where is the toilet you found that has no such problem? Can I go there?

Vanessa Agricola

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

Previous articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Meu Amor
Ask a Brazilian: Birthdays and Relationships
Ask a Brazilian: Tourism and Gestures
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: So Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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&#145s
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

August 21, 2012

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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

Do Brazilian men call their adult sons: “meu amor”? My Bazilian boyfriend ends every tel conversation he has with his adult sons with “beijos meu amor”

— Faye

PS can you respond by e-mail rather than on the website?

Hi, Faye,

Sorry we can’t send private emails, otherwise this column wouldn’t exist.

Now answering your question: Yes, “meu amor” is very common, either to adult sons or even (believe me) unknown people.

In the present novela, Avenida Brasil, there&rsquot;s a character, Veronica, representing the king of people that call everyone “meu amor”. It would be the American “honey”, or “darling”.

Beijos,

Vanessa Agricola

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

Previous articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Birthdays and Relationships
Ask a Brazilian: Tourism and Gestures
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: São Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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&rsquot;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

May 29, 2012

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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

How do Brazilians celebrate birthdays? Are there any typical routines that must be followed, or avoided? Are there cake, birthday cards, and presents? What do you sing? etc. etc.

— Marcus

Marcus, there is more than one way Brazilians celebrate birthdays. There can be parties, when you are 15, for example, the “baile de debutantes” can be a big party. People love to have a big big party for their 30th. And 50&rsquot;s… So, big dates, big parties, as I think many gringos do. And of course one can also decide to have a small dinner with family, or even a good night of sleeping. Cakes, birthday cards, presents… that can happen or not, but yes, they all also exist around here. So it&rsquot;s pretty normal, really, I can&rsquot;t see anything &rsquot;brazilian&rsquot; specifically for celebrating birthdays, expect for our version of “Happy Birthday to you”.

Parabns pra voc, nessa data querida, muitas felicidades, muitos anos de vida.
Happy birthday to you, on that dear date, much happiness, many years.

Vanessa

I am a 20 year old female who is madly in love with a wonderful Brazilian man. He came to my hometown four months ago and we hit it off. Even though we both knew he would only be here for three months our feelings didn&rsquot;t stop. We spent almost everyday together which eventually led to him spending the night with me almost every night. We sat at the park for hours and talked. We worked together, ate together, cared for one another and eventually I fell in love all over again. He gave me the strength to finally break up with my emotionally abusive and manipulative ex who I dated for eight years. He nurtured me and made me feel as if I had no worries in the world. The main thing I miss about him is we formed a perfect friendship before we were serious. I never thought I would be able to love someone in a three months period… but I did. He left one month ago and I am devastated. I thought after a month I would feel better and move on. But I haven&rsquot;t. He told me before he left that he would finish school in Brazil and get a career then come back here to marry me. All of that sounds nice but realistically it doesn&rsquot;t seem possible. He has only called me twice and skyped me once. Do Brazilian men always have a plan B or a backup girl? Do they always make their woman wait for something that might not work out? I don&rsquot;t have a problem waiting but I can&rsquot;t be the only one trying here. I am more than willing to learn Portuguese and move. Also the last night he was here he spent it with me and he was in tears for an hour because he said he didn&rsquot;t want to leave me here. I guess I am mainly confused. What can I do to show him that I still care? The long distance is hard enough but everything is possible. However, if he isn&rsquot;t interested in me how do I get his attention to man up and be honest?

Obrigado!

— Kayla

Dear Kayla,

That is a beautiful love story, I&rsquot;m sorry your Brazilian had to leave. You know that Dire Straits song, “So far Away?”. “So far away from me, so far I just can&rsquot;t see”… Who doesn&rsquot;t love that song? Who doesn&rsquot;t know what you&rsquot;re feeling?

But listen, there is no such thing as “Brazilian men always have a plan B”, and I also can&rsquot;t tell you Brazilians “always make their woman wait for something that might not work out”. You know him, I don&rsquot;t, from the story you tell, I can&rsquot;t tell if what you lived is or not true. You were there, you saw the man crying! Don&rsquot;t you ever believe every Brazilian is a shitty man, every man in the world is different, no Brazilian man is like another also, despite of what you heard, that is not the truth.

About the future, you are both so young, I understand he told you he would finish school in Brazil and get a career then come back to get marry (that is all so cute), but how many years will that take? Are you sure you won&rsquot;t fall in love again until that day comes? Or maybe he will came back, maybe you will get marry, who knows, darling? Everything is possible.

Vanessa

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

Previous articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Tourism and Gestures
Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: São Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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&rsquot;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

April 17, 2012

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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

What is the local Brasilian’s view on the Increasing tourism industry in Brazil? e.g. like how it has affected them, what they think of it, has it benefited them etc.

— Kenny

First, of course, it&rsquot;s excellent for the economy. Having tourists benefits a lot, and people in Brazil love it. There&rsquot;s the money, the culture exchange, it&rsquot;s all good. Not only having tourists, but people coming to live, work… and people from the US, Europe, you must know what that means. Yesterday was in the papers that Columbia University is having a base in Rio. Kenny, Columbia University is coming to Brazil!

Cheers,

Vanessa Agricola

Ahoy, or maybe just oi.

My girlfriend, who is from the state of São Paulo, does a funny gesture sometimes. If her mouth&rsquot;s full and I&rsquot;m telling a story etc, whenever I pause for her to affirm she&rsquot;s still with me by nodding or saying yes she puts her free hand up and does what I can only describe as the “blah blah blah/chatter box” English gesture. Here hand is up, fingers and thumb facing forward, opening and closing her hand as if it were a mouth talking. She says this means “yes, yes, go on talking. I wonder if any other Brazilians use this.

— Jimbo

Hello, Jim,

I don&rsquot;t see this gesture as Brazilian, but I&rsquot;m not sure I understand. There is one “go on, keep talking” gesture, that is quite like what you describe, but not exactly, cos hands should move in a circle. Hard to write about gestures, isn&rsquot;t it? Must be the same thing.

Thanks for coming,

Vanessa Agricola

Readers comments:

People here in São Paulo are extremely concerned about proper manners, as are people of many cultures. Perhaps a bit more here than in other places, but in any refined society I know of it is considered the height of rudeness to speak with a mouth full of food. His girlfriend is almost certainly simply trying to communicate to “Jimbo” that she is eating and therefore not about to respond until she has finished what is in her mouth.

Just as “Operaão Tapa Buraco” has not yet reached every street in São Paulo it appears that Emily Post&rsquot;s Guide to Etiquette hasn&rsquot;t spread all across the USA either or Jim would already have gotten his significant other&rsquot;s message.

One needn&rsquot;t look to far afield to see the numerous examples of manners exhibited by Brazilians. For example, most of them would not consider picking up something we in North America think of as “finger food” without using a napkin to do so. It is considered extremely rude to chew gum in the workplace. You are unlikely to ever see a Brazilian in a restaurant jump up out of his seat and shout to attract the attention of someone he knows that by chance enters the establishment. While entertaining clients in one&rsquot;s home is not common for business persons in Brazil, in most cases the guest understands that it would be customary to bring a gift of wine or flowers for the host and hostess. Things like that are clear demonstrations of how really sophisticated they are here in São Paulo and many other major Brazilian cities.

Three cheers for Jim&rsquot;s lady friend, she is a fine example of what São Paulo is all about.

— James

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

Previous articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Manners and Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: São Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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&rsquot;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

February 28, 2012

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&rsquot;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 your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.

Why don’t Brazilians ask for things politely, rather than demanding (Give me a coke. I want beef. Get the keys. Get the towel.) ? I rarely hear please, thank you, I would like, can I have, etc. And when I say these things in Portuguese, people giggle a little sometimes.

— Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

That’s funny. I guess being polite in Brazil is more about the tone than the words. Depending on how you ask for something, “please” and etc. are automatically implied. Understand what I mean?

For example: Jennifer, pega uma coca pra mim? (Bring me some coke), wouldn’t need a “por favor” at all. Even in a restaurant (for us Brazilians) if you say, “Eu queria uma coca”, (I would like a coke), in a very nice tone, that also has the “please” implied and no one would get mad.

I don’t know… maybe what your ears don’t get in Portuguese are the variants of that tone I’m talking about. Or, if you hear it in a rude sense, “Me d uma coca”, than it’s impolite not to use “por favor, etc”.

As for “thank you”, that also can be substituted by a wink or a smile.

Let me know what you think,

Thank you for coming by,

Vanessa Agricola

I have been living with a Brazilian lady who is incredibly insecure and jealous. Her ex-husband married her and brought her to America and then he cheated on her. His actions destroyed our relationship before it even started.

She gets completely irate if I miss her calls or do not respond to a text immediately. When I call her or text her I do not get mad or upset as I understand that she is working and is busy or she would answer. I have to work, and on the rare occasion I’m in a meeting and can’t answer or respond she literally freaks out. She calls me names, says I’m not where I said I am, always has to know were I’m at exactly at all times, not that it matters. It’s the Spanish inquisition I have to go through. She has accused me of looking at other women when she is, and has been, the apple of my eye since the day we met, and would if we lived to be a thousand. I cannot even go to the gym and workout it’s unbelievable… What’s worse, she is absolutely beautiful and I tell her that everyday as many times as possible… I am not trying to paint a perfect picture of myself because I am not. I do wrong, but I do not lie or cheat period. We do not do things with other couples or in groups because she always finds something to get upset about. It really doesn’t bother me that we do everything together as I enjoy her company immensely. If I tell her to go shopping with her friends she automatically thinks I have something planned.

I do almost everything for her. I do all the cooking, I pick up after myself, clean things that need to be. I come from a strong military upbringing where duty, honor, integrity, loyalty, health, & respect are the foundation of my beliefs.

I have never experienced this insecure, jealous, & possessive behavior in my entire life. I can’t take it anymore.

— Matt

Hello,

Your trust is overwhelming, Matt, thank you.

I will try to tell you about Brazilian jealousy. I say try because to be honest I don&rsquot;t know much about it.

I can see Brazilian man aren’t trusting with blind eyes, also that Brazilian woman are in a state of alert, I can see that going on here, but what you describe, to me, is much more than I can see.

Let&rsquot;s say women are emotional, have hormones, can go mad, and Brazilian women can go twice as emotional than that… Even so, again, no one is the same. If your girlfriend has some bad history with some bad man (Brazilian or not), you are not that man (you’re not even Brazilian! :). As a human, she should be able to move forward and trust someone, humans should be able to do that, don&rsquot;t you think? Even Brazilian woman should be able to find peace in a relationship, I think.

Hope you find yours,

Vanessa Agricola

Readers comments:

First off, it sounds like Jennifer is working here in Brazil as a waitress or in some other area of the hospitality industry and secondly has not yet got a full grasp of the Portuguese language and the very subtle nuances in its day-to-day use. I’ve been living in Brazil for ten years and I do not agree with her in the least. I find Brazilians extremely polite. It is not always what the individual says as much as the manner and tone in which it is spoken that gives it a sense of politeness or rudeness. Having said that, I also can’t count the thousands of times I’ve heard Brazilians saying “por favor, por gentileza, fazendo favor, pode, lamento mas… and obrigado or obrigado eu”. The way that many Brazilians say some things clearly implies ‘por favor’ as you rightly pointed out, others still use it anyway. In many English speaking countries conservative tradition and a sense of properness have a much more rigid influence on the spoken language – please and thank-you almost become obligatory. I would suspect that Jennifer is from one of those cultures. I believe that her misunderstanding is more likely based on the cultural differences than any other factor. She’ll catch on in time, I’m sure.

— William

In my own personal experience I have found Brazillian men to be extremely jealous, and for the first time in my life having to ‘lay down the law’ in relation to how I expect my man to behave. (For example, you cannot punch the man serving you at the petrol station simply for looking at you!) I have had to explain that jealousy is unacceptable, insulting to our relationship, the honour and love we have grown, and that it is a sign of a less aware and developed personality. It’s not as prevalent now… such situations don’t upset him like they used to. I guess that’s what security in a relationship delivers. I choose to trust my partner when we are apart, for 3-4 months on end, and it has served us well. I don’t think all Brazillian men are cheaters… I think this is changing, with younger men anyway… but the jealousy thing is widespread across the entire social group of men I have met here. They openly admit it. They even admit that their own jealousy has ruined their relationships to people they love! Oh, and in relation to the other post… I am one of the lucky ones… I have my car door opened for me, my door locked from the inside if he sees the door is unlocked as we are travelling, and my wonderful ‘number’ insists on paying for our meals and outings. But he is lucky too… because I have taught him that it’s OK to be modern and let me pay sometimes also. There’s nothing sexier than a person who still has their integrity, inner power and does not allow their relationship to define their life… these wonderful things are what brought them together in the first place.

— Anon

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

Previous articles in this series:

Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Missed Dates
Ask a Brazilian: Men
Ask a Brazilian: Renting
Ask a Brazilian: Couples and Separate Rooms
Ask a Brazilian: Investments and Lateness
Ask a Brazilian: São Paulo Safety
Ask a Brazilian: Family Closeness
Ask a Brazilian: Jealousy
Ask a Brazilian: Waxing and Electronics
Ask a Brazilian: Nails and Spanish
Ask a Brazilian: Easter and Surnames
Ask a Brazilian: Tipping
Ask a Brazilian: House Buying and Apartment Entry Problems
Ask a Brazilian: UK Visa Issues
Ask a Brazilian: Dating in Brazil
Ask a Brazilian: Gossip
Ask a Brazilian: A Question of Race
Ask a Brazilian: Real Estate Scam
Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
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