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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Brazil?

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We asked people in Brazil if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!...

"In Brazil, it is important to be aware of the cultural norms when interacting with people and engaging in activities. When conversing, it is considered impolite to be too direct or speak in a loud tone. It is important to research and understand the local customs before arriving in the country, especially if you are traveling for business as Brazilian business culture operates differently than other countries. Standing uncomfortably close to people and making physical contact, such as a hug or kiss, is often deemed inappropriate. Additionally, it is important to be aware of and abide by the conservative dress code and customs that apply in both social and professional contexts. Finally, it is important to be aware of Brazil's national holidays and other special observances and be respectful of their importance to the local people," said another expat in Brazil.

"When my sister in law cooked a particularly wonderful meal in celebration of our moving to Brasil, I said "I love you". Shock!!!!!!!!! I'm from New York City and this is a way of saying a great deal of emotional things in a compact way. Fortunately, I was able to explain myself and we all had a good laugh," wrote a member who made the move to Goiania, Brazil.

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Other Questions:

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Brazil?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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