How to impress a Brazilian person
and how NOT to:
– mention anything about your last salsa/merengue/rumba/tango class. These rhythms are as exotic in Brazil as they are in the U.S.
– mention anything about your last trip to Peru. Peru must be great, but if you went to South America and didn’t visit Brazil that only testifies against you.
– try to speak Spanish. We speak Portuguese. Like in Portugal. But it’s diferent. Even so: we DON’T speak Spanish.
– refer to us as Hispanic. There are many definitions of this term, we don’t fit to any of them. We are Brazilian, that’s our nationality and our culture. Our race is rarely “pure” or well defined, and our culture is equally rich in influences. Don’t try to label us, it’s very difficult and we will be mad at you.
– try to be funny making insindious comments about Brazilian women’s sexuality. Thank you, but no, thanks.
– memorize a few facts about Brazil to impress us.
– express your appreciation for Bossa Nova, Tropicália, samba.
– say you tried to learn how to dance samba or forró.
– ask about food without mentioning tortillas.
– say you’re gonna visit Rio and Salvador soon.
– ask serious, informed questions about Brazil’s problems on inequality, race issues or political/economic conjuncture.