This is no easy task. And saying that pisses us off even more.
- Ask if we see parrots on a daily basis.
We don’t have monkeys walking up and down the street. Speaking of that, we don’t have a banana tree and a cacao tree in every backyard either. The Amazon is an actual forest which is located quite far and isolated for the majority of Brazilians.
- Ask if Spanish is our official language or if Buenos Aires is our capital.
We don’t speak Spanish. This is important. It would be understandable if we were pretty much insignificant, but we are Brazil, for crying out loud! This is also a question of pride and representation. We are the biggest, more economically important country in our continent, and still people think of Latin America as only relating to the Spanish language and culture. Granted, our languages are quite similar, and most times we can communicate with each other, but PLEASE, Portuguese is a language spoken NOT ONLY in Portugal, and it’s not a dialect of Spanish. It seems pretty much common sense, but you would be surprised by the amount of people who came up to me thinking I was a native Spanish speaker or that I knew how to salsa just because I’m Brazilian.
- Say no.
NEVER say no. This might seem weird, for Brazilians too. We don’t give much of a thought to it, but if you, Brazilian, think about it for a moment, you’ll realise I’m right. Let us imagine a particular situation: a person comes up to you and asks “Could you lend me some money?”, a Brazilian would tell a long and suffering story full of twists and turns, would probably tell you their whole financial situation, just for the sake of not saying no. We can say no SOMETIMES, but never a plain and simple “no”, without follow-ups. The only people I ever heard saying no like that were either foreign, or too much connected to a foreign culture, or had some serious social impairment. I’m being serious. It’s not about lying, it’s about proving to the other person how a no is never simple. And, if I’m being honest, it’s about giving an explanation to things. You know what? This tradition might get in the way of practicality and stuff, but at least it lets us practice our story-telling abilities.
- Complain about the food.
Yep, unless you are really close to the person, if they ask you “How was the food?” always say “delicious”. A German friend of mine once answered that “it was kind of salty”. He never got invited to dinner again.
- Imply crying means weakness.
We like crying, ok? That doesn’t mean we are weak. It’s just one of the many ways to express FEELINGS. The Brazilian football team cried a lot during the World Cup, that doesn’t mean they were weak, right? RIGHT?