The Brazilian (fake) Politeness


In the country where the population goes wild during Carnival, some attitudes are still not well accepted. Check out these tips so you won´t put your foot in it while in Brazil.

• In Brazil you should never blow your nose in public. Not in the classroom, not on the bus and never during a meal. It is a habit that some Europeans may find odd, but for us blowing one´s nose is considered extremely impolite. Do it hidden in the bathroom, and ideally, not very loud.
• When people meet it is common to ask “How are you?” The answer should always be positive: no one is asking this to really know how you are doing (or what your problems are), they ask just to be polite. So just answer that you are doing great, even if it has been one of those horrible days.
• Dogs are not welcome or accepted in indoor public places. No dogs are allowed in the shopping center, in the bakery or on the train.
• When somebody is eating something – for example during the break at school – it is common to offer it to everybody else. But a polite Brazilian would not accept the food, even if he/she really wants to eat it.
• Among women, when a person compliments something that you are wearing, you should usually answer “às ordens”, which means that your friend can borrow your clothes whenever she wants to – which of course she won´t, because asking for to borrow them would be impolite.

As you may have seen, in Brazil we have a way of being polite that almost seems fake. It may sound weird at first, but you end up getting used to not being honest the whole time.

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3 thoughts on “The Brazilian (fake) Politeness”

  1. Pingback: Brasil e sua (falsa) boa educação - Lexiophiles

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  3. Why “fake” Politeness? Brazilians are polite too. If you meet one Brazilian impolite, you cannot generalize… People always speaking bad things about Brazilians.

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