25 Things I Love About Brazil

28 Jan 25 Things I Love About Brazil


A crowded slice of Rio de Janeiro’s beach. ©Robin Sparks

As much as I love exploring the wilderness areas of Brazil, it’s the people and culture that most touch my soul. After five months there, what I remember most are the endearing characteristics of the Brazilians I met, from Teresopolis to Rio de Janeiro to Paraty, from Buzios to Recife to Bahia to Fortaleza. It’s a big country – almost as big as the United States – and Brazilians have hearts to match.

Here are the 25 things I love most about Brazil: 

    1. Brazilians sing all of the time – not always on key, but always with heart.
    2. Brazilians know all of the words to all the Brazilian songs. And Brazil is one of the few countries that prefers its own music to American pop.
    3. Brazilians dance whenever and wherever they can, and they do it well.
    4. There is always a party somewhere in Brazil.
    5. Public displays of amorous affection are common, especially in restaurants.
    6. Traditional Bahian food, often called “the soul food of Brazil,” is totally soul-satisfying.
    7. Brazilian breakfast: slices of ham and cheddar cheese tucked inside a split white roll. Yum!
    8. Brazilians have impeccable table manners. They rarely touch their food with their hands, and between bites, they pause to converse with their dinner companions.
    9. Brazilians drink beer every day. They like their beer cold and go to extravagant lengths to chill it and keep it that way until the last drop has been drunk.
    10. The great equalizer in Brazil is the beach; it’s free and it is where everyone goes when they are not working.
    11. Brazilians are lovers, not fighters. For the most part.
    12. Life comes to a screeching halt in Brazil during a futbol (soccer) game, especially those in which Brazil is a contender.
    13. Brazilians are mushy and unrelentingly romantic – they like their music soft with lyrics almost always about love. And they can string words together in conversation to make the coldest heart melt.
    14. Brazilians speak Portuguese in a rise and fall melody that, if I could write music, I could write a score to.
    15. Loved ones call each other “meu amor.”
    16. The rubber flip-flop is the national shoe and my feet love it.
    17. Brazil is age-blind. Generations mix in play, in life, and in love.

      ©Robin Sparks

    18. Women buy clothing based on how sexy it makes them look; even store window mannequins have sex appeal in Brazil.
    19. Gender lines are blurred in Brazil – one is not necessarily straight or gay; bisexuality or some version thereof is common.
    20. Brazil is a huge country, almost as large as the U.S., with an even wider geographical range, from rain forest to dry inland to 5,000 miles of coastland to mountains to the world’s largest river to wild flowers so brilliant they cannot be reproduced accurately on digital cameras.
    21. You cannot identify a Brazilian by his looks: A Brazilian might have the lily white skin and angular features of his German or Dutch ancestors, or the deepest dark black skin of her South African forefathers, or the olive skin and high cheekbones of their Indian predecessors, or the curly dark hair and upturned noses of the Portuguese – or a combination of all of these and more.
    22. Graciousness, a soft lyrical voice, good manners, humility, generosity, and making the person you are speaking to feel like a million bucks – these are the most important social skills in Brazil.
    23. Doing something nice for someone else with no expectation of payback is everyday stuff for Brazilians.
    24. The words you’ll hear most often are “Obrigado” (Thanks), “Tuda bem?” (How are things?), “Ta bon” (Good!) – and “Gostozo” (You sexy thing you).
    25. Brazilians cannot help smiling; the nonchalant scowl has not caught on here.


Want to Fall in Love with Brazil Too? Explore the country with GeoEx and Natural Habitat Adventures.

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Robin Sparks
Robin Sparks writes stories that connect hearts across borders, ethnicities, and different belief systems. Her stories have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers including The San Francisco Examiner, Yankee Magazine, The Reno Gazette Journal and Women’s World. She is a former travel columnist for the Reno Gazette Journal and former assistant editor for the online magazine, Escape Artist. She is writing a book about her 9-year global search for a new home in a new country - an odyssey which took her to France,Thailand, Nepal, Brazil, Turkey, Argentina, and Bali. Today Robin is based in Marin, California with homes in Istanbul, Turkey and Bali, Indonesia. Robin facilitates and teaches writing workshops around the world. www.robinsparks.com
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