Visiting an exotic country like Brazil is seductive. Walking on the streets, go to the most important tourist places and the football stadiums that in a year will be hosting the World Cup.

It would be good to question players and managers of the mexican team how much and what they know about Brazil, beyond just knowing just about their sports heroes and stadiums. What do they know about their culture and traditions, What is well accepted by them and what is not?

To the country that you go, do what you see.

Here is a brief guide to the mexican team:

1. Conversation

Communicating with brazilians is warm, complex, informal and highly personal.

The way that the brazilians greet men and women is similar than we do in Mexico. Men shake hands and greet women with a kiss on the cheek.

A good way to “break the ice” with brazilians is talking about soccer, obviously, but there are also another good topics of conversation as weather, traffic (if you are in Sao Paulo), all about the Confederations Cup and the next World Cup, music and their economy. Avoid conversations that create controversy, for example, asking who is better between Pele or Maradona or rivalries between brazilian and argentinian teams.

Talking about poverty, security, deforestation, religion, racism, corruption, social inequality should be avoided.

Brazilians are proud of their ability to laugh at themselves. They like spontaneity. Even, are considered noisy because everybody wants to talk at the same time and with a high volume voice.

Do not be surprised if you are constantly interrupted by them. Do not think they are rude or have no interest in what you’re saying.

They like to touch people in a conversation. Their intention is to be as close as possible to communicate confidence and establish a long-term relationship with you.

They are not used to give orders but advices so they can feel easily offended with unfriendly conversations.
Two. Breakfast, lunch and dinner

The main meals are breakfast, between 7 and 9 am, lunch, between noon and 2 pm, and dinner starting from 7 pm.

Brazilians usually arrive 15 minutes late but in social events they used to arrive between one hour and two hours later.

They like to observe the manners of people at the table and like when a person knows how to eat and drink with education. They always wash their hands before eating and never touch food with their hands, except fruits and chicken. They use a knife and a fork and use a napkin after eating and drinking.

Never use chopsticks and do not burp while you’re at the table.

In a toast, raise your glass and say “Saúde”. Drink it slowly immediately after saying it.

Three. Public Behavior

Spontaneity is so valuable for brazilians but that does not mean you can do what you want.

When you meet someone you say your name and give a handshake. Women are greeted with a kiss on the cheek.

When greeting someone you can say, “Oi, tudo bem? (Hey, you all right?), Or “Olá, como vai” (Hello, how are you?). Eye contact is important for brazilians. An informal way to say goodbye in Brazil is “Tchau” (Goodbye) and give a handshake.

Talking about salaries, marital status and age should be avoided, as well as sexist conversations.

Avoid joining the thumb with the index and form a circle, this is an insult.

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