Monday, December 14, 2009


I had a huge lunch at Angel's house today. On Sundays, her whole family comes together to eat; her parents, grandparents, her three sisters, and their husbands. Grace and I joined them for a delicious meal, and then we came back to the Bailey's to watch a movie and prepare for the slide show. I am going to talk about Thailand at their church today, so I am very excited.

Here are some fun things I have learned about Brazilians:

-Brazilians love to brush their teeth. In fact, Every one of Grace's friends has a toothbrush at her house for when they stay here. When we go out to eat together, they almost always go to the bathroom afterwards to brush. Sometimes there is even dental floss in public bathrooms that you can pull out and use for free.

- During the World Cup, the entire city shuts down. Everyone gets off of work for the games. Children are out of school, but on some days when they still have to go, they watch the games together at school.

-You have to be 18 to drive here, but it is an extremely long and hard process. There is a two day driving course that you must complete and very hard tests.

- The legal drinking age here is 18, but this law is not followed very stringently. On a girl's 15th birthday party, (which is the biggest and most important birthday, signifying entering into adulthood) they usually have something alcoholic to drink, and this is generally accepted.

- Everyone greets here with a hug and a kiss. Even if you just met the person, you use this greeting. It is not usually a real kiss, though, typically people just kiss 'into the air'.

- Brazilians eat rice and beans with pretty much every meal, with the usual exception of breakfast. One guy I was talking to said he wanted to come to Thailand, but changed his mind when he heard that we don't eat beans with our rice there. For breakfast, people mostly eat cake.

- People are classified according to their wealth here. Rich people do not associate with poor people.

- Most Brazilians live with their family until they get married, and sometimes even then. In college the students do not live in dorms, they stay with their families.

- The two main soccer teams in this area are Gallo and Cruzerro. (I cheer for Gallo!) Cruzerro has been winning lately, so you can hear people shouting CRUZERRO all the time. After a game, the fans of the winning team will hold down their horns as they drive on the street in their triumph.

- Thumbs up means everything here; thank you, yes, good job, ok?, hey, etc. You do not even have to speak the language, as long as you have one thumb you can say pretty much anything.


  1. There are some interesting similarities to Thai culture as well - plus some stark differences. Very adept cultural insights in a short amount of time. My questions:
    - Do Brazilians have problems with their gums? Over-brushing can wear away the gum line.
    - Guatemalan girls also have a huge 15th birthday... they say it is even bigger than their wedding in some respects.
    - We eat beans with our rice! Come on over Brazilians!
    - Two thumbs up on this blog!

  2. Do you think the brushing teeth obsession is due to all the kissing? Thai dental hygiene is not good, but you only "wai" other people, not kiss them!

  3. Megan...I really enjoy reading your blog! I agree...this is very insightful! Glad you're having fun!