Like any southern nation, the Brazilians are very opened, warm and friendly people. They enjoy big companies and are always glad to get together, socialize and discuss the latest events in the country’s political life or talk about national Brazilian passion: soccer. At that, any communication, especially informal, is based on very close and literally fraternal relationships. That is why greeting in Brazil is never limited to saying “Hello” or “Good Morning” and always goes far “.. beyond looking and listening,” (Flitter, 2007).
In an informal environment, men greet each other with a handshake, a strong hug and sometimes a check-kiss. Women always greet each other with a peck-cheek and a warm hug. When people are introduced to each other for the first time, young men and women always greet each other with a peck on each cheek and an embrace. When meeting a group of people, it is very important to make a physical contact with everybody and give a greeting to every single person in the group. Undoubtedly, this free and friendly style of interpersonal communication has a tremendous influence on Brazilian business culture.
Before starting certain business activities, it is absolutely essential to establish friendly relationships with your Brazilian partners. In such circumstances, a simple handshake as a greeting is considered to be too formal and conservative. Men can greet each other with a handshake followed by a friendly embrace or back-clapping, and women can give each other a cheek-kiss. It is also considered to be polite to accompany greetings with special expressions. The most popular terms when greeting Brazilian people can be: “Como Vai? ” (How are you? ) or “Tudo Bem? ” (Is everything all right? ).
Good friends can use the word “Oi” (“Hi”) for greeting each other. When a person is leaving, it is also necessary to give everyone a handshake, a hug or a back-clap accompanied with such expressions as “Tchau” (“Good-bye”) or “Ate logo” (“See you”).
Flitter, E. (2007, December 12). Touchy Subject: Doing Business Where Hugs Replace Handshakes. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 17, 2008, from <http://online. wsj. com/article/SB119799543096137027. html>. Profile of Brazil. (1999, September 15). Limiar. Retrieved February 17, 2008, from the World Wide Web: < http://www. limiar. org/brazil/profile. html>.
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