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Cultural Evaluation of Brazil

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Cultural Evaluation of Brazil
Ramona Purvis
Dec. 5, 2013
Rhonda Curry

Cultural Evaluation of Brazil As we look at the differences in the business culture of Brazil, we have to keep in mind that Brazilians are known for their lust for life. But after research, we see they are also enthusiastic to make the most of mutually advantageous business opportunities. In order to have a successful business outcome, it is important to understand and respect the differences between their culture and ours. The first impression is an important one so make sure to do your research. Here in America we are not too rigid about business dress as long as it is professional. In Brazil, do not wear the colors of the Brazilian flag which are green and yellow. According to Michigan State University, wearing anything that is too bold or overly colorful gives Brazilians the impression that you are not to be taken seriously. Just as in our culture, men greet with a firm hand shake. When it is a woman, however, the woman is expected to offer her hand first. When it is two women greeting each other, whereas we may still shake in our culture, Brazilian women tend to kiss each other on either cheek. Just like in our business culture, it is normal to have some modest socializing before getting down to business. But whereas we are normally okay with the subject of politics, Brazilians tend to not want to talk about politics or the subject of Argentina and soccer. Americans tend to use humor to break the ice with new business but this is not a good idea when dealing with Brazil. Using humor can be seen as not attaching enough seriousness to the business at hand. So, although making a joke about something light hearted might seem tempting, it is not advisable to do so in a business situation. Also, a warning is needed in doing business with the Brazilians. According to Christina Hamlett (USA Today) “Brazil clings to a sexist value system and social hierarchy that feels better suited to the 1950s than the 21st century.” So it will be easy to be insulted or take offense if you feel strongly about equal rights and embrace social justice. I think it is safe to say there are several difference in our business cultures but nothing that cannot be overcome if we only do some research and have respect for the others beliefs and ways of conducting business. After all, it is out of this respect and a need to expand that drives us to want to do business with these other cultures anyway.


Hamlett, C., USA Today, Business Etiquette in Brazil (n.d.)

Michigan State University, Global Edge (n.d), Brazil Culture, Retrieved from:…...

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