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Hacking Brazilian Culture: Magically Transform Your Dear Brazilians into Prompt, Respectful People

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I just got back from my sixth extended stay in my beloved Brazil, and this time I kept careful notes on the most annoying phrases one hears in this lush, goofy land of samba rock, beaches, and murder. Does listing such uniquely Brazilian language misuse serve any purpose? Probably not, other than to help me …

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Why do Brazilians act the way they do? We don’t know either. But over our decades of dealing with them, we have discovered some strategies for turning our favorite Brazilians into (slightly) more respectful, prompt, and reliable people. We’re not going to claim that you can wave your hands over your favorite Brazilians and turn …

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Samba de gafieira — Brazil’s groovy answer to tango — is a flashy, complicated dance that lends itself to spectacle. There are many videos of performances by outrageously talented professionals online, but this is not one of them. These dancers are talented, but this is not a formal performance with all of the flashy silliness that …

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This is Bebeto‘s “Segura a Nega” performed by Clube do Balanço. It is one of the greatest samba rock songs ever performed, and if you have a less-than-perfect command of spoken Brazilian Portuguese, you may be wondering what the hell the lyrics are about. I offer here my translation; the emphasis here is on accuracy in meaning and achieving a …

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You can’t speak Portuguese without moving your hands. And, as you might expect from a people with their own style of kissing, Brazilians have a grand repertoire of unique gestures. Among them: “big fat liar”, “this person’s quality stuff”, and “in the hood”.

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This is just one of the countless gestures integral to communication in Brazil, and never taught in any Portuguese class. The estalo brasileiro, or Brazilian snap, is used to indicate speed; sometimes it’s used to (rather rudely) tell someone to pick up the pace. To snap like a Brazilian, start with your hand pretty much …

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Pauistanos (folks from São Paulo city) are known for being all about stress, fine eating and money. Their street carnival takes a bit of a back seat. The Tipsy editorial board, however, loves to rock the backseat. We took a jaunt down to Sampa during its carnaval, and a few locals showed us their moves.  

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