Monday, February 24, 2014

Brazilian Culture through Brazilian Eyes

Whenever you are vising a foreign country, you will have opportunities to learn, to enjoy, to be surprised. However, you will also find reasons to complain, if you keep looking for them!

For those who come to our country with a positive attitude and an open mind ALWAYS get the most out of their stay :)

It works like a mirror: the more you try to understand us, the more willing we will be to understand you. And believe me, when in a foreign country it is much better to live among friends! 

Credit to learn-portuguese site for this article.

When Meeting People...

  1. Men usually shake hands when greeting one another, and keep eye contact. 
  2. Women usually kiss each other on their cheeks. Twice when both are married, three times when one of them is single. On this case, the married one says "Três, pra casar!", meaning 'three kisses, for you to get married". 
  3. Hugging is a very common way of expressing acceptance and friendship, especially when you haven't seem your friend for a long time. Backslapping is a little more common in business and in casual relationships.
  4. When a man and a woman are going to shake hands, it is common for her to extend her hand first.
  5. Brazilians can say whatever they want about their government. (Foreigners are expected to be a little more careful.

When Invited to a Brazilian's House...

  1. Small gifts exchange is a common practice. 
  2. Flowers will ALWAYS be welcome! Any color, any size! 
  3. Gifts are usually opened when received. 
  4. Wear simple clothes. Brazilians receive guests in a very informal way. 
  5. In case you do not bring a gift to the dinner, you can send a 'thank you' card (or a small gift) on the next day. 
  6. And last, but not least: arrive on time - though being late is said to be a Brazilian characteristic, it is not a rule yet!

When Doing Business with Brazilians...

  1. Always use local lawyers for negotiations. 
  2. Let Brazilians know you before you start doing business. 
  3. In case your Portuguese is not quite fluent, it would be nice to hire a translator. 
  4. Though it is acceptable to interrupt someone who is speaking, it is NOT the rule! :-) 
  5. Remember that you are more important than the company you represent. Treat them likewise. 
  6. Communication is usually informal AND you are expected to share your opinions on the subject. 
  7. Take your time to build a natural personal relationship before raising the business subject. 
  8. Never embarrass a participant of the meeting by criticism, or you will lose face with the whole group. 
  9. Feel free to ask questions about the company you are dealing with - and expect the same from Brazilians. 
  10. Whenever possible, meet Brazilians face to face. They will feel more comfortable than communication by e-mail or phone. 
  11. As Brazilians negotiate in a personal level, it is a good practice to keep the same team till the end of the negotiation. 
  12. Some people you negotiate with will not have the final decision-making authority. However, they are the ones who will 'sell' your ideas to the big boss.
The Brazilian way of being. Easy to translate, more complex to describe. It's a remarkably seductive warmth and generosity of spirit, an ease and comfort in one's own skin that's contagious, an ability to relax and enjoy life, with and without life's adversities; it's an ability to break into song to make a point in the middle of the supermarket, it's a way of laughing and gesturing, of walking and talking . . . and speaking of talking, Brazilians also have another amazing talent: they can talk and smile at the same time. How do they do that? Barbara Lowenstein said: "I've tried it, and it's not easy if you haven't grown up doing it. And it doesn't work with English at all, the neurons that control the mouth movements of English speakers just aren't programmed the same way as for Portuguese speakers".(Visit blog Tropical Daydream)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Brazilian Folk Art

Thought it was very interesting! All credits to the blog A paisagem dos dias

Once upon a time Brazilian girls brought up in the countryside were forbidden by their strict parents to go out and flirt with boys. Left with no other choice, these girls spent the whole day by the window of their houses to catch some attention of the candidates on the street.
This tale is the background story of the typical Brazilian sculptures shared on this post. They are named “namoradeiras de janela”, translated as flirtatious girls by the window. No wonder why they wear red lipsticks, low cleavages and have a tanned skin! These girls are ready to catch a good match! 

With one arm resting on the window and the other holding the face, flirtatious girls seem that are clearly waiting - waiting for the love of their lives. 

Inspired by the tale,  artisans from all over Brazil reproduce beautiful flirtatious girls sculptures. 
Some sculptures have a sweet and dreamy look, others have a slippery, almost sinful looking. It is art imitating life ...

All pictures credit to blog A paisagem dos dias

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Around 180km, between the cities of Itacaré and Canavieiras, form the so called Cocoa Coast. Home to nature wonders, rivers flanked by cocoa farms, beaches of vast untouched coconut groves amid the Atlantic Forest and dense mangroves, the region enchants for its landscapes and the opulence of the golden years of the “black gold”. The architecture preserves the colonial houses of the 18th and 19th centuries, in streets paved with stones, churches and old mansions, important part of the national history that date back to the period when the production and exporting of cocoa were the primordial activity of the Brazilian economy. Scenery of movies, soap operas and novels – most of Jorge Amado’s work, translated in several countries, is set in Ilhéus, main city of this coast – , the region besides being part of history is the right destination for those looking for fun and close contact with nature. (Search: Bahia)

Ilhéus is the setting for "Gabriela, Cravo e Canela", the famous novel by Jorge Amado and that turned in soap opera.
Morro de Pernambuco, Ilhéus. Foto flickr Brenda Melo

Ilhéus beach

Convento da Piedade, Ilhéus. Photo Blog tô podendo

Ilhéus Cathedral. Photo flickr by kikolaus

Bar Vesúvio, em Ilhéus.The bar gained fame with the novel Gabriela Cravo e Canela. Photo flickr by José Gustavo Abreu

Ilhéus, historic center

Bataclan, Ilhéus. Photo João Ramos - flickr turismobahia

Ilhéus city hall. Photo flickr by kikolaus

Jorge Amado, Bahian writer. Photo flickr GovBA

Jorge Amado books. Photo flickr Fundação Casa de Jorge Amado

Canavieiras, Ilhéus, Itabuna, Itacaré, Santa Luzia, Una and Uruçuca offer a variety of options for tourists. The abundance of beaches includes from surfing and fishing spots to calm waters and true deserted paradises. Extreme waterfalls – like Cleandro’s, in Itacaré-, rivers and rapids are an invitation to practice adventure sports such as rafting, rappel and canoeing. (Search: bahia)

Itacaré, Bahia. Photo flickr by Valter Kabas


Itacaré. Photo flickr by jessica simões

Praia do Ribeiro em Itacaré. Photo flickr by Comunidade Solaris 

Barra do Rio de Contas(river), em Itacaré . Photo flickr by Comunidade Solaris

Cachoeira Cleandro, Itacaré. Foto flickr by Amauri Meira

Cachoeira (waterfall) do Cleandro, Itcaré. Photo flickr by Mario Suzuki

The southern region of Bahia is known as one of the three major cocoa producers in Brazil, along with the poles of the Amazon (Para and Rondonia) and the Espirito Santo. Chocolate is a global product for a long time, but its story does not recognize the importance of farmers in southern Bahia. Here was created this boon crop in monoculture born ecological, imitating the forest. Then it migrated to other lands of Venezuela, Puerto Principe, Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia and Ivory Coast. But in none of these places cocoa added much value to the ecology and biodiversity as in southern Bahia. It's true that in these countries, the "fruit of the gods" fulfills its social function in a highly "cooperativado" (co-op) system, supporting thousands of poor families while here, concentrated wealth for a long time. But that changed, and cocoa in southern Bahia is produced currently in a majority of small and medium farms, many of them obtained by the movement of agrarian reform. Thus, the production of southern Bahia has aggregated beyond the biodiversity values​​, the values ​​of social inclusion and strengthening of traditional communities of small farmers in the region.(blogdogusmão)

Cocoa tree

Cocoa fruit

Friday, February 14, 2014


Located between the mouth of Jaguaripe River and Camamu Bay, the Dendê Coast is a true mosaic of beaches, bays, mangroves, rocky walls, sand banks, springs, lagoons, rivers, waterfalls and estuaries. Its 115 km of seashore comprehend Valença, Morro de São Paulo, Boipeba, Igrapiúna, Cairu, Camamu, Taperoá, Nilo Peçanha, Ituberá and Maraú.

The untouched beaches of limpid and warm waters, with different formations of coral reefs and framed by vast coconut groves, are among the best in the country. The fluvial archipelago of Una River shelters a variety of paradisiacal islands – Tinharé, Boipeba, Cairu. The dazzling Camamu Bay opens up in ten unexplored islands with primitive vegetation and coconut trees. The endless mangroves work as a nursery for many kinds of fish, crabs, shrimps and oysters. An extensive counter coast of placid waters is ideal for sailing, diving and fishing.

The impressive waterfalls are the right location for extreme sports. Environmental Protection Areas preserve a rich fauna and flora. The abundance of dendê trees, spice that gives a peculiar flavor to Bahia’s cuisine, gives the final touch to the local scenery. In this paradise of great ecological diversity, nature divides the landscape with a rich historical heritage of Colonial Brazil. The primitive settlements preserve their traditional cultural characteristics. (search:

Dendê fruit and palm tree. Photos via flickr by Adilson Simoes and Luiz Leite

It is connected to Salvador and the southern part of the state by ferryboats and the BA-001 highway, the second ecological highway along the Bahian coast, which connects the southern coastline and the extreme southern part of the state.

Valença. Photo flickr by prddiniz

Valença. Photo flickr by coresdaterra

Valença. Photo flickr by Alessandra Kocman

Morro de São Paulo

Morro de São Paulo entrance. Photo flickr by turismobahia

Morro de São Paulo. Photo:

Morro de São Paulo. Fruit's drinks on the street. Photo by Patricia Seixas.

Morro de São Paulo streets. Photo flickr by semi di metallo
Morro de São Paulo by Patricia Seixas

I think this picture is awsome! Morro de São Paulo by Patricia Seixas


Itacaré. Photo flickr by itacare

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Considered Brazil’s “Capital of Happiness,” the friendly and welcoming residents of Salvador de Bahia – known simply as ‘Salvador’ – are deservedly proud of their northeast capital city, blessed as it is with a historically-rich past, gorgeous beaches, and one of the best Carnival celebrations in the world.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the carnival or Carnaval of Salvador da Bahia is the biggest party on the planet. For an entire week, almost 4 million people celebrate throughout 25 kilometers (16 mi) of streets, avenues and squares. The direct organization of the party involves the participation of over 100,000 people. Its dimensions are gigantic. Salvador receives an average of over 800,000 visitors.

The cover was done by 4,446 professionals in local press, national, and international. The carnival was broadcast to 135 countries through 65 radio stations, 75 magazines, 139 producers of video, 97 newspapers (21 international), 14 tv stations, and 168 websites.

Rei Momo: The King of Carnival, Momo, is handed the keys to the city in the morning, on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday, and the party officially begins. Camarotes: These grandstands line the street in the neighborhoods of Campo Grande, Barra Avenue and Ondina. Watch the show from here without being trampled by the crowd. Trios Eléctricos: Outfitted with deafening sound systems, these 60-foot-long trucks carry a kick line of gyrating, scantily clad dancers along with the city's best-loved performers, among them Ivete Sangalo, Daniela Mercury, Cláudia Leitte, Chiclete com Banana, Carlinhos Brown, and others.
Rei Momo (flickr by turismobahia)
 All pictures are from flickr turismobahia

Ivete Sangalo, on her trio elétrico

Ivete Sangalo, another day

Trio elétrico

Chiclete com Banana trio elétrico

Bel Marques, band singer

 The music played during Carnaval includes Axé and Samba-reggae. Many "blocos" participate in Carnaval, the "blocos afros" like Malê Debalê, Olodum and Filhos de Gandhy being the most famous of them. Carnival is heavily policed. Stands with five or six seated police officers are erected everywhere and the streets are constantly patrolled by police groups moving in single file.
"bloco afro"

Bloco Filhos de Gandhy

Filhos de Gandhy

Malê Debalê


Bloco afro Malê Debalê

Bloco afro Malê Debalê

The Osmar Circuit: goes from Campo Grande to Castro Alves square, The Downtown Circuit, in Downtown and Pelourinho, and The Dodô Circuit; goes from Farol da Barra to Ondina, along the coast. The Osmar circuit is the oldest circuit. It is also where the event's most traditional groups parades. In Dodô, where the artist box seats are located, the party becomes lively toward the end of the afternoon and it continues until morning.(search:

Salvador is considered the Afro-Brazilian capital of the nation and with over 80% of the population claiming African ancestry it is no surprise how extensively African culture and traditions have integrated into local folklore and history. Aside from regional Salvadorian cuisine and art, Afro-Brazilian customs can best be appreciated during Carnival week. Salvador holds one the nation’s premier Carnival celebrations that features samba parades, lavish parties, and much more.