The relationship between FIFA and Brazil has not been a pretty one. Things are not getting any better after FIFA published a bulletin on the latest edition of "The FIFA Weekly" pointing out 10 things tourists should be aware regarding Brazilian idiosyncrasy.
People in Brazil are not happy with the bulletin, as they feel it is based on stereotypes rather than reality. Their anger has resulted in FIFA taking down the publication from their website.
These are the ten recommendations for tourists to understand the idiosyncrasy of Brazilian people.
1) Yes doesn't always mean yes:
Brazilians are optimistic and never begin a phrase with the word "no". To them, "yes" in reality means "maybe", then, if someone says "Yes, I will call you back," don't wait for the phone to ring in the next five minutes.
2) Flexible schedule:
Punctuality is not an exact science in Brazil. When you agree to meet someone, nobody expects you to be there at the exact time. It's common for people to be 15 minutes late.
3) Physical contact:
Men and women in Brazil are not familiar with the European habit of respecting personal space as a form of courtesy and proper conduct. Brazilians speak with their hands and do not hesitate to engage in physical contact while talking. At a nightclub, speaking could easily turn into kissing, and that should not be interpreted the wrong way. A kiss in Brazil is a way of non-verbal communication and not an invitation for anything else.
Waiting patiently in a line is not part of the Brazilian's DNA. Brazilians prefer chaos and cutting in line if it is necessary.
If you visit a buffet steakhouse in Brazil keep two things in mind: don't eat 12 hours before going and eat small portions because the finest cuts are served at the end.
6) Surviving in transit:
Pedestrians are ignored by drivers and they won't stop when they see someone crossing the street. The largest vehicle has the preference at cross streets.
7) There are no topless beaches:
The picture of Brazilian women wearing little to no clothes is common at Carnival, but that is not what you will see on a regular day. It is true that Brazilian bikinis are smaller than the European ones, but Brazilian women keep them on when they go to the beach.
8) Try açaí:
The fruit from the Amazons are marvelous: they prevent wrinkles and have the same effect of an energy drink.
9) No Spanish:
Tourists who will try to communicate in Spanish will feel like they are talking to walls. The official language is the Brazilian form of Portuguese, which is different from that spoken in Portugal. If you happen to say that Buenos Aires is the capital of Brazil, you might get deported.
10) Be patient:
In Brazil things are normally done last minute; so all tourists have a lot of patience. The philosophy of life for Brazilians could be summarized in this phrase: "relax and enjoy".