You know you are Brazilian when…

January 12, 2010
Fitinhas do Bonfim

Fitinhas do Bonfim

  • You applaud the pilot when the airplane lands. You also applaud the band after the national anthem is played.
  • You wear the national soccer team T-shirt when you are abroad.
  • You watch all the matches of the World Cup among friends and family. Or in your working place, if necessary. The experience includes beer, swearing, crying and insulting the mother of the referee.
  • You wear really pointy shoes with high heels (well, if you are a girl).
  • You are in a foreign beach and you are the only straight man wearing speedos.
  • You drink coffee at least three times a day. Religiously. And you never heard of decaf. Or chicory coffee.
  • You despise the Wright Brothers – Santos Dumont invented the airplane!
  • You have at least one pair of Havaianas flip-flops.
  • You have already worn fitinhas do Bomfim (ribbon supposedly blessed in Nosso Senhor do Bonfim church, in Salvador. You make three wishes while you tie the knots. They will be granted when it gets rotten).
  • You think you can speak Spanish. You pronounce Portuguese words with Argentinian accent and believe Spaniards will understand you. It can be very embarrassing.
  • You learn how to carry your purse in a way nobody will be able to open it or drag it away. You choose fake jewelry that really looks fake. You lock your house with several keys. You take with you the sound system when you leave your car.
  • You have prejudice against Portuguese and Argentinians. Well, it’s sad, but it is a fact.
  • You kiss your acquaintances (of opposite sex) in the face twice when you meet. Women also do the 2-kiss ritual among them.
  • You visit daily the neighborhood bakery. To buy fresh bread. To drink coffee. To have lunch. To buy cigarettes, or ice cream, or a pint of milk, or chocolate. To chat with the chapeiro (the guy who makes warm sandwiches – they are invariably entertaining). To talk to the Portuguese owner. To watch TV (they are fairly common in padarias). To drink cachaça. To put a few chairs in the outside and play samba with your friends (while the girlfriends dance).

Anybody would like to suggest additions?



  1. People ask you where you live (where your house is) and instead of giving the address you just say “you know the street where they sell meat on market day? well it’s that street, next to ‘bar do gago! (you know, the bar owned by that dude that stutters)”
    by the way, thats really where i live if you ever make it to garanhuns

  2. Israellies also applaud when their plane lands in Israel….but thats because they are home..not out of relief to have landed ..which is why brasillians applaud

    • Never thought of it that way, but you are right. We Brazilians don’t really mind where we are landing. But I am not sure it is because we are pleased to land. I think we just want to throw a little instant party on board.

  3. You called the waiter “boy” even if he is over 60, as in: “Moco, traz a conta, por favor!!”

  4. Oh my God, Shame on me!
    I don’t fit myself in any of this categories, neither I like samba, carnaval, Brazilian soccer or Brasilian soap opera, but I’m a genuine Brazilian woman, born in Minas Gerais estate.

    • I think you should be proud to be an atypical Brazilian. It makes you unique. Now, tell me the truth: you never, ever tied a fitinha do Bonfim to your wrist? Come on, confess!

  5. I love this posting! It made me laugh for hours. I would also say that if you are Brazilian you learn to Samba before you learn to walk.
    keep the posts coming I love reading them. Also if you are in Rio lets get some coffee. Beijos!

    • I wish I were in Rio! Yeah, as we say in good old Portuguese – let’s knit together.

  6. On more Regina. In a more contemporary vein, you know you are Brazilian when you dominate a social net work like Orkut and have 300+ friends on your profile. Demonstrating in general the sociability a élan of Brazilians. Oh Regina, I’ll be in Salvador in two weeks but will bring you a fitinha do Bomfim upon my return See you on Orkut Regina

    • Hey, you did befriend me on Orkut! Cool! Thanks for the fitinha. The last one I used brought with it my husband. It fell the week I fell for him (pun intended!)

  7. Stereotypes, stereotypes …

    Always some truth in them, but stereotypes and generalisations nevertheless.

    Thankfully most Brazilians are different and do not fit this mold.

    • Yes, these are definitely stereotypes. Stereotypes can be harmful or plainly silly, which I believe is the case of these ones. And, now, just one more stereotype: we Brazilians don’t take ourselves too seriously and love silliness – like this sort of list.

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