Myth or Reality about Brazil – Part 2

In the first part of our series about common beliefs about Brazil, we talked about soccer, language and culture.

Here are some other burning issues our Pocket Culture contributors were dying to know.

In my house, this is REALITY, as in most Brazilian houses. We tend to have our breakfast every single morning with fresh bread straight from the bakery (which we call french bread), milk and coffee. This would be standard for almost all families. Then, for the ones who can afford it, some ham, cheese and papaya is also pretty common.

We also drink a lot of coffee during working hours. I can´t even tell you how many cups I drink! And, in the evening, some families have dinner, others prefer to have again bread, milk and coffee.

Brazil is certainly one of the biggest coffee producers in the world along with other South American countries, with the heaviest coffee drinkers!

 

The MYTH part is that we are all gorgeous. No! We are just as beautiful as in any other country. However, this view might be probably have been built due to the fact that we have many Brazilian models in international catwalks, the most renowned one being Giselle Bündchen. She is known as one of the most beautiful women in the world, and she is a Brazilian. So, this might be why there is such an impression of our beauty.

The REALITY part , though, is the fact that YES we are fashion-conscious and the Brazilians are said to have this special sex appeal, and maybe it is because of this awareness of what looks good, what’s in, it might come from our connection to music and dance that is part of our African heritage or it could be related to our tropical weather. For the most part of the year, we have the sun shining, which means we have to wear lighter clothes and because of it we are more “body-aware”. I’m not sure. What I’ve heard is that we have a  way of walking, of dressing and undressing that is really special. I don’t know…

Nuria Villalobos, one of Pocketcultures contributors, has asked if this is also true for men and if it plastic surgery is really big in Brazil. Yes, Nuria! Many men really care about their appearance, they are really into being fashionable, good-looking and smelling good!

As for plastic surgery, it is REALITY. I’d say unfortunately, for sometimes people go to extremes to look good, and in many cases, it isn’t even necessary. Many young girls undergo liposuction surgery to take fats that nobody even notices, some older ladies are now into Botox filling, which is huge now in Brazil. I prefer getting old, and showing some wrinkles as part of the process of becoming more mature, but this is a personal issue!

 

We’ve always had a big middle class because of our 200 million people.  In general, our classification is Class A for the rich, class B (middle class) and Classes C and D. Classes C and D were considered our poor population. This type of classification takes into account the electronic devices in the house, the family income, school instruction, among other items, a survey done by our government.

What has happened in the past few years is that Brazil has had a booming economic growth, and now the poor people have been able to give a boost to their income and they are buying more, purchasing more goods and services, which helps the economic cycle of growth. It is really amazing to see that they’ve been able to pay for their studies, have been having access to computers and the Internet, among other amazing experience for the ones who once didn’t have anything to eat.

Also, the government has many social programs to keep the students at school, to buy gas for the kitchen, and these programs mean an extra income for those who are classified under Class D in Brazil.

Another point is that this cycle tends to keep going for a while as we are preparing ourselves to host the World Cup and the Olympic games in Brazil, which means that lots of investments will be made in the country, and for an English teacher like me, life is getting better and better with many professional opportunities in the horizon as many Brazilians see the need to learn English to prepare themselves for this international event!

Read more

Myth or Reality about Brazil – Part 1

What’s a typical day like in Brasilia, Brazil? Let Carla explain!

Skateboarders in Brasilia

About the author

Carla Arena
A proud Brazilian teaching English in Brazil, interested in cultures, languages, people and lifelong learning.
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6 Comments

  • Mmmmmmm Brazilian coffee! yum!
    Carla, I share your idea of growing old gracefully :)

  • Ditto, Ana! My idea with growing old goes with wrinkles, not with stretched expressless faces. However, as I mentioned before, this is a very personal view of beauty. One of the most elegant over-60 lady I know is my mom. And she has never undergone any plastic surgery!

  • Carla, how is Brazilian coffee? Do you drink it short like in Italy or long like in the USA?

  • Lucy, I’d say we have both, short and long. We tend to drink short after meals. We also drink it in the morning and evenings. It is very common to drink it with milk for breakfast, for example. I always drink strong and dark! In the US, it is pretty common to have it decaf. In Brazil, we have it, but it is not very popular.

    • I’m not a big fan of decaf, but I like coffee so when I was pregnant I ordered it sometimes because here they say you shouldn’t drink much caffeine. So once when I was in the UK I asked for a decaf espresso, and they looked at me like I was mad then said noone had ever ordered that before. Apparently in the UK the only reason anyone drinks espresso is because they need an instant pickup!

  • I am so glad I found this Web site :o )