Just as there are typical comments and questions of Brazilians when I say that I live abroad – I already talked about it in this post here – there are also thoughts and classic questions from American people when I say I am Brazilian. Since I moved here, I’ve heard a lot of these questions/comments, and I bet a lot of people have heard all this and more. Since stereotypes about samba, through language spoken in Brazil, but also good things – because Brazil has not such a bad image here.
Ah, Brazil! So nice! Where are you from, São Paulo, Rio?
No, no. I am from south of Brazil, Santa Catarina. But, if Americans just know about these two cities, what I’m gonna do? Saying them that my city is Meleiro? In fact, I can not complain. Many people in Brazil do not know my city, lol – is a very small town. But back to the topic, Rio and São Paulo are the two places they most resemble it. And these cities are mostly in the media, right? Rio has been the backdrop for many movies, including an animation with the same name. We are unworthy because, after all, Brazil is a country of continental proportions and there are many other towns and nice areas. But, let it go: what are the cities that come to your mind when you think about the United States? France? Argentina? You probably do not know all too.
Which language do you speak? Spanish, right?
Almost all countries in South America speak Spanish, not to mention the other countries of Central America. Ready! Then, they think that we speaking Spanish too. I would prefer that, you know? It would be a language less to learn. But I always have to answer “no, man, I speak Portuguese.” But our Portuguese is not just Spanish! Let me explain: sometimes, speaking Portuguese, I have already been approached by some American who said, “sorry, are you speaking French?” And they swear it’s similar, okay? And when they swear they think they know a word of Portuguese and drop one in Spanish? Tense, hehe.
The image of Carnival in Brazil is very strong out here. Many people want to check the Carnival. And many people think Brazilian women born knowing how to dance samba. Well, some of them yes, but it is not a technique that all of us dominate it. For example: I do not know and do not take that. But the assimilation always happen. One day, I was on an experimental class of salsa and instrututor sent us exchange pairs. I remember a guy who came to dance with me and when I said I was Brazilian, he sang: Brazil! Xic xic xic xic xic xic (read this as a samba melody). so it was all night! Then one day, in the class of Latin dance, the instructor was replaced by a belly dance instructor. Guess what? The woman swore that I would roll over me all: Let’s go, Brazilian! Therefore, Brazilian! Fake Brazilian.
I wanna visit Brazil, people say that is very beautiful!
This is to demystify the fact that Brazil is synonymous of samba and Carnival. Many Americans I talked to have said that they really wanna visit the country and when they speak about it, they always refer to the natural beauties. And I always encourage: I say that Rio is wonderful, in the South there are beautiful beaches, that the Northeast is amazing.
Hummmm, Brazilian food!
One word: barbecue or churrasco! Everyone who goes to some Brazilian steakhouse has no regrets – and will never forget the experience. I have heard many positive comments about our food, but barbecue and feijoada are definitely prefer leaders – besides the caipirinha, of course. They love the “exaggeration” of meats and side dishes of steak and always say that ours is the best barbecue ever.
Ah, Brazilian women!
I know a lot of people says that Brazilian women have a promiscuous image – not to use other bad words I’ve heard. The truth is that I never felt disrespected in this regard. But our beauty is highly valued. They always praise (‘m not saying they praise ME, OK?) Brazilian women, emphasizing as they are beautiful. Even as some American commented to me that women from South of Brazil are beautiful! And I am not making this because I am from South – some American that I talked to were in Sao Paulo and Rio and they went to Florianopolis and were marveled. Our beauty really catches the eye and draws attention.
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.