Etiquette and Customs in Brazil
. Men shake hands when greeting one another, while maintaining steady eye contact.
. Women generally kiss each other, starting with the left and alternating cheeks.
. Hugging and backslapping are common greetings among Brazilian friends.
. If a woman wishes to shake hands with a man, she should extend her hand first.
Gift Giving Etiquette
. If invited to a Brazilian’s house, bring the hostess flowers or a small gift.
. Orchids are considered a very nice gift, but avoid purple ones.
. Avoid giving anything purple or black as these are mourning colours.
. Handkerchiefs are also associated with funerals, so they do not make good gifts.
. Gifts are opened when received.
If you are invited to a Brazilian’s house:
. Arrive at least 30 minutes late if the invitation is for dinner.
. Arrive up to an hour late for a party or large gathering.
. Brazilians dress with a flair and judge others on their appearance. Casual dress is more formal than in many other countries. Always dress elegantly and err on the side of over-dressing rather than under- dressing.
. If you did not bring a gift to the hostess, flowers the next day are always appreciated.