Brazil is the fifth largest worldwide with a total number of residents of about 190 million who are generations of immigrants from over 50 countries and where intact indigenous inhabitants still roam the jungles which imply the diversity of the cultures within the country of Brazil. Therefore, an in-depth analysis of the cultural practices such as the business norms and etiquette, language, the cultural conflicts or cross-cultural communication experienced in the country together with the aspect of cultural competence is essential in the attempt to comprehend better the people's way of life. Generally, the effective comprehension and effective management of cross-cultural differences are vital for the better planning of innovative business projects particularly in a country like Brazil that faces various cultural differences.
The ethnic composition of Brazil is comprised of 55% European descent Portuguese, a percentage of 38 which is a mixture of cultures comprising of African, Japanese, German and even Amerindian as well as six percent African and just one percent Amerindian. The official language for Brazil is Portuguese even though some parts of the Brazilian population speak Spanish, Italian, and various Amerindian languages. On the other hand, there is no predominant religion even though the Roman Catholic is the predominant religion followed by an approximate of 90 percent of the population. However, sixteen percent of the Brazilian population practices Afro-Brazilian religions that combine tribal and Catholic beliefs. Protestants, Buddhism together with Judaism as well as other religions make up to not more than nine per cent.
Brazilian Culture and Society
Brazil is regarded as a rich country with a colorful history that depicts the history of countries such as the United States regarding colonization with the support of the African slave trade. Therefore, the understanding of the Brazilian culture depends on the prior understanding of the history of the country and various elements of racial discrimination. Generally, an understanding of the various elements and cultures of Brazil is very essential because it equips an individual with the idea of how a culture perceives the people of their own and may I turn help to understand how they may consider others of an equal race but with different nationalities as well. To understand the cultural diversity of Brazil, it is significant to understand the role that slavery in the colonial period of Brazil has played towards the establishment of cultural diversity (Taylor & Williams, (Eds.), 2017).
According to the Consulate General of Brazil (2014), Afro-Brazilians are the unswerving descendants of mostly western African nations. The Afro-Brazilians together with other individuals of mixed ethnic heritage account for at least a percentage of 45 of the total population of Brazil by the expiration of the twentieth century. Portuguese settlers were mostly men who were single and ended up taking African indigenous women as wives or even concubines which in the end led to the tremendous racial mix that makes up the current Brazilian society. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (2014), Brazilians profile their races differently in five categories which include White, Black, Brown, Yellow, and Indigenous.
Brazil can be best regarded as a blend of race and various ethnicities which result in a prosperous multiplicity. The Brazilian multiplicity is evident by the original race called the 'mestizos' which was as a result of multiple unique Portuguese settlers who wedded local women hence the descendants of the Portuguese and African Slaves. The abolition of slavery in 1888, created over occurrence an additional impression of the cultural outline. The family is the foundation of the societal organization and makes up the foundation of dependability for several of the Brazilian citizens. In Brazilian society, the family tends to be big, and the diverse family is relatively close. A person develops a communal system and sustenance in time of demand from the household. Discrimination is often regarded as a constructive idea while it denotes that by an engaging individual one recognizes, and trust is of principal significance (Taylor & Williams, (Eds.), 2017).
Another aspect of the Brazilian culture and society is the Brazilians' Class system which is existent despite the mixing of ethnicities in Brazil. The minority Brazilians' would possibly be described as racially discriminatory even though community inequitableness on the base of the outer concealing color is day-to-day undertaking. The social groups of darker brown skin individuals are both socially and economically underprivileged, however, on the other hand, the middle together with the upper-class groups frequently make limited contacts with the lower class groups for instance drivers and house helps (Taylor & Williams, (Eds.), 2017). Generally, there is an immense differentiation in earnings differential and thus the way of life and societal ambitions amongst the varous classes. For instance, females who form up to forty per cent Brazilian's workforce are only found in low salaried jobs which include jobs like administrative support, nursing and even teaching. Therefore, Brazilian women can be said to have only achieved equality in the government because the establishment of prohibiting preferential treatment in favor of inequality in 1988 continues to live (Taylor & Williams, (Eds.), 2017).
Social Customs and Etiquette
The social customs and etiquettes practiced by the Brazilians can be categorized into meeting etiquettes, gift giving etiquettes together with dining etiquettes. Meeting etiquettes and customs in Brazil include the fact that men shake hands in times of greetings together with the maintaining of unwavering face-to-face contact. However, women usually kiss each other beginning from the left and irregular cheeks. On the other hand, hugs and back patting are regarded ordinary ways of greetings among friends in the Brazilian society. However, in cases where a woman desires to have a handshake with a man then she may need to extend her hand first (Taylor & Williams, (Eds.), 2017).
The customs of giving gifts are also highly regarded in the Brazilian society. For instance, if invited to a Brazilian's area of residence, it is recommended to get a flower as a gift for the hostess or even a small package of a gift. Generally, orchids are always regarded to be the outstanding gifts even though it is advisable to avoid the purple ones. Black and purple colors are regarded as sorrowful colors and therefore it is advisable to keep away from buying anything of such colors. Similarly, handkerchiefs are associated with funeral and thus do not make a good appeal when presented as a gift (Taylor & Williams, (Eds.), 2017).
Regarding the dining etiquette, it is important to observe that in cases of invites to a Brazilian residence it is important to arrive at least half- an hour before the set time for diner, however, in cases of party invites or social gathering invitations, it is recommended to arrive an hour later. The aspect of dressing is very vital, and it is essential to dress sophisticatedly and instead be categorized to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Finally, in case you do not present a gift to the hostess, then a flower presented on a subsequent day is of social value and is appreciated (Taylor & Williams, (Eds.), 2017).
Generally, the principles of the aboriginal Indians and Africans, as well as the Portuguese, have massively contributed to the contemporary Brazilian lifestyle. The culture of the Portuguese is regarded to be the dominant of the cultural influences because it is the origin of the Brazilians' language, their primary religion and a good number of their customs. Even though the population of the Brazilian Indians is statistically low, the Tupi-Guarani which is the dialect of the Brazilian Indians remains to powerfully impact the Brazilian Portuguese dialect together with other Indian influences to Brazilian values are numerous and mostly evident along the Amazon basin (Taylor & Williams, (Eds.), 2017). However, the impact of African traditions on Brazilian lifestyle is resilient along the coast amid the Northeast region and Rio de Janeiro, and they include customary foods, religion, and familiar music and dance particularly the Samba. Critics have also argued that Brazil is suffering as a result profitable and racial importations from countries such as Europe and North America which have posed competition against Brazilians own cultural output. However, in spite of the several societal and commercial challenges, Brazilians have remained to be energetic and imaginative in their merriments and forms of art (Taylor & Williams, (Eds.), 2017).
Business Culture and Practice
In order to do business in a country like Brazil, it is important to thoroughly understand the ethical business protocols and their meanings in the country and what how the country's culture is related to inherent threats and opportunities in the business setting of Brazil focusing on the private and public interconnection because several business crises have originated from corruption scandals and ethical differences. There are historical and cultural factors min Brazil such as jeitinho which is a specific Brazilian method of bypassing bureaucratic barriers and problems solving by using informal networks of relationships and favors which still infiltrate social and business conduct. That to some extent hinders the establishment of more professional and ethical business customs for both the private and public business sectors and even to some extent hindering consistent national growth (Shaw, 2015). In spite of the recently made progress, to change a traditionally paternalist, personalist and a business culture based on impunity is neither easy nor automatic. Just the adoption of the code of conduct has become very challenging for the transformation of the Brazilian business culture which is typically considered by power, paternalism, and the loyalty of individuals as well as the avoidance of conflicts.
According to studies by Capobiango et al. (2013), the influential and clientelist cultural heritage is still existent among the Brazilians and their social and economic culture. Despite the endorsement of the different Brazilian national constitution in 1988 which created basic ethical principles to be followed by business organizations and individual citizens, the clientelist practices are still used to guarantee employment and business opportunities to particular group or individual without due competition. This aspect is a clear indication of the national jeitinho strategy of agility for dealing with bureaucracy resultant from Brazilian cultural growth. However, the study also indicates that the whole Brazilian society has begun to embrace change despite the historical passivity of its citizens towards politically corrupt behavior. Despite the corrupt and deep-rooted principles of jeitinho, the business culture of Brazil can be perceived to be moving towards a positive direction.
Brazil is one of the countries that is regarded to have suffered economic depression for quite some time and is fast embracing the youth to embrace the aspirational youths with the capacity to establish business investments and robust commercial relationships. Therefore, successful business processes are dependent upon having a clear opinion of the business culture that is embraced in the country. The business etiquettes and protocols in Brazil are best analyzed into categories of communication and relationships, business negotiations, business meeting etiquettes, dressing protocols and even the idea of business marketing like...
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