Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Brazilian parties vs. American parties

When I go to a party in America with lots of people, I am always amazed at the lack of food. Peanuts and chips? Hello? If you are over the age of 25 and have a job, you should be able to provide some decent food for your guests (providing it is not potluck). A big pot of stew, black beans, lentils or chickpeas is not costly and can leave people more satisfied. Or cook pork chops with cabbage in a slow cooker, let is cook for many many hours, and you have Bigos, a popular Polish dish that is very satisfying in the winter.

Of course, in Brazil people have maids to cook that food for them.

Now, another thing that I have not gotten used to is:

-dinner parties beginning at 6, 7. This is too early for us Brazilians! We go out to dinner at 9, 10. As a woman, I often find myself scrambling to blow dry my hair so I can make it to a party at 7, and often running late. Especially in the summer, it is odd to go party when the sun is still high in the sky!

-Restaurants that close at 10 pm. Oh no, that’s when Brazilians go out! We are not as late people as our Argentine neighbors, but we are part of the Latin culture. Warm climates make people stay out later. In America, the problem might be paying your employees to stay late-labor is expensive.

Feijoada, a typical Brazilian dish made with black beans and pork


December 19, 2008 - Posted by | Difference between cultures


  1. This is another thing that annoys me about the US. I can’t believe how EVERYTHING closes so early. I guess that’s why I feel I fit right in when I go to Brazil, I’m a big night owl, so going to the beach, taking a nap, getting ready and going out to dinner at around 9 or 10 is just ideal.

    Another good point about the host/hostess not providing enough food for the guests. Or when they order one large catering “sub” and expect that to feed the whole party. By the time the party is to start the sub is gone, and I think “why bother?” Another thing I can’t wrap my mind around is when they keep the food sitting out too long, and if it’s a childrens party, when all the little kiddos are manhandling all of it. Manners are a thing of the past, and it’s too bad.

    I know in these tough economic times a lot of people are cutting back, but for as long as I can remember I’ve known people who were extremely *cheap* in that regard.

    Is this the case in Brazil too, or is this just another common decency issue America has lost?

    Comment by Nicole | December 20, 2008 | Reply

  2. I think parties without food are more common when young people have a party. But among more mature people in Brazil usually there is a lot of food, several kinds of meats, etc. Don’t you think the early closing if restaurants here are due to labor being expensive? And maybe because of the Puritan heritage (late parties are not conducive with hard work..)

    Comment by Grace Farrell | December 21, 2008 | Reply

  3. Yes, I think the wages of workers plays a huge part in the “need” for closing restaurants early. There is also, at least where I’m from, a stigma attached to staying up, or being out late. If you’re one of those that do, you must be up to no good, lazy, sleep all day, and have no job.

    Maybe I’m not productive in a time set by American standards, but I’m productive! Sleeping in late isn’t really late if you don’t go to bed until 3, 4 am. Most American’s just don’t get it.

    Thanks for the info about the parties in Brazil Ms. Farrell!
    Another reason (being up late) Brazil is at the top of my list for countries to live in during the winter months.

    Comment by Nicole | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  4. Believe me Nicole, I would also like to spend these dark winter months in Brazil, coming back late April.

    Where can I find a job that will employ me here April-November and in Brazil November-April? 🙂

    Comment by Grace Farrell | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  5. Hi Grace,
    what do Brazilian women think when someone says “Brazilian Women” and american men just start panting like they are in heat. Do you feel like americans are too “fresh” when it comes to the attributes of Brazilian women?

    Comment by Joanne | December 22, 2008 | Reply

    • I think it is totally overated 🙂 The population is slimmer than in the US, so women in general are more fit. Additionally, Brazilian women like to follow fashion, like to dress up more. The clothes are tighter, more jewelry, more colors.

      For example, I went to a holiday party a couple of Saturdays ago. You would think that at least on a Saturday night during a festive period women would try to dress up a bit here in America. You can find nice dresses for 30 dollars in almost every department store and outlet in the country! But no, most women at the party were dressed like I would on a casual Friday with jeans and a sweater and no make up. Nothing special. There were only 2 other females that took the trouble to don a nice dress and comb their hair. No perfume, no make up, no putting a little effort in trying to look nice. It makes me think: why bother? Next time I will go dressed in sweats and no one will care 🙂

      Now, does that mean that every Brazillian woman is sexy and hot? Hell no! Some are conservative, some are plain, some have bad bodies, some don’t care what they look like. You cannot generalize, ever! You can automatically assume that Brazilian women are all hot. And you cannot assume that a big country like Brazil can be represented by some hot young babes who frolic at Ipanema beach.

      My daughter heard something interesting a while ago. She does not “look” Brazilian, whatever that means, since Brazilians come in every color, shape and size, but when she told a guy she met that she was Brazilian, he answered: “That makes you 10 times hotter”. LOL

      Comment by Grace Farrell | December 24, 2008 | Reply

      • Same problem in Europe, trust me…

        Also, the Part with “who” looks brazilian… Many men expect a Samba dancer, a mulatta ( the image if the mixed girl is quite strong) And they all got word that brasileras MUST be nymphos.
        Blond brazilians aren’t really considered brazilians, because they are european decent and/or dome think the are decendants from the Nazi ( of course, many do not know that the south is basically full of ” germans” that came to brazil before world war II). I guess they don’t care…

        got a friend, she’s got darker skin, cute mixed girl. She was waiting on a bus stop one evening, and an older man came near and asked in bad portugese – how much she would cost…
        Europe is in some matters quite little minded.

        Comment by Nefertari | March 7, 2012

  6. I was thinking about this when having a discussion on Brazil today, and I read that half of women in Rio are “overweight.” I don’t recall that being the case, yes, there are some people who are heavier, very few who are quite heavy, but I don’t remember it being 50%. I question that study. Any thoughts?!

    As for looking Brazilian, I’ve heard that too, even though I’m not Brazilian. I had a doctor who saw my Haivainas, and when I asked about Acai and Guarana (and it’s possible interactions with my medications) and he said “you don’t look Brazilian, you’re not from there, are you?” He was from Sao Paulo.

    Comment by Nicole | December 24, 2008 | Reply

  7. I agree with you that 50% seems to be a too high number. Remember that our ethnicity is mostly Latin, and Latin women have curves. We have rounder buts and thighs, making us seem “fat” to some Anglos who like the hiplesss and butless female body type. You are correct about some overweight and very few obese: you hardly ever see any obese people in Brazil, and certainly not any morbidly obese. Nicole, you are an American. When and why did you go to Brazil?

    Comment by Grace | December 26, 2008 | Reply

  8. I wanted to go somewhere warm and exotic for my 16th birthday. A family member of mine had been to Brazil many times, and I was so intrigued that I had to go. My family and I went there, and I fell in love with anything and everything Brazilian. I then went again in 2005, and it was there that a new Brazilian friend of mine mentioned that he thought I had an Endocrine problem, as there was no way I should have been the weight I was based on my exercise and eating habits. Sure enough, I came home, a year later started testing for Endocrine diseases, and in late 2007 was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor and a rare endocrine disease caused by that. I’m now in remission after two brain surgeries this past summer, yet still dealing with the damages done to my body( the doctors think I had it about 15 years) but, I’m doing better each day! Brazil has a special place in my heart in more ways than one. This is how/when I started my research on the Brazilian health systems and such. Hoping to go back in August, thinking Natal or Joao Pessoa this time, and maybe a day or two in Rio (I love Ipanema).

    Comment by Nicole | December 27, 2008 | Reply

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