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Punctuality and Brazilians Do Not Mix

When you set up an appointment or dinner at a certain time you maybe expect people to be 10 to 15 minutes late. Not here! It doesn’t matter if it is a business meeting or a private one, Brazilians will take it as a rough indicator and show up when it pleases them. Maybe a little bit less in the business world, but definitely personally. So when you have an arrangement to meet in a restaurant with people at 19:00 expect people to come everything from 30 minutes to 2 hours late. With that said, evenings are more relaxed in Brazil and tend to linger into the wee hours. Whereas Americans might meet for dinner at 7pm in order to be home by 9, Brazilians might meet for dinner at 9 and continue enjoying chopp (draft beer) until midnight, even on a weeknight! This cultural difference in timetables can explain why early dinner expectations with Brazilians can be a frustration for expats…think of it as someone asking you to meet them for lunch at 10am! One other thing to note is the big meal of the day for many Brazilians is lunch, so dinner may be a less formal affair with light dishes, salads, or petiscos (appetizers). And if you are invited for dinner never ever show up at the time the host indicates to you; you might catch them taking a shower when you arrive on time.


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