People ask me of what I would want to become when I grow up. Surprisingly for them, my answer doesn’t usually fit to what they expected from a youth like me who has been part of politically-inclined families. They are expecting me to follow the footsteps of my father, at least. I have thought of that ever since, yes, but now that I have reached college wherein plans of the future have already been mapped at least not too sharp, I have realized that I want something new for myself. As I continue to unravel the cosmopolitan world, I have come to think that there’s a bigger world for me out there and there’s always a place allotted for me someday in that bigger world. I want to be a cosmopolite. I want to travel around the world. I am eager to discover new things about the wonders in life. And of course how can I forget, one of my top priorities, I always want to continue the legacy of my family – I want to serve the people in whatever way I can. And nevertheless, enjoy. I always want to live in a simple and happy life full of fun and excitement. I always dreamed of a family living in an undemanding lifestyle harmoniously. I always want life to be simply perfect. That’s why in my article for this issue, I’ve tried to research something fabulous on one of my favorite countries I plan to visit soon – Brazil. Below are some of the facts about this beautiful, close-to-nature, country.
Brazil with its capital Brasilia is located in the Eastern part of South America bordering the Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of almost two hundred million with an area of about eight million five hundred thousand square kilometers. That’s roughly twenty eight times as big as the Philippines. And olá (hello), Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking country. Now doubt Portuguese is one the top ten most popular languages in the world according to the census.
What’s interesting about this country is that this country is a bit like the Philippines.
Like us, Brazilians are very emotional and much attached with their families and friends. Before they make conversations, it is necessary for them to give a kiss on their cheeks (we call it beso-beso) or a handshake. Asking about the family’s background and how the family is going on is very important likewise. In that way, you show your deep concern for them.
Brazilians like coffee as much as we do. They are also very into coffee, and that they serve really strong coffee. These coffees are now served mostly during business transactions. When it comes to business dealings however, Brazilians are very particular with time so that when you make appointments with them, make it at least two weeks in advance. Never try to make impromptu calls at business or government offices. During meetings, Brazilians start on time (a very reflecting part for the Filipinos). Gift giving in doing business meetings is also usual in Brazil so that the host will have to give a present to her colleagues or if not he must buy lunch or dinner instead during or after the transaction.
An unfamiliar fact about its people is that they have this unique gesture that they do every time they express appreciation to someone; that is, Brazilians pinch their earlobes in front of the person they admire using their thumbs and forefingers. For what reason they’re doing this, I still don’t have a clue, but I’ll promise to know the reason behind this as soon as I interview a Brazilian the moment I’ll be in Brazil. I mean, we can always dream right? It’s the only thing left here on earth that is free, so just dream on.
Here’s more. If somebody asks you a question and you do not know what the answer is, just flick your fingertips underneath your chin. It indicates that you do not know the answer to the question. Imagine it and try doing it. Its fun and amazing realizing that we only see this in cartoons shows.
Before I close this article, I want leave some questions for reflection to help us realize what it takes to be a Filipino. What can we say about these Brazilians? How do they differ from us? Do we have “strange” qualities too that are exceptional in our culture? What are these? Are we proud of these traits and customs we have like the Brazilians do? Or do we, like most of us, forget our customs and traditions our ancestors passed on to us?