What are the people like in your city?

I am forever hearing about the warm, friendly, welcoming people in Brazil.  But this much-used description just doesn't reconcile with my experience of Brazilian people. Not in Brasilia, anyway. In DF the people are the cold, 'oh look at me' types, they love showing off and just have to be better than you, even when they clearly aren't. Basically, the people are snobs who want to be chic. They are 'noveau riche'; all money and no sophistication or manners etc. It can be quite amusing when you see someone trying to show off when he really doesn't have that much. Or tying to be chic when he clearly doesn't have the education or sophistication to pull it off. For a lot of these people, though, they are only the first or maybe second generation in their families to own an aprtment or have a decent car, and it goes to their heads, 

In our condominium, around 80% of people look at you like they are superior (they really have perfected that look), even though most of the apartments are the same size (only 75 Sq meters) and the cars in the garage are pretty average. My wife and I have lived here for 3 years and we've only  got past the 'bom dia' stage with about 2 people. The lack of warmth is astounding.  When you talk to people who are not from Brasilia (either foreign or from another city in Brazil), they tend to concur with most of this. I'm not saying everyone's the same, as there some nice people here and I've made some friends. But this is the general impression that I have.   

All this stems from the high salaries in DF, the lack of culture / identity and stuff to do etc. Brasilia is a mish-mash of people from all over the country; there is no real culture here and even the accent  is neutral. A lot of people come here to seek their fortune, often by doing a 'concurso publico' and getting a coveted job in the civil service. Before that, people bought land, opened businesses etc. So, it's always been about the money and standard of living for most people. Nobody came here for the beach or the culture.     

I'd be very interested to read some posts on how people are in other cities. I've heard that the people are friendlier and more down to earth. Wherever you are living, please feel free to let me know.   

Thank you

I live in Goiania and I find the people very warm, friendly and welcoming. It's a city of about 2 million people and surrounded by vast areas of Agriculture in the state of Goias. I find that there is a culture here and even though its a large city, its hard not to bump into someone you know or someone who knows who you know when you are out in the city. People always greet you and smile. If you are waiting in a line, someone near you will most likely strike up a small conversation. Not just because I am a gringo, but its what people do here. I see it even with other people around me. The majority of my neighbors I know and frequently talk to or have lunch or dinner with.

Now, there is a few that won't give you the time of the day. That's normal in all cultures, but its the minority here. People here want you to be happy and comfortable. They will go to extremes to make your stay with them pleasant or they will make sure to say hi to you.

As an American it took me a little while to get used to the culture here. Invited to a BBQ that never ends, that is normal. Having to personally greet and say good bye to each person was a little shocking when at events, but totally normal now. Family get together twice a week...part of the culture. Friends living at home with parents until they start a family beyond normal. I would say the culture here in Goiania is very family oriented.

I've been to Brasilia and I do agree with your assessment. Very cold and no culture. The city is too spread out and there is no closeness in the communities. The city was developed, not built on founders or a group of families that spread out and created a city.

I will say that Goiania has one bad thing. When they get in their car, they turn into another person. The driving habits here are beyond scary. People are very aggressive and you need to be very careful. I've had people cut me off or run me off the road, but we arrive at same location and they are very friendly. Talking to everyone and very polite. This behavior is a mystery to me.

I am in BELO Horizonte and I would say that I am hearing not to good things about DF also but you know that's the same thing in most capitals of the world.
I would say my experience so far and I have only been here for 3 months.
Most people acknowledge that you are there or says hello, etc

I have been living in Campinas (one hour from Sao Paulo) for almost three years. My husband grew up in Sao Paulo, and he always refers to people from Campinas as "country folk," pointing out how small-minded Campineiros can be, but I don't think the Brazilians here are any more small-minded than many Americans living in the suburbs of big cities.

Generally speaking, I think the average Brazilian is more friendly and outgoing than the average American. That said, the Brazilians that I have met are all educated, have traveled abroad, and are very welcoming of Americans like myself who speak English, so perhaps I wouldn't have received the same welcome if I were say, a Chinese person from Beijing who spoke no English.

I wholly agree with CraigF's observations about Brazilian drivers. Brazilian drivers are some of the most selfish and aggressive drivers I've ever encountered. They will cut you off, tailgate you, honk at you (even though they were in the wrong), create a lane where there isn't a lane, and basically, do anything to get ahead of you. Also, in my experience, drunk driving is rampant. Most of the Brazilians I know - yes, the same educated Brazilians I mentioned above - won't think twice about getting behind the wheel after a night of heavy drinking.  :|  Oh, and motorcyclists are the worst: they think they own the road. It's no wonder that there are so many motorcycle accidents in this country.

I totally agree about the driving, drinking parts... Shame

I couldn`t agree more about Brazilian drivers; aggressive, selfish, opportunistic, you name it. They will do anything to get ahead of you. Here in DF they will tailgate you for a minute or so, then come flying past you, probably accompanied by a shake of the head or a hand gesture. There is also zero lane discipline; they seem to think that the inside / slow lane is made for the same reason as the outside lane; going fast, basically. The amount of undertaking and use of the shoulder is unreal.   

My pet hate, though, is when you want to change lanes and the person in the next lane, instead of letting you in, deliberately accelerates in order to block you. This is such a frustrating habit; I'm sure it's deliberate and that Brazilian drivers love getting one over on you. Even when the other car is a way behind you, when he sees your indicator flashing, he seems to jump on the gas and really try to get past you or block you before you can move across - even though it would be safer and easier for all concerned to just let you in. But since when did Brazilians ever give a damn about safer or easier?

Yes, agree about the layout in DF; far too spread out for it ever to be a warm, welcoming city. You just can't get a feeling of community or warmth when everything is so far away and you have to drive everywhere. There is also way too much concrete which just makes the place look ugly. The city was state of the art 60 -70 years ago, when it was designed and built. But an exploding population, lack of investment and so on have just left it feeling like a mass of concrete, cars and people with a severe lack of culture / identity. When you combine the plan of the city with the attitude of the people, it can be an unforgiving, impersonal place. 

But there are one or two good things about DF; it is generally more organised and safer than other cities in Brazil. Things work pretty well here (by Brazilian standards) - I never had any real problem with documents or taxes etc. Also, most low - level corruption in Brasilia has been stamped out due to increased auditing, higher salaries and severe penalties for those who get caught.  The cops or public officials are much less likely to take a bribe when they are on a good salary and they know that if they get caught they'll get fired and go to jail. Anyone who tries to offer a bribe will also get into serious trouble.

I live in vitória ÉS. I get along well with most except the flanelinha. I don't pay them  Mostpeople are very friendly. My wife knows a lot of people which is a plus 


I'm  living  in Cachoeiras de Macacu,  2 hours  away  from  Rio.  There  are a  good  number  of foreign  volunteers  that  come   to the  fantastic  Nature  Reserve near by (msg me if  interested). Tge people  here   are on the  whole  very  friendly.  But then  again  I have  made an point  of  getting  myself  known lol.

Setting  up  a little  English school/ creche.  And  have  been  known  to occasionally  wear  a Kilt.

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