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  • Writer's pictureSpeaking Brazilian

American customs that Brazilians should adopt

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

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Oi, pessoal!

As you may have already noticed, I like to compare Brazilian customs with those of other countries to help you understand a little more about Brazilian culture.

Today I'm going to talk about four American customs that, in my opinion, should be adopted by Brazilians.

1 – The possibility of returning a product and receiving a refund

One of the things I really like about the United States is the possibility to return a product if you change your mind for any reason.

Most stores in the United States accept returns and offer refunds with no questions asked. This does not exist in Brazil. When you buy a product, it's always a final purchase. There is no refund option, although some establishments accept exchanges.

For example, some clothing stores allow you to exchange an item you have purchased for another, but the rules are much stricter than in the United States.

2 – Doing volunteer work regularly

Of course, there is volunteer work in Brazil, and many Brazilians do this type of work. However, in general, volunteer work is much stronger, more present, and more encouraged in the United States.

Even children and teenagers are encouraged to do community work, and this is so relevant that it can help young people get accepted into universities or get their first job.

According to an article published in Forbes, a survey of public and private colleges across the US proves that a student's experience in community service has a positive impact on their acceptance into higher education institutions.

In Brazil, on the other hand, universities select students solely based on their grades in a specific test called vestibular or Enem. Brazilian universities do not bother verifying what the student does to contribute to the community.

3 – Punctuality

If you have Brazilian friends, you've probably noticed that they aren't very punctual. The lack of punctuality is a noticeable characteristic of Brazilians.

Of course, it depends on the person and the situation. In the work environment, lateness is less tolerable, but in meetings with friends and family, Brazilians are very carefree about the time.

In the United States, people are generally very punctual. To Americans, "time is money"!

4 – Paying for everything upfront

Americans usually pay for everything upfront, without installments, except for very expensive things, like a car or a house, for example.

In Brazil, everything can be paid in installments, even not expensive things like clothes, shoes, and grocery shopping.

The custom of paying in installments is very strong and is rooted in Brazilian culture. I understand that many people pay in installments out of necessity because they really need a certain thing and cannot afford to pay upfront.

On the other hand, I've seen many people buy in installments simply out of habit, impulse, and lack of financial organization. I confess that I have done this many times while living in Brazil.

That's it, everybody! I hope you enjoyed this lesson!

I love Brazilian and American culture. I think we have a lot in common and a lot to learn from each other.

You'll find more Portuguese lessons at the bottom of this page.

Até a próxima!

Speaking Brazilian School Team


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