sexta-feira, 30 de setembro de 2016

Advices to a Business Trip to Brazil

Are you going on a business trip to Brazil? This article will give you some suggestions to understand some cultural characteristics of this amazing country. There is a consensus that it is a challenge to do business in a different cultural environment, for this reason business tourist has to be prepared for this difficult journey.

According to Utley (2004)1, cultural characteristics are organized in three categories: surface culture (things that you can recognize with no effort), shallow surface (similar to surface, but not too low) and deep culture (things that you recognize only if you are very familiar with the culture).  

Utley (2004)explained that cultural characteristics is composed by many components.  In Brazil, tourist can observe these elements grouped in two parts: first part is related to surface and shallow culture and the second part is pertinent to deep culture. Examples of the first part are artefacts, gastronomy, greetings, treatment of outsiders, driving habit, physical gestures, and organization of companies. Moreover, examples of the second part are family life, values and beliefs and social organization and class. 

The first example of cultural characteristic in Brazil is the public transportation. Using it can be problematic in a business trip because the schedules are not punctual. Also, taking bus or subway in the rush hours, which is around 7:00 am in the morning and 6:00 pm in the evening, might be very busy and you must pay attention to your own safety. Second example about living in Brazil is dealing with emergencies, it is similar to others countries, you can call the police using the number 190 and the fireman at the number 193. Third example of cultural habits in this country of South of America is how to give tip. The amount of tipping in the restaurants in Brazil is 10% of the bill, but it is not mandatory. However, if you do not receive a good service, you should not pay it. The fourth example of Brazilian culture is about deep culture, which local products are discussed. If business tourists are interested to buy these kind of products in Brazil, they have to ask their hostess because local products are sold in a specific day of the week, in a place called  “Feira”. Beyond that, tourists must have Brazilian money to buy things at the “feira”. Then, the fifth example of cultural characteristics is about using money. When tourists arrive in Brazil, the best thing they should do is to exchange their money, considering that many stores do not have the habit of accepting foreign money. The last tip in this article is about business meeting. When a manager does a presentation expecting that everybody to be quiet, unfortunally it will not happen in Brazil. Brazilians usually ask you questions while you are speaking. Do not be nervous, if you can not handle it, explain that you would like to answer the questions at the end of your presentation.

To conclude, the key of a good business trip is to know the cultural characteristics of the country that you intend to visit. The business tourists who are willing to follow some of these information about Brazilian culture will most likely do pleasant and safe travel to that great country.

 1 - Utley, D. (2004). Intercultural resource pack. Cambridge University Press. Adapted and used in accordance with SAIT’s Fair Dealing Policy. (Schedule A, Copyright of External Materials AC.2212.1); further distribution may infringe copyright.

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