The World Cup ended in disappointment for Brazil, but offered the world a good image of the country — at least to the foreigners that came to the event. According to government data, Brazil hosted more than 1 million “gringos” coming from 203 different countries, and 95 percent of them intend to visit the country again.
Here are 7 things the rest of the world can learn from Brazil and its people.
They have a rich literary tradition
Our literature is a treasure that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Abroad, meanwhile, our writers are revered. Recently, the Guardian wrote about authors made in Brazil and declared the country is as good in producing books as it is in playing soccer. And our best writer is Machado de Assis, who studied at universities outside Brazil and is on literary critic Harold Bloom’s list of 100 geniuses, alongside writers such as Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. In addition, Bloom elected our Machadão (great Machado) “the greatest black writer in the West.” A writer who, perhaps unknowingly, described the Brazilian spirit so well when he wrote: “The art of living consists in getting the greatest good out of the greatest evil”. This serves as a lesson not only to Brazilians, but also to the whole world.
They offer a lifeline to their most vulnerable
They help each other in times of crisis
They know how to party
If “gringos” think the only popular celebration in Brazil is Carnival, they are seriously mistaken. When June arrives along with cold weather, the whole country puts on plaid shirts and straw hats to square dance, jump campfires and eat the best regional delicacies ever made. Eating paçoquinha (a sweet made with peanuts), canjica(hominy) and rice pudding, and drinking quentão (mulled cachaça) and mulled wine are things that the whole world should experience — more than once!
They will stop everything for a cup of coffee
No matter the time, the amount of work stacked on the desk or the concentration given to an Excel spreadsheet, it’s always time for a cup of coffee. These breaks are not considered a waste of time, but a time to socialize, to discuss ideas and, who knows, maybe to find solutions for that work stacked on the desk. The spontaneity with which Brazilians stop the world to have coffee with a coworker is not common in other countries.
They’re eternally optimistic
Brazilians are a people of faith, who believe that everything has a solution. Tomorrow will be a better day than today. Regardless of the crisis or the despair it engenders, they always bet that the future holds something better. To be Brazilian is to be an optimist by nature.
“What’s mine is yours”
In Brazil, when someone makes a caipirinha, everybody drinks it. It’s customary to order a round of beer to share with friends at a bar and share a pizza with two, three, or eight people. In some countries, it is common for everyone to have his or her own food or drink. Not here. In Brazil, you share.