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9 Realities of American Kids Raised by Brazilian Parents

Brazil United States Student Work
by Amanda Moutinho Nov 4, 2014
1. You pay for 5,000 TV channels just so you can watch Globo all day.

Whether it’s for knowing who’s sleeping with whom on the hottest novella, catching the latest soccer game, or having Faustão on during Sunday lunch, Globo is essential for every Brazilian home. It’s not a popular channel for non-Brazilian households, therefore it requires the highest level of most cable subscriptions. You pay for the whole package even though we all know Globo will be on 90% of the time.

2. Your week revolves around when the soccer game is.

Soccer is a religion. Since you were a baby you were indoctrinated into your family’s choice of team. You learned the chants of your torcida before you learned nursery rhymes. Soccer is on your mind all year long, with plenty of tournaments to keep you occupied. There will be screaming, cursing, anger, and hopefully some joy. Other sports might interest you, but your heart and soul belong to futbol.

3. You know where every Brazilian store and restaurant is in a 100-mile radius.

You drive an hour out of the way to find the one tiny Brazilian store that sells the right kind of flour. Every state has that one store in a strip mall located in the middle of nowhere. The store itself is always pretty bare, but it has a few shelves stocked with essentials like farinha, boxes of Garoto chocolates, and Guaraná. You’ve also taken stock of every Brazilian restaurant and made a list of everything it’s lacking (where are the chicken hearts?).

4. You naturally talk at a higher volume than everyone else.

Brazilians have one tone of voice: loud. You’re constantly shouting over your family members, and when they tell you to stop yelling you shout back, “I’M NOT YELLING.”

5. You know how to throw a party.

People love coming to your house for parties because they know they’re going to have a good time. Brazilians are fun loving, and we love to party. Your mom will make amazing feijoada and your dad will slice up the limes for caipirinhas. There will be plenty of laughter and samba that will last late into the night.

6. Your dessert table looks different than your American friends’.

Sure, there’s always cake, but next to the cake are various forms of gelatinous desserts: pudim, manja, or mousse de maracuja. And you truly don’t understand how people ever have a party without some sort of flan. If those don’t temp you, then the brigadeiros (condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder) are the highlight of every party.

7. Your family isn’t afraid of offending you.

Unlike your American friends, your parents aren’t shy about telling you the truth. Brazilians are open (maybe a little too open). Your family is blunt about everything. They’ll let you know if you’ve gained weight or if they don’t like your new significant other. Nothing is off the table or too sensitive to discuss at the dinner table.

8. You’re always late.

“Brazilian time” is a real thing. You know that start times are just suggestions, and you’ll always show up fashionably late. You’re constantly surprised when people show up on time to your house while you’re still in a bathrobe. Even with the best intentions, your body clock is in a different time zone than everyone else’s.

9. You have fierce national pride, but constantly complain about Brazil.

You’re the first person to list all the problems with Brazil — corruption, crime, poverty, issues with education and healthcare, etc. But you’re also the first person to defend Brazil as the best country in the world. Brazilian pride courses through our veins, and we know that wherever we are, Brazil will always be our home.

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