18 Truths You Know If You're Brazilian
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18 Truths You Know If You're Brazilian

Brazilian, not Portuguese.

18 Truths You Know If You're Brazilian
Marilia Riva Andrade

I was born in Brazil, and even though I was only 10 months old when my parents moved to the United States, I definitely felt the effect of my roots growing up. I'm so blessed to be part of such a fun and rich culture. There are some things that need to be cleared up though.

1. We are Brazilian; we SPEAK Portuguese. Not the other way around.

We don't speak Spanish either, although the languages are close enough to be able to communicate basically.

2. Soccer is a staple of every household.

If you didn't play on an official team, family bonding consisted of pick up games or watching the many soccer cups on Globo. "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL" was heard very often in your living room.

3. You defend "your team" to the end, and it felt like there was an earthquake every time they scored a goal.

Don't expect to get any work done when the game is on, especially if it's against their rival team. "Corinthians" was taught as a curse word in my house.

4. People LOVE to bring up the Brazil vs. Germany game.

Let's be honest, Brazil was off their game for all of the 2014 World Cup. However, we still hold the most World Cup wins, and soccer is our thing. We'll never let you forget that.

5. You cry a little every time you start craving caldo de cana (sugar cane juice) and pastels.

When I was in Brazil, you could find a repurposed Kombi draining sugar cane and a pastelaria on every street corner. Now, the closest place to get some fried Brazilian goods is 50 minutes away from home, and eight hours away from school.

6. But then you remember Guaraná is a lot easier to find.

Guaraná is a berry found in a lot of energy drinks, but we consume it as a soda. Your American friends who have tried it get just as excited as you do when there's an unopened bottle in your fridge. It's that good.

7. No family party is complete without samba, churrasco, and mousse de maracuja.

If it's a kid's birthday party, you can expect brigadeiros and beijinhos too. "I can't explain it, just try it" is a phrase my American friends hear very often.

8. Introducing your American friends to your family is always a fun time.

You can sense their discomfort as soon as they walk in and are kissed on the cheek by every family member that sees them, and they are always worried that they're being talked about in Portuguese. The longer they stick around, the more they pick up on things and embrace the craziness that ensues when the family gets together.

9. Novelas commandeered the TV every night before the news.

There was no way Mamãe was going to miss any of the five soap operas she'd be watching at any given point. Everyone scoffs at how absolutely ridiculous they are, but that doesn't stop you from missing a single day.

10. While you're stuck inside during a heavy snowstorm, you see your entire family posting photos on the beach and cry a little bit.

While they're spending Christmas in bikinis and New Year's at the beach, you're in a parka thinking, "WHY DID WE MOVE TO THE COLD, COLD NORTH???"

11. If a meal doesn't have rice and beans, it's not really a meal.

Unless you're having pasta, there's rice at every dinner table, and you never really understand what Americans eat for dinner every night if they don't have rice and beans. These were also the first foods you learned how to cook, in case your parents were late coming home from work.

12. Translating EVERYTHING when a family member comes to the States to visit.

But it's all worth it when they bring the goods. You know.

13. And their slight disappointment when they realize America isn't all like the movies.

Sorry, I live in New York State, not New York City. You're lucky you're close enough to the city to take a day trip, though. I have visited the Statue of Liberty WAY too many times in 18 years.

14. Every time you talk to a family member, everyone calls you "gringa" and makes fun of how Americanized you've become.

My conversations at home switch between English and Portuguese quite often, but Brazilians are notorious for teasing everyone for everything. I can't dance, and I lose my Portuguese quite a bit when I don't go to Brazil for a while, but I'm quickly forced to get it back as soon as my plane lands. I also have to brace myself when they see how large my bikinis are because they actually cover my entire backside.

15. But in America, no one seems to do things quite like you.

I only want olive oil, vinegar, and salt on my salads. I don't see a problem with hugging your parents the first time I meet them, and handshakes feel awkward. I'm impressed when your family events aren't totally dysfunctional and everyone actually shows up on time.

16. You get stereotyped in some way when people find out you're Brazilian.

"Aren't Brazilians supposed to be the most beautiful women in the world?" Yes, we are. And I'm included in that, even if I'm not tan and have a perfect body (like MANY Brazilians), thank you very much. Why don't you focus on the good vibes that always surround Brazilians, or how rich our culture is?

17. You think that you should be able to take a vacation during Carnaval.

It's basically a religious observance. It marks the beginning of Lent, and I mean, how else am I going to be able to fully observe the festivities and watch all the escolas de samba on TV?

18. You will always be proud of being Brazilian.

Yes, the country itself is poor and corrupt. I may not fully know what it's like to live in Brazil, but I know that the people stay optimistic and manage to find happiness in every situation. I'm privileged enough to have the opportunities I do in the States, like going to college and living in a extremely safe neighborhood, but I'll never forget my roots.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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