Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Brazilian Ethics

Olá amigos en amigas! Today, we will explore the Brazilian race once more!

Let us be reminded that Brazilians are very emotional. They are very much attached with their families and friends. Before these Brazilians make conversations to people, it is necessary for them to give a kiss on their cheeks or a handshake.

These people are also very into coffee. They serve them really strong. These strong coffees are being served usually during business transactions. Speaking of business dealings, they are very particular with time so that when one makes appointments with them, one should make it at least two weeks in advance. One should never attempt to make impromptu appointments at work or in government offices. During meetings, take note that they are always on time. Gift giving is also significant in Brazil. The host will be the one who gives gift to his or her visitor, though.

These coffees are now served mostly during business transactions. When it comes to business dealings on the other hand, Brazilians are very particular with time so that when you make appointments with them, make it at least two weeks in advance. Never try to make impromptu calls at business or government offices. During meetings, Brazilians start on time (a very reflecting part for the Filipinos). Gift giving in doing business meetings is also usual in Brazil so that the host will have to give a present to her colleagues or if not he must buy lunch or dinner instead during or after the transaction.

An interesting fact about its people is that they have this unique gesture that they do every time they express appreciation to someone; that is, Brazilians pinch their earlobes in front of the person they admire using their thumbs and forefingers.

Another thing, to invoke good luck, make a “fig”; that is, place your thumb between your index and middle fingers while making a fist.

If somebody asks you a question and you do not know what the answer is, just flick your fingertips underneath your chin. It indicates that you do not know the answer to the question. Imagine it and try doing it. Its fun and amazing realizing that we only see this in cartoons shows.

With the mentioned information above, what can we say about these people? How do they differ from us? Do we have “strange” qualities too that are exceptional in our culture? What are these? Or do we, like most of us, forget our customs and traditions our ancestors passed on to us?


Monday, August 27, 2007

To Experience Is To Understand

One of the things I like most is learning, exploring and experiencing the different cultures among different races and ethnicities. I have always want to relate with different people. I want to examine their ways of living. I want to know their belief systems, their food ways, their lifestyle. I want to learn the different sets of culture. I want to know more about intercultural communication.

I started my interest in learning intercultural communication when my college professor shared to us her personal experience on this. She exclaimed, not only intercultural communication is an interesting hobby to her, you also will become informative with your experience. You can also be a cultural mediator among different cultures. You become one when you start understanding and experiencing other cultures. You will be able to prevent certain conflicts that may arise along the way.
By studying other cultures and experiencing them, one can be able to overcome intercultural conflicts brought in the surface because of cultural differences. Understanding other cultures is a very important thing to avoiding these conflicts because of varying beliefs and principles.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fiestas and Traditions In Spain

One of the famous festivals in Spain is Bullfighting or locally known as Corrida. Any fiesta of the year all throughout Spain, the celebration wouldn't be complete without bullfights. But if you want to see the most spectacular event, one can witness this during the “Running of Bulls” during the Sanfermines in Pamplona.

Another folkloristic tradition in Spain is the Flamenco. This is the musical tradition in the south of Spain, particularly in Andalusia. In this occasion, one will be able to witness and listen to the first rate dancing and music playing among its townspeople.

An outstanding religious origin is the Semana Santa (Easter Week). This happens every April of the year. Processions and pilgrimages occur to commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ. In this solemn occasion, everyone is expected to repent of their sins and recollect as a Christian. Similar to this is the El Rocio, a traditional pilgrimage in the province of Huelva commemorated every May.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tomato Fight in Spain

Every clique – be it a cult, tribe, country or race – has its own customs and traditions that are created out of habit, necessity or even by serendipity. Just like that of the Tomatina Festival celebrated every August in the Valencia region of Spain.

Every year around 40, 000 people all over Spain celebrate the Tomato Festival wherein they throw more than 240, 000 pounds of tomatoes at each other. The festival is celebrated on the last Wednesday of August and is a town-wide tomato fight. The tradition, they say, began in 1945 when a fight was created between two young members of the carnival crowd. The said fight took place near a vegetable stall in the town square and everyone started picking and throwing tomatoes at each other. One year later, on the same occasion, the same people met at the square bringing their own tomatoes with them. The fight was being stopped by the police. In the following years, this practice was banned by the government but because it has already gained its popularity, it has been given its official recognition in 1959.

People are now excited to to celebrate the Tomatina Festival come August 2009. This will mark its 50 years of celebration.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Learning The ABCs of Brazil

If given a chance to meet people from other culture, I would love to meet the Brazilians and interact with them. It would always be my source of fulfillment if upon meeting them I would be able to apply to them the things that I have learned about a particulare culture – in this case, the Brazilian.

Take for example their meeting etiquette. When Brazilian men greet, they shake hands while maintaining eye contact while women kiss each other on their cheeks. Also, backslapping and hugging are common greetings among Brazilian pals. Lastly, if a woman intends to shake hands and make friend to a man, she should approach the man first and extend her hand to the man to signify politeness.

Another is the gift giving etiquette. If you are invited to a Brazilian's house, you should bring the flowers or a small gift to the host. Orchids are actually considered a very nice gift but never the purple ones. Something purple or black are mourning colors to them. Sane is true with handkerchiefs as they are also associated with funerals. In general, Brazilians open the gifts as soon as they receive it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hail! Brazil!

The one thing I like about the Brazilian culture is its national unity brought by language. Although Brazil is a mixture of different ethnicities and races and that Brazil is a large country in area and its population, it still has preserved to unite the country as a whole by the Portuguese language that has been propagated. Unlike some large (and even small) countries, majority of the Brazilians speak their national language. Note that dialects in Brazil have not been utilized very well among its people making the achieve the national unity that every nation is aspiring.

Another thing that I admire about them is their value for family. For them, the family is the basic foundation of the social forms and basis of stability of the society. Though their nucleus families tend to be large, they still treasure their ties up to their extended families. A family member draws a social network and help in times of need from the family.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bob Marley and His Reggae

Reggae music is just around the corner – literally and figuratively. Reggae has always been the groove for those who want to relax and unwind, those who party until morning, those who just bum around. In the East coast, where the summer season is already up and coming, reggae mania has been very apparent in music that people listen to, in the clothes people choose to wear, with their hair, the character that they try to depict. Same is true in the West. Reggae has also got a fair story of popularity and idolism.

Robert Nesta Marley, more commonly known as Bob Marley, popularized this music genre. It first developed in Jamaica, the motherland of Bob Marley, in the late 1960s. Bob Marley used reggae to send his message to his fellow countrymen and to the world of the issues that they were facing that must be addressed. These issues include justice and equality, sexuality, poverty, society and politics. This call was and has always been the prayer of Bob Marley and every Rasta around the globe.

The term reggae more properly means a “particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rastas Wear Red, Green and Gold

There is this one trend that caught my attention lately. It is very dramatic how I see random people wearing the colors red, green and gold (or yellow). Though they seem to be in vogue, these colors actually manifest a deeper, more profound account – a recapitulation of the ideals that the early men used to believe and has now continued from one generation to the next, this time though, much more popular that it has become the talk of the town, the icon of fashion among contemporaries . It has evolved into a culture itself.

This culture is rastafarianism. The name is rooted from Jah Ras Tafari, an emperor in Jamaica who influenced his people in the truest sense. Up until this time, the Rastafarians or Rastas (people who believe in rastafarianism) advocate the colors: red, green and gold. Red symbolizes blood that has been shed by the martyrs in the history of the Rastas; Green, for nature, beauty and vegetation of the promised land; gold, for wealth of the homeland.

It is good to be updated with the latest trends of the town but it will always be much better to be equipped with the wisdom expected of you to have especially if you claim that you are a fan of such trends.