Almost everyone can dance and Brazilians are usually at ease with their bodies. While talking, they may stand closer to each other than the regular American or Northern European, and also tend to touch each other more. It’s not uncommon to touch each other on the shoulder or arm occasionally while speaking and foreigners should not take this as impolite or as a violation of personal space.
The Brazilian society exhibits many positive traits of friendship, hospitality and honor and highly values family and social connections. This may lead some people to think that Brazilians are a sympathetic people in a very peculiar way, as for many of them, the most important thing when dealing with other people may be the distinction between known and unknown people. To people they have met, or at least they know the name, they are very open, friendly and sometimes quite generous. Once introduced, until getting a good reason not to, a typical Brazilian may treat you as trustfully as he would treat a best friend. This may have an agreeable impact, but it also means that outsiders not always get the same special treatment as locals. Nevertheless, Brazilians are reputedly one of the most hospitable people in the world and foreigners are usually treated with respect and often with true admiration.
Attitudes towards foreigners may also be subject to regional differences:
- While in the southernest state of Rio Grande do Sul, Argentines are sometimes viewed with uneasiness, the neighboring state of Santa Catarina welcomes their Spanish-speaking tourists with bilingual signs and welcome committees.
- In Salvador, the largest city of the Northeast, anyone who talks, acts or looks like a tourist (even other Brazilians!) is charged higher prices, such as in parking lots, in restaurants, etc.