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Portuguese in Brazil


Greetings and Partings

A normal greeting consists of two kisses on alternate cheeks (beginning with the other's right cheek). Three kisses can be given if the person one greets is unmarried - the third kiss being for luck. Depending on the region, it is appropriate to simultaneously shake the person's hand. When introduced to a stranger, one shakes hands and makes a kissing gesture to either side of the person's face without actually touching. This is also proper for a younger person greeting an older person. These gestures are often repeated when parting, particularly if the gathering has been small and intimate. In a larger or more informal situation, one can simply wave and say goodbye. In an office or a more formal situation, always offer a handshake and add the kissing gesture if it seems appropriate to the moment and the inclination of the other person.

In the course of a greeting, be sure to ask about the individual's whole family. This applies both to phone conversations and face-to-face greetings. At the end of the conversation, send regards to the other person's family. The same applies when entering an office or business if visits are frequent.

When arriving at someone's house, one should say the equivalent of "excuse me" at the door before entering.


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