O meu irlandês sobre o Brasil - 2ª edição - parte III


Último post da série de participações do R. no blog (por enquanto!) - espero que vocês tenham gostado e R., muuuuuuuito obrigada por ter escrito mais uma vez no blog (e tenho certeza que você vai entender essa frase direitinho, sem precisar de google translator).


Living together

Speaking of unions, Brazilians view the step of moving in with one’s partner as being equivalent to marriage, which is a little strange to me.  Bárbara has well explained the background for this to me – many Brazilians live with their parents until they get married because renting is not as commonplace and buying a house is extremely expensive.  In Ireland, living together is still an important step for a couple to take together, but here it’s the norm for people to live together for a substantial amount of time before marrying, so there’s less significance to it than in Brazil – try before you buy being the rationale :)

Also, Bárbara told me that when people in Brazil decide to move in together before getting married, they tend to refer to their partner as husband/wife and people treat them as though they are married. Part of the reason for this might be due to the fact that if a couple live together for 2 years in Brazil they are considered to have a common law marriage.

This is all quite different from Ireland, where it is not uncommon for a couple who have lived together for years to still call each other boyfriend/girlfriend – even if there are children involved (although the term “partner” tends to be used for longer term relationships/older couples).   We usually reserve the terms husband and wife for when people have become legally married and we don’t really have legal recognition of common law marriages.


The hottest temperature which I experienced during this trip was 32 degrees, and yes it did feel pretty hot to me (which I like).  However, that 32 degree day didn’t feel as hot as 28 degree day would in Ireland.  It’s a national in-joke that when Irish people go abroad we like to talk about hot countries as having “a different type of heat” and it’s based in some truth.  The reason is humidity – Ireland’s position in the Atlantic gives it a very humid climate, which alters the perception of temperature substantially.  Temperatures which would be modest in hot countries such as Brazil would leave Irish people looking for shelter.  In São Paulo, 20 degrees might be fresquinho, but in Ireland it’s pretty warm – especially if there happens to be very little wind.


Last, but not least, there’s the beautiful game – football.  Our previous trip was just before the World Cup and it was great to see how the excitement of the fans was starting to build up, with everybody getting involved with decorating their neighbourhoods.  However we left before the competition kicked off and I didn’t experience the significance of football to Brazilians up close (well I did, but it was among friends back home in Ireland).

This time, I had a few more glimpses into what football means to Brazilians.  I saw armies of fans travelling to a stadium to support their team, some even with tattoos professing their love for their team.  I heard people run out into the streets to celebrate goals, shouting as though the game being played was the most important game of the century, with fireworks being launched in the distance – Bárbara and her brother tell me this happens every Wednesday night.  I heard radio commentators describing a game with speech so fast that it sounded like a machine gun (Portuguese comprehension – hard mode activated).

While I myself not a fan of football (don’t hate me, I just prefer other things and I’m not big into watching sport in general), the Brazilian passion for it is fascinating and it was really nice to witness it for myself.


That’s about all I have to say for now.  I had a great time visiting Brazil again – it was so much fun to see all of Bárbara’s friends and family and to learn more about Bárbara’s marvellous country.  I hope Bárbara’s readers find at least some of my observations interesting.  As before, if people have questions or comments for me, please leave them on the blog and I’ll respond via Bárbara.

Tchau for now,

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