Brazilians are having a tough time right now; they don’t trust their govenment, they don’t trust each other, and they’re going through the worst financial crisis they’ve seen in decades. But they're passionate, sociable and naturally optimistic, and these traits form the foundation of national culture.
Two decades of initiatives to reduce disparities between black and white weren’t enough to change the reality of racial discrimination. But now, minorities are fighting for a space that’s never been conquered in Brazil. Women, non-whites and LGBT groups are finally being heard.
With 65% of Brazilians believing corruption to be the country’s main problem, it’s clear that this is a society with trust issues. And it’s not just their government either – Brazilians don’t think people are to be trusted in general. Instead, trust is something to be earned.
In the depths of the country’s worst recession in decades, people are cutting back – and the leisure budget is first to go. So instead of heading out to splash the cash, Brazilians are kicking back at home, inviting friends and family to join them on the couch rather than at the bar.
Brazilians might be skint, but that hasn’t curbed all their spending; around £4 billion is spent per year on hairdressing services, manicures and pedicures. While the rich are richer than ever, the poor still benefit from the morale boost these little luxuries provide.
Brazil is home to a notoriously family-oriented society, with 87% considering family ‘very important’. But what those families look like is changing dramatically, as divorce rates rise, fewer people opt to have children and same-sex marriage becomes increasingly accepted.