In regards to traditional family, Brazilians have very substantial catholic roots; which in turns implies a high presence of catholic family models, with some “modern twists. ” The traditional family model in Brazil is a man and woman headship, church marriage; however, because of how current and distorted the view of marriage has become in Brazil, there is a law now that enacts a “stable union,” versus a church marriage which has been falling in “fashion” the last few decades.
A “stable union” means that people become “married” under the law by way of contract with the exact same rights as a married couple, but do not change their names and claim the official status of “single. ” The average ages in which men and women engages in these “stable unions” is twenty-nine for men and twenty-six for women, and the couples usually only have around two kids. Considering the catholic model of family and it’s high presence even through “stable unions,” there are some modern day distortions applied such as while they maintain the legal side of their religion, they are usually intensely liberal.
This plays out in their initial legalism acts of; it being crucial that a child goes through a year of Bible study and later baptism afterward, the Lord’s Prayer needing to be memorized at a young age, the sign of the cross done after every prayer, before meals and every time you pass a Catholic church, confession of sins and “Ave Maria’s. ” This enables “talking the talk” but not walking the “orthodox catholic walk,” which is especially prevalent in their religion becoming a status symbol and badge to wear where its incredibly important to loudly proclaim catholicism even if you don’t actually practice it.
This is where the liberal aspect comes into play, where most of them don’t really know what they believe and “talk the talk” but focus on enjoying life; i. e partying, sexual immorality, drinking, etc and then repenting at church and believing they’re “clean again” by doing so. This affects the traditional model of family because many of the families hold onto the image and status their catholicism gives them, such as being accepted and popular in their communities, but do not actually play out catholic family values.
Another undeniably important fact about Brazilians is that they love celebrations, which encompasses a more specific topic of holidays especially in the context of family (and also explains why they have fifteen of them). Celebration being a huge center of focus in Brazil also means that it is a huge center of focus in the families of Brazil. Christmas in Brazil typically looks like all extended family being invited to a family member’s house on Christmas Eve and at midnight, food and communion are served.
The kids then go to bed, and the adults stay up until three or four AM playing games and chatting, catching up on life and spending time bonding as a family. This also can be exemplified in the four-six days of Carnival in which Christians tend to take retreats as families together, and it usually marks the beginning of a new year. Time to celebrate is especially important to balance out times of suffering and pain, as Brazilians believe family is the answer to hardships and foundation of life.
While celebration may be a huge focus of life, Brazilians main focus and core commitment in their families is simply put to be love. Every bit of their lives as family members centers around and boils down to love; showing affection (which is where we get the very hug initiating, hand kissing, physical touch aspect of Brazilians), and intense and high sacrificial zeal for one another in which each family members puts the others first before themselves and their wants or needs. This falls in line with their cultural “society before self” mentality.
As such, this naturally means that they spend a lot of time together to cultivate this, and usually it’s on Sundays where it’s not uncommon that the whole family packs up and heads to a grandparents house to hang out and play with cousins. Through the lens of a high focus on love, other values involved with love come naturally, such as: respecting each other, being empathetic and compassionate towards one another, intensely loyal to one another, and specifically generous because its not an “about yourself” mentality, its about how best you can love others.
This shows the high value Brazilians place on family just through how they treat each other in core commitments, how devoted and connected they are with one another, and how family is consistently proven as the fundamental basis of life in Brazil. Regarding moral questions about the beginning of life and the tail ends of it, Brazilians have the tendency to be on the more conservative side because of their heavy catholic influence from mass immigration many years prior.
This includes two major morally disputed areas that plague every country of how cultures view abortion, and how cultures view caring for the old, sick or dying because these vastly show a cultures values on life. In Brazil, the government and people tend to lean towards a more restrictive approach to the handling of abortion; a woman is required to have submitted a police report, expert medical opinion, or judicial authorization which is only exempted in the case of rape.
Even then, physicians will have a woman tell her story to many different sources to make sure that it matches up and 43. percent of a study on physicians will maintain conscientious objection if they believe the woman isn’t telling the truth. This above and beyond approach to handling the preciousness of the unborn shows the immense catholic influence rooted in the underlying principles of Brazil. This approach of conservative values (meaning life and family come first) is also especially exemplified by how conventionally Brazilians care for their elderly, which is traditionally by allowing their elders to maintain independence if they want it, but are quick to jump to their aid and move in per the elders request and health conditions.
Brazilian elders tend to enjoy their independence with sixty-five and above being called “the best age” considering elderly get discounts in public transportation, movies, social events and what are called “fast passes” (meaning, if you are in a line and an old person comes, you have to let them go first). However, because family is so vital and central to Brazilians lives, nursing homes are a rarity and the norm is to take in a sick elder or move in with them in their time of need to take care of them.
Brazilians place a high value and respect level on their elders, and often times their grandparents will move in with them a few months out of the year just to know and spend time with their grandchildren. Brazilians careful treatment of their elders is also a testament to the countries high catholic influence, in which typical catholic families place a steep value on the wisdom, religious knowledge and life experience of their elders, honoring their sacrifice of raising a family carefully and well.
Communities will come together and rally around a family in need, specifically involving an elder or new mothers. Brazilians views on these two huge and constantly morally debated subjects really shows you what they value as a culture, and what they value as a people; family, and intrinsic value of life, even at the sacrifice of their own time, energy and resources. Regarding the roles of women, children and men of the metro area, i. e Sao Paulo, Brazilians have very distinct and very important differences in the context of family functioning.
Ladies of Brazil are powerhouse warrior women that make the Brazilian world go round. Most of the time, women of the metro work as well as the husband and aren’t stay at home moms. However, they usually only work half days so that they can watch their kids the other half of the day; investing in their lives and typically taking charge of almost all of their kids decisions with children willing it, because moms work really hard to make their kids happy.
Women tend to be incredible cooks, as food is another huge part of culture in Brazil, and their skills are well known all around. In regards to their house upkeep, it’s very common in the metro like Sao Paulo for moms to have the help of maids considering they keep very busy and need a little help tying up loose ends. Children of Brazilian families are typically very submissive to the will of their parents, and take their opinion very seriously. The word of their parents and elders is pretty much law, and they follow their wisdom and directions ninety-nine percent of the time.
Children who decide to go off to college don’t have the option of dorms, because there are none at Brazilian colleges, so they end up living at home with their family through college. The role of the men in Brazil is very typically patriarchal, and is consistent with what the “old school values” are. Their main job is to provide for the family, and provide well, but this doesn’t just apply for his wife and kids, it extends to financially supporting his whole family including his brothers, sisters and mother in her old age if her husband passes first or in the case of her husband passing early.
Men are typically encouraged to set the bar high and aim to be doctors, engineers or lawyers, as they bring in the largest amount of income versus becoming a musician, artist or even pastor. Men are also considered the head of the household, and Brazilians are incredibly strict on this point: they make the ultimate decisions, and are considered to be treated with great respect partially due to the “old fashioned” mindset. Not only do they have the ultimate decisions, they also set the values of the family: what a family focuses on, prizes most, or values most in their culture.