Culture is a social behavior which based on a way of living and thinking shared by people in a place and time.(Muller, 2005) But the way members of a particular culture see themselves differs from how they are viewed by others.
It is interesting to compare Brazilian and Spanish culture because even if they belong to different continents they have a lot in common. For example, the perceptions of these countries are overall stereotyped, simplified, and not true to the current reality. The internal strife of native Brazilians was hidden from public view. For western people, the image of Brazil was one of wealth and European civility. Brazil participated in world’s expositions, however, they could not show peculiarities and regional differences because its rules were limited to vision of the collectivity. Many of artist’s works portrayed only the lower social classes of Brazil in disparate states. , it became clear that Brazil’s cultural representation was uncertain. At the time, international consumers had limited knowledge of Spanish products and brands too. The study found that in many countries, and especially in the United States, the Spain brand simply lacked an image. Another similarity is that Brazil and Spain are high Uncertainty Avoidance societies. Countries are considered one of the noisiest countries in the world. They are very passionate and demonstrative people: emotions are easily shown in their body language. They are daily in need of good relaxing moments, chatting with colleagues, enjoying a long-lasting meals or dancing with guests and friends.
1.National identity of people from Brazil and Spain
Brazil is very a multicultural and multiethnic society. Because of centuries of colonization, the core Portuguese legacies like language, architecture, and main religion influenced the most. But it was also affected by Indigenous peoples of that time and many leading cultures from Europe, Levantine, Arabs, Nipponics, who settled in Brazil. Later on, Africans and Amerindians played a large role in the formation of Brazilian language, religion, cuisine, music, and dance.(Lesser, 2013) In spite of big racial and ethnic diversity, ethnicity in Brazil was often divided into black and white, a distinction had been supported by the ruling elite’s who wanted to apply its own image of Christian European to the identity of the whole nation. There are also ethnic minorities from Japan, Middle East, China, and North Africa that successfully integrated and had become challenges for dominant nations. They believed that their ethnic heritage was too high to compare them to ‘whites’ and generated alternative categories for themselves, like Japanese-Brazilian, Syrian-Lebanese and so on. However racial democracy and intense mixing between “races” in Brazil did not mean a lack of prejudice or discrimination. They existed but no one would have thought of “white-only” Churches or laws against interracial marriage. Fraternal spirit is stronger among Brazilians than racial prejudice, color, class or religion.(C.Eakin, 2017) Brazilians are very aware of that inequality has existed since the end of slavery. There was a racial prejudice among plantation owners, there was a social distance between the masters and the slaves, between whites and black. But not many Brazilians were concerned with racial purity. In this country, people from birth were united into strong, close-knit groups, and extended families where everybody protects its members and are loyal to each other. It also plays a role in the working environment, where youngers expect help from older and powerful members of a family to get a job. It is a priority for people who working together to build up trustworthy and long-lasting relationships.(Piepenburg, 2011)
In the 19 century, the intellectuals thought of Spain as a problem, a preoccupation, and even a historical failure, which lacked any moral and political will and built upon a history of decadence and despotism. They saw Spain as a unique marginalized and backward country at the periphery of a capitalist and industrialized Europe. (S.Epps, Fernandez Cifuentes, 2005) The weak and inefficient Spanish central of the 19th century inspired intellectuals to reconstruct images of unified Spanish NI focusing largely on Castilian culture, which emerged as the essence of Spanish NID in poetry, novels, paintings an idealized, mystic and bellicose image of Castile. Apart from these Castilian-dominated images, French and English travelers brought up distributed the romanticist idea of an Andalusian Spain. They described Spain as a picturesque, exotic country, the country of gypsies and bullfights, the country of dramatic passion and religious pathos. The emergence of a broad common perception of SPANISH ID was based on a long process which required the formation of a unified national market, and educational system, the expansion of mass communication and the construction of a narrow road and railway network.(Price, 2014) The political implications of these movements were still quite weak in the 19th can and only growing stronger with the beginning of the twentieth century. A rich legacy of memories, past glories and sacrifices, heroes and epics after the monarchy, the empire, and the Inquisition times became key aspects that still have been playing a role in the formation of Spanish attitudes. However, a majority of Spaniards feel uneasy about any kind of praise, symbols or its historical achievements because of the abuse of Spanish nationalism, reduced political and civil rights, denied national identity and cultural rights of Basques and Catalonians as a result of recent authoritarian past and Francoist dictatorship. (Portes, Aparicio, Haller, 2016) Therefore, the representation of Spain is not easy for many Spaniards, who constantly feel obliged to draw a distinction between modern national pride and old traditional nationalism.
2.National Image of people from Brazil and Spain
Brazil is another country with its own mix of positive and negative perspectives.Many people love and see Brazil as one of the brightest lights in the world with nice, charismatic and interesting people, but for others, as just another third-world Latin American country with big problems like corruption, crime, and inequality, among others.(Sachs, Wilheim, Pinheiro, 2018) Television is the most dynamic instrument in the building of representations and people tend to generalize what they see in the mass media about the Brazilin nation. With Brazil, some of the most interesting aspects in the eyes of the rest of the world really are the Amazon Rain Forest, Rio de Janeiro, and Soccer. Brazil, as an Indulgent society, generally exhibit a willingness to realize their impulses and desires with regard to enjoying life and having fun. They possess a positive attitude and have a tendency towards optimism. They place a higher degree of importance on leisure time, act as they please and spend money as they wish. People think that Brazil accepts as many religions as possible. It’s true that Brazil welcomes Jews, embrace Spiritism, and cradle Afro-religions Umbanda and Candomblé. But they are still the biggest Catholic nation in the world. People see how strong racial and social prejudice in all spheres of Brazilian society despite that Brazilians like to think that they are very tolerant towards diversity. The stereotype that Corruption in this country is political is true. They have a lot of political dramas, but corruption runs deep not only amongst politicians. Jungle areas that should be protected give space to soy farming, famous ones or rich kids commit violence and get away with it. In daily routine, they accept paying an extra fee to get a driver’s license, creating a scheme to pay fewer taxes, falsification student documents to get discounts on theatres and concerts. Even Brazilian ambassador to France Carlos Alves de Souza famously said: this is not a serious country.
Spain has made a conscious effort to streamline its efforts to create a country brand that will bring its image up to date, increase tourism, Foreign Direct Investment, and attract students and workers. Overall, Spain had a positive image, especially in comparison to other Latin countries, and an excellent cultural and artistic image. In many places, Spain’s image was divided into two archetypes: the romantic image that portrays Spain as the exotic, simple, authentic country and the historic image of Spain as the belligerent, colonial conquistador brand. With a new millennium, Spain held a series of conferences attended by sociologists, historians, and many other experts, all of whom contributed ideas towards forming a work platform for the future of the Spain Brand. (Papadopoulos, A.Heslop, 2014) Aside from that, Spanish institution of higher education frequently appear on international top ten rankings and globally recognized, it creates a serious and respectable modern image for Spain. By gaining a spot on these prestigious rankings, Spain is participating on the world stage, which promotes Spain as a country with a positive business environment as well as endorses Spanish business school graduates around the world. It is true that Spaniards stongly respect religions. The largest religion in the country is also Catholic Christianity. Spain, however, has weaknesses that currently deter some companies from investing in Spain. The high level of unemployment and the inflexibility of the labor, Legal security is another area where Spain ranks less than favorably: Spain provides less legal protection to companies investing in it than many other similarly developed countries.(T.Bruyn, 1991)
3. Expectations of people from the nation
Brazilians are generally curious about foreigners, especially being them from wealthy or developing countries, but they do have stereotypes about some nationalities. Brazilians became weird and they feel a strong inferiority complex when compared to foreigners from developed countries, but at the same time, they are immensely proud of being Brazilian.(B.Krueger, 2009) If this foreigner is a refugee from a poor country, the thoughts are mixed, some people have racist opinions about them, but it’s not the rule, many people are very empathic or at least indifferent to them. They generally say good things about foreigners, but trash-talking them are well accepted. Many people think that Tourists are Rich Superiors or they don’t understand why Immigrants from wealthy or developing countries chose Brazil. If Immigrants are from underdeveloped place Brazilians want them to go back, saying that this country already has a lot of problems. They consider themselves very strong defenders of the nation in that case.(Deshpande, Farley, Webster, 1997)
Normally people get slightly nervous to be in a country with different people, lifestyle and culture even though there’s no language barrier. Difficulties with making friends with people and having cliques and stuff where it’s hard foreigners to get accepted into a group.(D.Smith, 1991) But Spanish people are generally very easygoing and warm with foreigners, so they quickly get rid of these fears. Especially in Madrid, Barcelona as it is a touristic city and there are many international students and foreigner workers. They are very tolerated to of most of the social movements like LGBT, Feminism. One can marry another gay person and adopt children. But some things that make Spaniards angry is when foreigners pretend to be clever about local politics. Some foreign people have been here for a few years, and suddenly they consider themselves experts on Spanish politics or All of Spain’s deepest problems. Spaniards consider insensitive when people try to come up with a brilliant solution themselves while Spanish people have been trying to solve them for centuries with no success. Moreover when it comes to suggestions about how the USA could magically solve all its problems.It started when Ms. Merkel arrived to lead them Europeans with a kit of magic rules to get over with the crisis but these rules only made them poorer and poorer.(Portes, Aparicio, Haller, 2016) In Spain, people are very open to anybody from any foreign country.Yet Spaniards have the perception that foreigners are too rightful and boring. Especially when they go to some civilized countries they see that many don’t know how to party, are not talkative, always punctual, so cold and closed, shake hands instead of kissing. The last thing that makes these two cultures so similar is an influence of prevailing Catholic traditions.
Countries that are active in international politics, commerce, sports generally find that their image tracks their reality more closely than those that are less active. Countries image can benefit, simply by participating in the international dialogue.(OECD, 2011) Unlike Brazil, Spain is working on building their national ID through cinema media, celebrities, international sports competitions and current events working towards more organic and democratic image. Many people consider Spaniards are a little bit unkind and less polite compared to other parts of Europe. The same with Brazilians compare to the USA or Latin Americans, people don’t spend much time being unnecessarily polite. Spain, compare to other European countries, is Collectivist, but in comparison, with other places, it looks like obviously individualistic country. While Brazil is absolutely collectivistic country. But both countries view teamwork as something totally natural, employees tend to work collectively and amicably without any need for strong team building. The communication style in Brazil and Spain is context-rich, they are very talkative. Even serious conferences start with general conversations in order to get to know each other before starting any job.(Hendon, Hendon, Herbig, 1999) Spain and Brazil are normative countries. They love to live in the present moment, without caring about the future or look for immediate results instead of solid and lasting ones. Bureaucracy, laws are very important in these countries to make the world a safer place to live in, clear structured rules not to fall into stress, but at the same time, they tend to avoid rules and laws that make their lives more complex.(Share, Mainwaring, 2018)