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The Gringo View: Is This the End of ‘Abraços’?

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - (Opinion) Back in the sixties, on this gringo’s first flight to Brazil, I remember reading a useful guide prepared by the US Central Intelligence Agency explaining about life and culture here.

One thing that particularly caught my attention was a slightly puritanical note about local etiquette which warned innocent gringos not to be off put or embarrassed by a hug (abraço) and/or a slap on the back, even at a first meeting.

Brazilians are very warm and open, the manual explained, and an abraço was a standard familial greeting. Obviously, abraços . . .

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