Vinayak Rao is a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an ISA Featured blogger. Vinayak is currently studying abroad with ISA in Florianopolis, Brazil.
If there’s been one thing I’ve noticed here in Brazil, it’s that things are MUCH more relaxed down here. Living in the States, punctuality is encouraged and instilled in our minds as much as our ABC’s. To be late or to do tasks in a relaxed manner is not the way to be back home. However, things in Brazil work a bit differently. Brazilians need a day off, and every single Sunday almost the entire city of Florianopolis shuts down. Supermarkets, gyms, restaurants, barbershops and even convenience stores all close on Sundays and sometimes for the whole weekend. You might be able to get lunch at a few restaurants on Saturday but come Sunday, everything is closed.
Walking down the road where my university is on a weekday, you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands, of different people walking down the street, taking part in their own business. Come Sunday, an eerie silence takes hold over all of this city where the sound of a needle dropping could be easily heard. The city turns into a ghost town. Where a vibrant and colorful culture can typically be seen, emptiness and silence takes its place. This tradition reflects the mindset of the people here; six days of work and play require one day off to recharge. This is not to say that Brazilians don’t work hard. They work equally as hard over a long period of time, and they play hard over a much longer period of time. On an average Friday night, Brazilians head to their festas (parties) around midnight and head back home sometime around sunrise. But all of this hard work requires one full day to recharge — a day to recuperate from the prior six days. As crazy as this may sound, it can get tiring being under the sun and by the water all the time!
That’s a reflection of their Christian heritage in that the seventh day, the Lord’s Day, is a day of rest. They go to church that day and rest. It used to be the same in much of the Western world.
Greetings from Florianopolis. What you write about is firther proof that Brazil just isn’t a serious country.