Here at CSOFT International, you’re guaranteed multiculturalism. Our coworkers come from various parts of the world—China, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand to name a few. And if you experience life together with such a diverse group of people, your worldview may never be the same again.
As some research suggests, diversity provokes thoughts and promotes creativity, but it doesn’t come without challenges. Language and culture barriers often stand in the way of unity, leading some to abandon the idea of cross-cultural friendships altogether. But making friends with people of different backgrounds doesn’t have to be difficult. All we need is a better understanding of other people’s different ways of thinking and a greater appreciation of individual uniqueness. Different cultures have different ways of expressing love to their friends. Today, we will look in greater detail at what friendships look like and how they are formed in China and Brazil.
Making friends in China can be a little tricky because of the existence of guanxi, a centuries-old concept that lies at the core of Chinese society. Guanxi literally means connections or relationships, and in the world of business, having high-quality guanxi is a basic requirement for success. Guanxi, in this case, refers to the personal relationships you maintain with people who might be able to help you in one way or another. When it comes to friendship, it’s important to know who your real friends really are, those who will stick by you no matter what. This might sound strange but true Chinese friends would never make a grand gesture to announce that you are friends. They would not profusely say “thank you” when they ask for help, and are not afraid of making fun of you. In any case, beware of those who keep calling you a friend, because they most likely are not your true buddies.
Brazilians are known for their friendliness and loyalty for their friends. Their attitude toward friendship can be summed up in the phrase “for my friends anything—for my enemies, the law,” attributed to former Brazilian President Getulio Vargas. But some people still find it hard to make friends with Brazilians due to some of the habits associated with the local culture. One blogger describes Brazilians as being late all the time and unable to say “no” to invitations. Only by accepting this aspect of culture will you be able to maintain friendships with them. How then can you tell if they are really your true friends? Another blogger wrote that the more they invade your personal space and share things with you, the more they see you as a true friend. Brazilians are content with less personal space than their American counterparts, so don’t be surprised if they occasionally drop in unannounced or raids your wardrobe to borrow your clothes.
We hope this article can instill cultural awareness among our readers, especially those who are living in China and Brazil. Who knows, by learning more about the local culture, you may gain more meaningful relationships in the process.