Brazil

Living with your parents

Thinking about a topic for this blog I could make a list filling a whole A4 page. I guess there could not be much more differences than coming from small, familiar Liechtenstein to the Brazilian Megacity São Paulo. Coming from the countryside to the definition of Megacity. Different continent, different climate, different language, different people, different habits. But there was one topic that seemed to be such a normal thing to me until now, that I decided to think more about the reasons for that difference. It refers to the topic of housing, especially of young people. I have found out that in Brazil, young women and men (still) stay at their parents house until they get married.

 

In most Central European countries it is common to move out at the age of 18, after graduating school. For people older than, let’s say 22, it is very unusual to still live at home in their children’s room, no matter if they are working or studying.

 

At first, I did not think a lot about this topic. My intention was, that in a city it is normal to stay at home while studying, as your parents home is close. If I would have had the possibility to study close to my parents house, I would have also stayed there, at least for the beginning.
But seeing that they always bring lunch, cooked by their mother, I got a little curious, as this turns out to be even more peculiar for me. When asking a friend about this topic, she told me that in Brazil it is normal to stay at home longer. She even mentioned it to be a kind of ´tradition´ to only move out if you are getting married. Her sister, for example, did that with the age of 28. Further on, she told me that it is not something only happening in the city. As I said before, it is more like a countrywide tradition. If people are moving out earlier, it is mostly because of family problems.

Another friend of mine has been in a relationship for 4 years now, but they both have never even thought about living together. During the week everybody is very busy in his/her everyday life and on the weekends they like to spend a lot of time with their families.

So on the one hand, it is very much connected to the everyday life of Brazilians, especially students. This is something with big differences compared to Liechtenstein and especially Austria. Most people studying at universities have courses some hours a day, mostly not everyday, and the rest of their time they organize by themselves, studying at home. Those who work besides their studies, often work for two or three days a week and the rest of the time they can organize to study and have courses. Here in Brazil, students have courses 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. The courses, they can choose to attend in the morning, starting at 7:30am, in the afternoon or at night, ending at 10:30 pm. The rest of the day, most of them work for 4 to 6 hours. In addition to this, you have to consider a lot of time to get from A to B. Spending one and a half hours to get from home to university is not uncommon. Further on, their workplaces could then be in another part of the city. So lots of Brazilians, or especially „Paulistas“ (this is how people call themselves here in São Paulo), often spend around 3 to 4 hours a day, only for transportation, no matter if they go by car, bus or metro. So from Monday to Friday there is almost no free time. Spending the whole week outside the house, I understand that there is no reason to pay for your own apartment.

This is when it comes to the second reason emphasizing this persistent tradition: costs.

 

To summarize, there are thousands of differences between Austria/Liechtenstein and Brazil. But for me, this is what makes it fascinating to study here. I am very thankful for this experience and the possibility o