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Culture Code for Money: The Insider’s Guide

Hispanics represent over $1 trillion in household disposable income. It’s time to understand their culture code for Money. This article covers: the definition of culture codes and biculturalism; the code for money for American, Latin American and Hispanic American markets, its affect on marketing to financial and banking industry products; and a suggested segmentation of the U.S. Hispanic market for this particular industry.

Culture Code for Money - The Insider’s Guide

Culture Code for Money – The Insider’s Guide

Besides their sheer numbers and outstanding growth, the Hispanics’ over $1 trillion in household disposable income make them extremely appealing to Financial institutions. 14.5% of U.S. Hispanics can be considered affluent with incomes over $75,000. Still, many may perceive Hispanics to be mainly lower income even though approximately one in five Hispanics live in poverty. Hispanics bear noticeable differences from their non‐Hispanic white counterparts for financial products preferences. Further, Hispanic Americans lag behind with regard to breadth and depth of financial assets, particularly riskier but usually higher return asset classes. By the same token, the preferences for different financial products and services vary for Hispanic Americans based on their income level, education, country of origin, and number of years that they or their families have been in the U.S.

It’s time to understand their culture code for Money.

What is a Culture Code?

A culture code is the representation of our cultural understanding of a physical or abstract object. A full set of culture codes form the cultural unconscious, which is hidden from our own understanding, but is seen in our actions.

These culture codes or mental structures are formed at an early age and these strong imprints placed in people’s subconscious are determined by the culture in which they are raised. This is why people from different cultures have such different reactions to the same things.

American Culture Code for Money

First, let’s cover the definition of the culture code for money.

Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, the renowned anthropologist states that “the notion that we “come from nothing” pervades America. In a sense, we have the poorest rich people in the world, because even those who accumulate huge sums of money think like poor people. They continue to work hard, they continue to focus on cash flow and expenses, and they continue to struggle to earn more.”

But thinking of Americans as worried only about money is a misconception. To Americans money isn’t a goal in and of itself. It symbolizes a measure of how far they’ve come and how much was achieved. Money show us who the big winners are, therefore, the American Culture Code for money is PROOF.

Hispanic Culture Code for Money

Hispanics are risk averse. This changes with new generations being born in the U.S. You don’t talk about money and the risks associated with financial instruments and unstable economies.

Let’s examine the Latino culture in Latin America, where money is not proof of achievements or self-worth but a taboo. In Latin America, just like in Europe, there’s very little movement between economic classes. The children of professionals become professionals, the children of business owners become business owners and, for the most part, people stay within their class. Therefore money stops being proof to become something unpleasant you do not speak about.

In the United States speaking about money does not carry the same negative connotation than in Latin America, where doing so (speaking about money) in front of others or with others of same, higher or lower means is considered vulgar.

There is a also belief in Latin American culture that you can strike it rich with a fabulous (and easy to implement) idea. This notion is very much in line with the Hispanic fatalistic outlook in life where the belief is that things are predestined to be or to happen. The idea being that no matter what my origin or inherited resources, one can achieve financial success, not by hard work but by serendipitous means.

Therefore, the Latino culture code for money is LUCK. You got lucky to have been born into money, or lucky to have struck gold. Maybe you got lucky because you married somebody with money.

Among Latinos, the culturally accepted way to indicate wealth and material success is by owning the latest technology, wearing the latest fashion (designer, of course) or a high end luxury car. These are all symbols that enable people to demonstrate their wealth without having to talk about it. This is the exact opposite to the U.S. culture, where comfort rules and people wear what they prefer without worrying about being judged as successful or not for it.

US-born Hispanics Culture Code for Money

Let’s analyze the impact of both culture codes on U.S.-born Hispanics and highly acculturated ones. We will notice a dichotomy of thought that is accentuated the more the Latin and American culture codes are incorporated into their acculturation and enculturation process.

This process does not mean switching one cultural more for another. Changing mores would imply a process of assimilation whereas adopting and incorporating a new more implies a process of acculturation. What takes place inside of the bicultural persons’ brain is cultural frame-switching (CFS.) Cultural values switch, one taking prevalence over the other at different times to evaluate a message or situation. As a bicultural person, one can feel more comfortable speaking about money while looking at the situation from one’s culture perspective or feel less comfortable when perceiving and interpreting through the other culture, all thanks to cultural frame-switching.

The concept of cultural frame switching (CFS) or double consciousness was made popular by W.E.B Du Bois and focuses on how an individual switches between cultural frames of reference in response to a stimuli or to their environment.

“Individuals who integrate two cultures into their identity often attach cultural meaning systems to a framework that can be elicited by the language, icons, or stereotypes of that culture. Bilingual biculturals, when primed for a framework, may switch compatibly or incompatibly with the cultural frame elicited.” — Cultural frame switching and cognitive performance by Miriam Walsh, Ed.S., California Sate University, Fresno, 2011, 104 pages; 3458356

A good way to measure acculturation level for Latinos is how comfortable they become about speaking about money and less comfortably about sex.

American Hispanic Market Segments for the Financial Industry

While understanding the culture code for money pertaining to any culture is key for the marketing of any product and service, this need becomes heightened when we talk about the Financial and Banking industry.

We have identified 5 Hispanic market segments for Hispanics over 18 years of age who reside in the United States and are bicultural. It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for these segments and for specific financial products or services these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

“Although the terms “bicultural” and “bilingual” are often seen together in the same text, there is very little work that attempts to encompass them into one reality, bicultural bilinguals. This paper takes up a number of themes that pertain to bicultural bilinguals, most notably how they are described in the literature, how they become both bilingual and bicultural, and how their languages and cultures wax and wane over time. Other aspects discussed are their linguistic and cultural behaviour as bicultural bilinguals, how they identify themselves both linguistically and culturally, as well as their personality as bicultural bilinguals. An effort is made whenever possible to bridge the gap between the two components that make up bicultural bilinguals – the linguistic and the cultural – and to show how the questions that interest linguists when studying bilinguals can be taken up and adapted by researchers examining cultural issues, and vice versa.” — François Grosjean, Université de Neuchâtel, Avenue du Premier-Mars 26, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

These segments range from low-income Hispanics who can only access second-chance lending mortgages, prepaid or debit cards and basic savings accounts to high-income Hispanic Americans interested in more complex investments, mortgages and home equity loans.

In addition, language becomes a key factor in communicating and engaging with each segment. A large number  of Hispanics prefer to do business in English, particularly since the Spanish version of most financial literature existent in the U.S. misses out on detail and key disclosures that directly affect the financial transaction. Some companies make the horrible mistake of sending translated information to prospects and/or customers based only on whether their last name seems to be “Hispanic-like.”

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

To give you an idea of how attractive this market is, we think it’s worth mentioning the Underserved market. The “underserved” market represents more than 88 million individuals and nearly $1.3 trillion in wages.

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for the segments presented and, for specific financial products or services, these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

More about Hispanic Market Segmentation

————————————————

Target Latino has studied the U.S. Hispanic population, the Latin American and U.S. non-Hispanic, their online and offline behavior, for over 30 years, even before the Hispanic market was first “discovered.” As a result, we’ve developed proprietary methodologies that enable us to identify and segment Hispanics, online or offline, by age, gender, country and region of origin. We specialize in the identification of culture codes for the Hispanic market.

Cultural Insights & Cultural Differences


Be yourself. Sometimes it's easy to lose who we are... Once you get the real "you" back, happiness follows.

Be yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to lose who we are… Once you get the real “you” back, happiness follows.

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post!

Culture Code for Money: The Insider’s Guide

Hispanics represent over $1 trillion in household disposable income. It’s time to understand their culture code for Money. This article covers: the definition of culture codes and biculturalism; the code for money for American, Latin American and Hispanic American markets, its affect on marketing to financial and banking industry products; and a suggested segmentation of the U.S. Hispanic market for this particular industry.

Culture Code for Money - The Insider’s Guide

Culture Code for Money – The Insider’s Guide

Besides their sheer numbers and outstanding growth, the Hispanics’ over $1 trillion in household disposable income make them extremely appealing to Financial institutions. 14.5% of U.S. Hispanics can be considered affluent with incomes over $75,000. Still, many may perceive Hispanics to be mainly lower income even though approximately one in five Hispanics live in poverty. Hispanics bear noticeable differences from their non‐Hispanic white counterparts for financial products preferences. Further, Hispanic Americans lag behind with regard to breadth and depth of financial assets, particularly riskier but usually higher return asset classes. By the same token, the preferences for different financial products and services vary for Hispanic Americans based on their income level, education, country of origin, and number of years that they or their families have been in the U.S.

It’s time to understand their culture code for Money.

What is a Culture Code?

A culture code is the representation of our cultural understanding of a physical or abstract object. A full set of culture codes form the cultural unconscious, which is hidden from our own understanding, but is seen in our actions.

These culture codes or mental structures are formed at an early age and these strong imprints placed in people’s subconscious are determined by the culture in which they are raised. This is why people from different cultures have such different reactions to the same things.

American Culture Code for Money

First, let’s cover the definition of the culture code for money.

Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, the renowned anthropologist states that “the notion that we “come from nothing” pervades America. In a sense, we have the poorest rich people in the world, because even those who accumulate huge sums of money think like poor people. They continue to work hard, they continue to focus on cash flow and expenses, and they continue to struggle to earn more.”

But thinking of Americans as worried only about money is a misconception. To Americans money isn’t a goal in and of itself. It symbolizes a measure of how far they’ve come and how much was achieved. Money show us who the big winners are, therefore, the American Culture Code for money is PROOF.

Hispanic Culture Code for Money

Hispanics are risk averse. This changes with new generations being born in the U.S. You don’t talk about money and the risks associated with financial instruments and unstable economies.

Let’s examine the Latino culture in Latin America, where money is not proof of achievements or self-worth but a taboo. In Latin America, just like in Europe, there’s very little movement between economic classes. The children of professionals become professionals, the children of business owners become business owners and, for the most part, people stay within their class. Therefore money stops being proof to become something unpleasant you do not speak about.

In the United States speaking about money does not carry the same negative connotation than in Latin America, where doing so (speaking about money) in front of others or with others of same, higher or lower means is considered vulgar.

There is a also belief in Latin American culture that you can strike it rich with a fabulous (and easy to implement) idea. This notion is very much in line with the Hispanic fatalistic outlook in life where the belief is that things are predestined to be or to happen. The idea being that no matter what my origin or inherited resources, one can achieve financial success, not by hard work but by serendipitous means.

Therefore, the Latino culture code for money is LUCK. You got lucky to have been born into money, or lucky to have struck gold. Maybe you got lucky because you married somebody with money.

Among Latinos, the culturally accepted way to indicate wealth and material success is by owning the latest technology, wearing the latest fashion (designer, of course) or a high end luxury car. These are all symbols that enable people to demonstrate their wealth without having to talk about it. This is the exact opposite to the U.S. culture, where comfort rules and people wear what they prefer without worrying about being judged as successful or not for it.

US-born Hispanics Culture Code for Money

Let’s analyze the impact of both culture codes on U.S.-born Hispanics and highly acculturated ones. We will notice a dichotomy of thought that is accentuated the more the Latin and American culture codes are incorporated into their acculturation and enculturation process.

This process does not mean switching one cultural more for another. Changing mores would imply a process of assimilation whereas adopting and incorporating a new more implies a process of acculturation. What takes place inside of the bicultural persons’ brain is cultural frame-switching (CFS.) Cultural values switch, one taking prevalence over the other at different times to evaluate a message or situation. As a bicultural person, one can feel more comfortable speaking about money while looking at the situation from one’s culture perspective or feel less comfortable when perceiving and interpreting through the other culture, all thanks to cultural frame-switching.

The concept of cultural frame switching (CFS) or double consciousness was made popular by W.E.B Du Bois and focuses on how an individual switches between cultural frames of reference in response to a stimuli or to their environment.

“Individuals who integrate two cultures into their identity often attach cultural meaning systems to a framework that can be elicited by the language, icons, or stereotypes of that culture. Bilingual biculturals, when primed for a framework, may switch compatibly or incompatibly with the cultural frame elicited.” — Cultural frame switching and cognitive performance by Miriam Walsh, Ed.S., California Sate University, Fresno, 2011, 104 pages; 3458356

A good way to measure acculturation level for Latinos is how comfortable they become about speaking about money and less comfortably about sex.

American Hispanic Market Segments for the Financial Industry

While understanding the culture code for money pertaining to any culture is key for the marketing of any product and service, this need becomes heightened when we talk about the Financial and Banking industry.

We have identified 5 Hispanic market segments for Hispanics over 18 years of age who reside in the United States and are bicultural. It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for these segments and for specific financial products or services these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

“Although the terms “bicultural” and “bilingual” are often seen together in the same text, there is very little work that attempts to encompass them into one reality, bicultural bilinguals. This paper takes up a number of themes that pertain to bicultural bilinguals, most notably how they are described in the literature, how they become both bilingual and bicultural, and how their languages and cultures wax and wane over time. Other aspects discussed are their linguistic and cultural behaviour as bicultural bilinguals, how they identify themselves both linguistically and culturally, as well as their personality as bicultural bilinguals. An effort is made whenever possible to bridge the gap between the two components that make up bicultural bilinguals – the linguistic and the cultural – and to show how the questions that interest linguists when studying bilinguals can be taken up and adapted by researchers examining cultural issues, and vice versa.” — François Grosjean, Université de Neuchâtel, Avenue du Premier-Mars 26, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

These segments range from low-income Hispanics who can only access second-chance lending mortgages, prepaid or debit cards and basic savings accounts to high-income Hispanic Americans interested in more complex investments, mortgages and home equity loans.

In addition, language becomes a key factor in communicating and engaging with each segment. A large number  of Hispanics prefer to do business in English, particularly since the Spanish version of most financial literature existent in the U.S. misses out on detail and key disclosures that directly affect the financial transaction. Some companies make the horrible mistake of sending translated information to prospects and/or customers based only on whether their last name seems to be “Hispanic-like.”

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

Financial Industry Hispanic market Segments

To give you an idea of how attractive this market is, we think it’s worth mentioning the Underserved market. The “underserved” market represents more than 88 million individuals and nearly $1.3 trillion in wages.

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

Financial Industry Hispanic market segments characteristics and size

It is important to highlight that biculturalism does not go hand in hand with bilingualism. Different strategies may have to be developed for the segments presented and, for specific financial products or services, these segments may have to be merged or split even further.

More about Hispanic Market Segmentation

————————————————

Target Latino has studied the U.S. Hispanic population, the Latin American and U.S. non-Hispanic, their online and offline behavior, for over 30 years, even before the Hispanic market was first “discovered.” As a result, we’ve developed proprietary methodologies that enable us to identify and segment Hispanics, online or offline, by age, gender, country and region of origin. We specialize in the identification of culture codes for the Hispanic market.

Cultural Insights & Cultural Differences


Be yourself. Sometimes it's easy to lose who we are... Once you get the real "you" back, happiness follows.

Be yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to lose who we are… Once you get the real “you” back, happiness follows.

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post!

Hispanic Acculturation Secrets Unveiled

At the Governor's Mansion Claudia Goffan with Gov. Sam Brownback after Hispanic Day on the Hill

At the Governor’s Mansion Claudia Goffan with Gov. Sam Brownback after Hispanic Day on the Hill

Hispanic Acculturation secrets were unveiled at the Keynote Speech given by Claudia Goffan, Hispanic Marketing expert and Target Latino CEO, at Hispanic Day on the Hill and she reveals some of them on this article.

As you may be aware, the Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission, with the office of Governor Sam Brownback, proclaimed Hispanic Day on the Hill at the Capitol in Topeka, Kansas that this year took place on April 1st- a day wherein Hispanics from Kansas come together to obtain updated information on key policy and meet with their legislators at the Capitol, and I was called to deliver a keynote speech on Hispanic marketing.

First of all, I’d like to thank the Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission with the office of Governor Sam Brownback for selecting me as their keynote speaker for such an important event for both their Latino and political communities. I was truly honored by the request.

I would also like to extend a special thanks to Adrienne Foster, Executive Director of KHLAAC and Mayor of Roeland Park, for organizing such an outstanding and highly attended event and for making me feel so welcome and introducing me to such a distinguished group of people.

I was positively impressed by Governor Sam Brownback who opened his home to us, for his eagerness to learn and understand the issues that concern the Kansas Latino community and Latinos in general.

I was overwhelmed by the impact my presentation made and the number of positive comments received from the audience. I hope the understanding of cultural differences and similarities continues as I see the impact it could exponentially have in the immediate future on the improvement of relationships with Latinos in Kansas and in the rest of the United States.

The audience was entertained and surprised when they found out that every 30 seconds a U.S. Hispanic turns 18 years old. Happy birthday!!! By the sheer numbers alone, the Hispanic market has become a key demographic, not just in states like California, Florida, Texas and New York but in Kansas as well.

The Kansas landscape has changed dramatically since the 2000 U.S. Census. The state’s Hispanic population grew by 59 percent over the past decade. There are over 301,000 Hispanics that reside in Kansas – the 17th largest Hispanic population share nationally- and more than 37% of them are eligible to vote (higher than North Carolina with only 24%). And while U.S. Hispanics have a purchasing power of $1.2 trillion as of 2012, Kansas Latinos purchasing power is $5.6 billion and Kansas Hispanic businesses generated $1.3 billion in 2012.

Hispanic households spend almost as much as general market households and they earn about 70% of what these earn. Therefore and in relative terms, Hispanic households spend more. (Hispanic households spend approximately $40,123 each year, compared to $46,409 for general U.S. households. This gap is shrinking at a very fast pace)

Unfortunately, many of America’s corporations – and it is definitely not limited to them – hang on to stereotypes instead of learning about the Hispanic culture and how it shapes the identity of Hispanic consumers and their communities. This disconnect makes it difficult for these companies to build trust, truly engage with, and begin to value U.S. Hispanics as viable consumers. After all, the ability to identify with an advertisement or a message is affected by identification with a society or the culture of that society.

And what is culture but a mental map which guides us in our relations to our surroundings and to other people? It may be tied to ethnicity on occasions but not necessarily so. Thus, the culture of people that live in the city will be different that the ones that live in a farm and so on. Understanding Hispanic acculturation becomes crucial to understanding the Hispanic culture tapestry that has been weaved in the U.S. and makes it different from the ones in their respective countries of origin.

Several years ago, I shared an article on the Hispanic Acculturation process and understanding segmentation on this same blog. Today, these circles still represent culture more than ever. Not segments. Not slices of the population. Cultures. Everybody in the Venn diagram below is Hispanic and depicting today’s reality that about 70% of Hispanics are bi-culturals (and bilinguals to a certain degree) why are we still debating on what language to address this population and not concentrating on what message will resonate better depending on the level of Hispanic Acculturation? Bi-culturals have two sets of cultures, two sets of maps with which to interpret behaviors, messages, thoughts and everything they do as members of a society.

Hispanic Acculturation Process

Hispanic Acculturation Process

Bi-cultural Hispanics have two sets of codes and they can switch between them just as they can switch languages but only one can be prevalent at a time. Culture works in the same way than language. It can even be mixed and matched, conjugated, re-invented. Understanding Hispanic acculturation is one of the elements to understanding U.S. Hispanics. But remember that no one knows their own culture fully and to understand culture, you have to understand other cultures and their similarities and differences.

Of course, these are just a few of the Hispanic acculturation secrets. I promise there will be more in the future. Meanwhile, I hope that what has begun here is a long lived effort and the example is followed by many others.

Thoughts of the Day

To be kind is more important than to be right

To be kind is more important than to be right

all the secrets in the world are contained in books

all the secrets in the world are contained in books

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post! | Latinos in Kansas to Have Hispanic Day on the Hill

First Latino Pope Francis I: History in the making

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope today, becoming the first pontiff from Latin America and taking the name Pope Francis.

The white smoke, accompanied by the pealing of bells to eliminate any confusion, billowed from a flue on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, prompting the huge gathered in the square to erupt in applause and cheers.

Pope Francis I - Papa Francisco PrimeroPope Francis becomes the first pope to hail from outside of Europe. He is also the first Hispanic Pope and the first Latin American Pope as well as the first Argentinean Pope. Latin America is one of the biggest bastions of Catholicism in the world but more bets were being placed on the Cardinal from Brazil.

Pope Francis I (Papa Francisco Primero) appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after the pronouncement ‘Habemus Papam’ – “We have a pope.”  He spoke in Latin, Italian and in Spanish.

This pope is the 266th successor Pope to the Catholic churches original apostle St. Peter.  White smoke appeared at 7.:05 p.m. local Vatican time indicating 115 cardinals had been made after five rounds of cloistered voting.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez called his thinking harkened back to “medieval times and the Inquisition.”

Personally, what resonated with me the most was when he said: “Let’s pray for the whole world because it is a great brotherhood.”

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Hispanic Acculturation Process
body language meaning in Colombia
quotes motivation hope

quotes motivation hope

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The meaning of gestures: body language in Brazil

Body language in Brazil

Body language in Brazil

Let’s cover Brazil now as our next country and explore their gestures and body language in Brazil a bit.

Body language in Brazil

  • When conversing, good eye contact is important. To not do so is considered impolite.
  • In a marketplace, if a vendor holds his hand out, fingers extended and flips the thumb back and forth it merely means, ‘There isn’t any left; I don’t have any more.’
  • A good, warm handshake is the traditional greeting in Brazil. However, the Brazilians show affection easily.
  • People in Brazil will also shake hands when arriving and departing. There may also be a touching of the forearm or elbow, and often a pat on the back.
  • If you are conducting business, be certain to bring a plentiful supply of business cards because these are always exchanged. Also, during business meetings expect to be served (often) small cups of very strong coffee.
  • Since this is more of a touching society, people stand close together when conversing or when standing in lines.
  • To add emphasis to a statement, a Brazilian may snap the fingers while whipping the hand down own and out.
  • To express appreciation, a Brazilian may appear to pinch his earlobe between thumb and forefinger. For example, if you’ve enjoyed a meal this gesture may be used. Among Brazilians, to dramatize it even further, they will reach behind the head and grasp the opposite earlobe.
  • You may think they are blowing you a kiss, but when Brazilians bring their hand towards their mouths and kiss the tips of their fingers, then expand the fingers in an outward motion, it merely means that – probably the meal – was delicious.
  • Body language in Brazil figa

    Body language in Brazil “figa”

    When carrying any article along the streets-a pair of shoes, a bottle, a box of candy-it is customary to have it wrapped in a bag or some paper.

  • There are many common friendly gestures in Brazil. One is the thumbs up gesture, which is also popular in America. In Brazil it is meant to mean “good” or “positive.”
  • When two people are close to each other, they will show it by rubbing two index fingers together.
  • Making a hand movement that traces an imaginary horizontal line right above the line of their eyes means that person is fed up or does not have any more patience.
  • Sometimes nonverbal communication can be very different than what is expected in other countries. One example is the “O.K.” symbol one can make with their hands. It is regarded as just meaning “O.K.” in the American culture. In Brazil however, this is seen as a very obscene gesture. It is equivalent to giving the middle finger in America. This is seen as one of the rudest gestures you can make in Brazil and should always be avoided.
  • Another obscene hand gesture is called the “corna” which historically means “your wife is cheating on you.” It is popular in Brazil and is often used when disagreeing with a football referee and it looks just like the “rock on” american gesture.
  • One gesture that is also used is one to say “screw you.” It s consists of making a fist with one hand and slapping it on top of the other hand once or twice. It is used commonly around Brazilian friends but can be rude if used any other time.
  • Same as in Argentina, a close friendship or an incipient relationship is indicated by rubbing the two index fingers together.
  • A very unique body language in Brazil is the “figa”, represented by inserting the thumb between the middle and index finger. This gesture is supposed to keep away pain, suffering and envy and it is an amulet that protects against the “evil-eye.”
  • The “dar uma banana” or “give a banana” gesture in Brazil is an extremely offensive and rude gesture and it consists of bending the right arm at the elbow with the hand as a fist while making a chopping movement with the left arm towards the right elbow as in a forearm jerk. This gesture is also used on other countries of Latin America, in France and Italy with different names, of course. It is the equivalent of giving someone the finger.

If you are interested in what makes Brazilians tick especially regarding engagement on Social Media Campaigns, I suggest you read this brilliant example of an Advertising campaign and Social Media success story with flawless  execution and outstanding social media results: The campaign “One Thousand Casmurros,” made for the biggest TV network in Brazil, Rede Globo.

Other Meaning of Body Language Articles:

body language meaning in Colombia
The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

 

Dig This Poem

Dig This Poem

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Body language meaning in Colombia

Today we will discover the body language meaning in Colombia

  • Colombian women will often substitute the gesture of holding forearms for a handshake.
  • Men shake hands with direct eye contact.
  • Once a friendship has developed, greetings become warmer and a lot more hands on –  men will embrace and pat each other on the shoulder (known as an “abrazo”) and women kiss once on the right cheek.
  • If you are visiting on business and happen to tour a factory, it is polite to shake hands with those workers nearest you.
  • Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! - Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important that is why these Colombian girls sit up very straight! – Body language meaning in Colombia

    Etiquette and propriety are important in Colombia, therefore, avoid placing your feet on a table or other piece of furniture, and avoid yawning in public and eating on the streets.

  • Tapping the underside of the elbow with the fingers of the other hand suggests that someone is ‘stingy.’
  • To indicate that you have finished eating, place the knife and fork horizontally across the plate.
  • Hands should be kept visible when eating.
  • Resting elbows on the table is considered bad manners.
  • Women visitors should be especially sensitive about making any glance or gesture that might be considered flirtatious.
  • Colombians are termed as ‘indirect communicators’ – this means there is more information within body language and context rather than the words, i.e. if you ask someone to do something and they reply ‘I will have to see’, it would be up to you to read their body language and realize that they can not do it.
do your thing

do your thing

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

The next country and second on the series of understanding body language and Hispanic culture.

The meaning of gestures Puerto Rico

  • As in most Latin countries, people tend to stand close to one another in any social or even business setting. This relates to a different perspective on ‘personal space,’ with North Americans and many Europeans believing that people should stand about an arm’s length from one another. If you tend to move away from a Latin first, it could be considered as offensive or insulting.
  • Men tend to smile and stare at women, which is considered acceptable, but the reverse is not.
  • Puerto Ricans tend to interrupt each other frequently and are not upset when this occurs.
  • If someone wiggles their nose, it probably means he or she is saying ‘What’s going on here?’
  • You will hear restaurant patrons signal for waiters by making a ‘psssst’ sound.

We hope you enjoyed from the meaning of gestures Puerto Rico and feel free to send us a comment if you know more of these gestures that belong only to Puerto Rico. 🙂

confidence

confidence quote

Photo courtesy: Ballet Majestad Negra of Piñones at the city of Loíza, Puerto Rico

Body language: the meaning of gestures in Mexico

Gestures in Mexico

Gestures in Mexico

Body language is an important part of the communication process. Noticing the signals that people send out with their body language is a very useful social skill. All who specialize in research, grassroots marketing, community outreach, event marketing understand that body language is a key body of knowledge to have.

This is the first of a Hispanic culture series on body language and gestures in Latin American countries.

The meaning of gestures in Mexico

  • A warm, somewhat soft handshake is the customary greeting among both men and women. Men should let the woman make the first move toward handshaking. After the second or third meeting, Mexican men may begin with or add the abrazo, the embrace along with a few pats on the back. Women friends will embrace lightly and pretend to kiss a cheek.
  • In some areas of Mexico, you may encounter an unusual addition to the handshake where, after gripping the palm, the two people slide their hands upward to grasp each other’s thumbs.
  • Many Mexicans are ‘touch oriented.’ This means they may linger over a handshake, they may touch the forearm or elbow, or they may even casually finger the lapel of the other person’s suit. All these touches merely signify a willingness to be friendly nothing more.
  • If a man stands with his hands on his hips, it suggests hostility.
  • Deference is shown to the elderly, so give way to them in public and don’t object if they are waited on first.
  • Never visit churches or religious sites while wearing shorts, tank tops, or cut-off shirts or shorts.
  • The national drink in Mexico is tequila. To drink it properly, here is the procedure: place a pinch of salt in the depression of your left hand between thumb and forefinger; then lick the salt and quickly take a drink of tequila; follow this by sucking on a lime wedge.
  • You can call attention to yourself or call a waiter by lifting your hand above your head or maybe a bit lower with the index finger extended upwards and adding a “Pssst!” or “Pshhh!” sound. This is not considered rude and it also applies to other cultures such as Haiti, Argentina, and Spain.
  • Patience is important; avoid showing anger if and when you encounter delays or interruptions.
people may not tell you how they feel about you but they always show you

people may not tell you how they feel about you but they always show you

No Green Card? Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Get Due Process!

Siesta Tees responds to SB1070

Siesta Tees, a Hispanic themed apparel company, announces the release of their “No Green Card, I’m Legal!” t-shirt. “With the new immigration law in Arizona, we felt we had to express our views about SB1070. This law targets one group of people, it’s truly a racist law”, explains Greg Sanchez, owner and founder of Siesta Tees. The Arizona House and Senate have passed bill, SB1070, that would allow law enforcement officers to stop and interview an individual in the state regarding citizenship status and make it a crime to be an undocumented person in Arizona. If a person can not immediately present documents proving that he is legally in the US, he may be criminally prosecuted, jailed and handed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. The bill has no safeguards against racial profiling and increases the likelihood of subjective arrest and detention.

Along, with their anti-SB1070 slogan, Siesta Tees released a new line of designs for 2010. The new and humorous line includes Make Tacos, not war!, Powered by Brown Energy, Diego is my homie!, My Chupacabra will eat your pit bull! and iChula, to name a few. The online shop offers a variety of t-shirt styles, infant one piece, children’s t-shirts, mugs, caps, aprons and many more items stamped with their designs. Latino folklore, beliefs and “abuelas wise thoughts” were mixed together to create the unique designs and slogans. The designs were created to fill a void in the main stream Latino market, which has become a major force in the U.S. market.

Siesta Tees started with one funny design and now offers more than fifty designs and phrases such as, Stop the violence- hit a piñata, I love abuela, I think the Chupacabra is under my bed and Don’t make me use my chancla!, all in a variety of colors and sizes. Their online sales shop offers a 30-day return guarantee and a toll free customer service line. “We are in the process of taking our t-shirts from online to retail stores in the near future. We believe the demand is there, and that our slogan will stand true, Creating laughs one tee at a time.” explains Greg.

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Dia Internacional del Amigo

Dia Internacional del Amigo

Dia Internacional del Amigo

Día Internacional del Amigo (Spanish, Friend’s Day) is a celebration of friendship, held annually on July 20, mainly in Argentina and Uruguay, but also in some other countries.

How was Dia Internacional del Amigo born?

The idea for Friend’s Day or Dia Internacional del Amigo goes back to Argentine teacher, musician, and dentist Enrique Febbraro, who lobbied to turn the anniversary of the first moon landing into an international day of friendship, along his Rotary Club de Once, in Buenos Aires.

He argued that on this particular day, the whole world had been friends of the three astronauts.

The first official recognition of the day came with decree No. 235/79 by the government of the province of Buenos Aires, which authorized the celebration and gave it official nature.

How is the Dia Internacional del Amigo celebrated in Argentina?

In Argentina, Dia Internacional del Amigo or Friend’s Day is often a good excuse for a common friendly gathering, though people also employ the day to get in contact with old and seldom-met friends and greet them. Since it is not a public holiday in Argentina, the gatherings tend to happen during the evening.

Though Dia Internacional del Amigo has always been respected, in recent years it has turned into a very popular mass phenomenon. In 2005, too many well-wishing friends led to a temporary breakdown of the mobile phone network in the cities of Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Córdoba and Rosario, comparable to the one experienced in 2004 on Christmas and New Year’s Day. In the case of Rosario, La Capital newspaper reported that seats in most restaurants, bars and other establishments were already booked out completely a week before the celebration. In Rosario, there is a movement to change the celebration of the Dia Internacional del Amigo to the 19th of July, day that comic writer Roberto Fontanarrosa from that city died.

Source: Wikipedia

‘Fast & Furious’ taps into hispanic movie audiences

Even though I don’t agree on the fact that Hispanic movie audiences are captured by using a sentence in Spanish, I think that  the article clearly shows the fact that Hispanics loooove movies (in Latin America and in the U.S.) and if you identify a theme that they like (like action movies) and advertise to them, they will respond. Since the first Fast & Furious to the very last, Hispanic movie audiences have been engaged with it. Let’s review it from the beginning.

Universal keeps targeting Hispanic movie audiences

But each time there’s more Spanglish added. I love this preview in Spanglish, especially because it was made for the Hispanic audience and with an understanding that it is becoming more and more a bilingual audience. I still believe that the content of “Fast Five” and the fact that it was filmed in Rio is what really drives these Hispanic movie audiences. Otherwise, why wouldn’t all the previews receive over 6 million views on their YouTube channel?

‘Fast & Furious’ taps into hispanic movie audiences

¿Como se dice “socko”?
Fast and Furious 2009The surprisingly strong opening of Universal’s “Fast and Furious” — $71 million over the April 3-5 weekend — was Hollywood’s latest reminder of the power of Hispanic moviegoers.
Though the U.S. census says Hispanics comprise 15% of the population, the group made up a whopping 46% of the “Fast”aud, according to exit polling data conducted by the studio.
While distribs have tried to woo Hispanic movie audiences with Spanish-language fare, the results have been unimpressive. But they’ve found amazing success not by offering material geared to Hispanic auds, but by catering their marketing of “mainstream” films to them.
“Fast” was just the latest Hollywood film to tailor marketing to that audience. U ran advertisements during a Mexico-U.S. World Cup match last winter; featured Spanish-language TV trailers on Univision and Telemundo; and used Spanish-lingo social-networking Websites.
It also used extensive outdoor campaigns in Latino neighborhoods (in both languages), and even separate press junkets for Spanish-language media. Stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez traveled to Miami and Mexico to do promotion.
Other studios have found similar success with a diverse group of pictures, including Disney’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,”20th Century Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” Paramount’s “Transformers,” Lionsgate’s Jackie Chan-Jet Li fantasy actioner “The Forbidden Kingdom” and U’s “The Incredible Hulk.”
Universal has been especially savvy. In 1999, the studio quickly realized that some of the box office success of “The Mummy” was due to a strong Hispanic turnout. Two years later, the first in the franchise, “The Fast and the Furious,” was released. As much as 24% of the audience was Latino. That figure shot up to 38% for the followup “2 Fast 2 Furious.”
Other U titles with the greatest proportion of Hispanic admissions on opening weekend include “The Unborn” (42%),”The Scorpion King” (40%) and “Empire” (51%). Yet never did U overtly peg these films as Hispanic-themed.

“With an African-American movie, you can have a hit just with African-American audiences, but so far, the answer has been no with Hispanics. They have more interest in assimilating,” Universal prexy of marketing and distribution Adam Fogelson says.

Fogelson said Universal made its biggest Hispanic marketing spend to date for the pic. There are an estimated 45 million people with Hispanic backgrounds in the U.S. For more than a decade, the Motion Picture Assn. of America has pegged Hispanics as the fastest-growing segment of the moviegoing audience. The box office saw 310 million admissions from Hispanic moviegoers in 2007, a full third of the number of Caucasians, according to the MPAA.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, the median age of Hispanics living in the U.S. is 27 years, compared to the median age of 36 years for the overall population. That should be music to the ears of studios, since younger people are always heavier filmgoers.
Furthermore, Hispanic parents tend to take younger kids to the movies with them, instead of leaving them with babysitters, distribution execs say. That’s why animated family films, actioners, and action-adventure films with a fantasy twist tend to do particularly well with this demo.
For years, many in Hollywood — as well as in the entertainment press — have assumed that Latino moviegoers want to see Spanish-language films or films with specific Hispanic storylines. But the track record hasn’t borne that out. Fox Searchlight’s “Under the Same Moon” was a specialty hit with $12.3 million, but its “Chasing Papi” in 2003 earned half that. Lionsgate’s “La mujer de mi hermano” ($2.8 million) and “Ladron que roba ladron” ($4 million) were only moderate performers.
U has also seen “Fast & Furious” doing well in Latin American territories, bagging the biggest opening of 2009 in Mexico and Central America and accounting for 50% of the weekend box office in Mexico and Brazil, according to the studio.
Overture Films’ Peter Adee, former marketing topper at Universal, says the reason “Fast and Furious” did so well among Hispanic audiences is the appeal of the storyline.

“Universal has found a way to tap into this community authentically,” says Adee. “Their advertising was so confident and showcased the movie, saying to people, ‘you are going to love this movie. Oh, and by the way, we have Vin Diesel and the other cast.”

The topliners include two women with Hispanic roots, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez, teamed with Diesel and Paul Walker for the first time since the original film.
U also cast Latino musical stars Don Omar and Tego Calderon. The pic’s action starts off in the Dominican Republic — where Diesel’s character is in exile — before shifting to Mexico and then Los Angeles.
Paramount co-chair Rob Moore says Hispanic auds clearly felt like “Fast and Furious” was for them, without feeling like U was pegging the film specifically for the demo. “On a lot of these movies, there will be an element to the campaign that is bilingual,” Moore says.

“They are a great and reliable moviegoing audience, and they have a lot of power that needs to be taken seriously,” Fogelson says. “Yet I think the industry is still struggling in how to reach them. But there’s no reason to be struggling.”

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Mark Twain quotes

Mark Twain quotes

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Source: Pamela McClintock – Variety Magazine