Love and marriage in Brazil have a fascinating history that has been influenced by conquest and slavery during the early European settlements. Following European connections had a substantial impact on the development of Brazilian society, communities, and families. Being a former Portuguese colony, Brazil has had a significant influence of Portuguese culture and language.
Brazilian Portuguese is a Portuguese language that has a substantial regionally and culturally specific lexicon. The vocabulary of love is also interesting to know from a cultural perspective. It has a rich and multifaceted lexicon with multiple meanings and connotations.
What Is Love in the Minds of Brazilians?
In Brazil, the concept of “love” (in Portuguese, “amor”) encompasses a wide range of beliefs, feelings, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors characterizing gender relations, sexual encounters, and emotional connections. The meanings and emotions associated with the word “amor” are ephemeral, ambiguous, variable, and transient.
Brazilians are frequently unaware of their own feelings. When they try to understand and explain what they and others feel in relationships, they are often unclear, elusive, and figurative in their verbal expressions.
As a popular Brazilian saying states, “o coração é terra desconhecida”, that literally means “the heart is an unknown land.“
Varieties of Brazilian Love Words
Brazilians utilize various words when they refer to different kinds of love, relationships, and emotions. Among those are, for example, amor (love), paixão (passion, infatuation), amor verdadeira (true love), amor da mãe (mother love), and consideração (consideration). In recent decades, the Brazilian love lexicon has been enriched by new love words, such as “lόvi,” in the meaning of modern love, and “amor da novela,” in the meaning of “soap opera love.”
The Modern Lexicon of Brazilian Romantic love
Nowadays, the social life of Brazil, North American mass media, and Brazilian soap operas (telenovelas in Portuguese) have introduced people to the new realities and vocabulary of love. Due to the popularity of the Brazilian amorous telenovelas, the language of love today is more romantic than it used to be.
The romantic telenovelas portray the beautiful situations when loving couples look passionately and deeply into each other’s eyes, sentimentally declaring, “Ai lόvi iú.” This English saying is now everywhere in Brazil. This way, the new term “lόvi” came into the lives of Brazilians, enriching their emotional experiences. In other words, this kind of love is called “amor da novela”, whichin English means “soap opera love.”
The lόvi kind of love describes a mixture of Brazilian amor and paixão that is characterized by emotional interdependence, the verbal declaration of affection and tenderness. The lόvi embodies the magnificent images of the merging souls and bodies of lovers (Botas, 1987).
The lόvi, as a mixture of amor and paixão, brings together several love feelings. This kind of love includes the romantic emotional experiences of paixao with its passion and infatuation. It also embodies the wonderful fusion of two hearts. It represents the selfless devotion and self-abnegation of lovers and the adoration of marriage.
The Brazilian Lexicon of Romantic and Companionate Love
This lόvi kind of Brazilian love focuses on the primary significance of passionate attraction, emotional intimacy between lovers, and expressive facets of love. Both the infatuated passion of paixão and the deep, true feelings of amor are mixed together in this romantic love.
The lόvi also admires the loving man and woman as a wonderful couple. Lόvi is also viewed as a vital affective basis for marriage. This romantic love of lόvi paves the way to the essential features of companionate marital love that are based on “obrigaço”, meaning “obligation”, and “consideração,” meaning “consideration.”