English teaching & learning! Tips, reflections & discussions!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday in Brazil?

Isn't it funny how some things are artificially created and in a moment they seem plausible to everyone? 

One thing that really gave me some food for thought this weekend and even raised a good discussion with a group of students was the number of stores in Brazil advertising their "Black Friday" sales. 

Some of the Brazilian Black Friday ads
"Black Friday", if you're not aware of it, is the traditional day of sales in the U.S. that follows the Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November, and it's also the beginning of the Christmas Sales Season and a really big deal. (you can read more about it by clicking here).

But what happens in the Brazilian version is a joke in bad taste. First of all, we don't celebrate the Thanksgiving Day in Brazil (except for immigrants, language schools and maybe some religious groups originated in the US). Secondly, the sales day is just a marketing strategy to sell products for their normal value, once their prices are usually inflated. So, there's no tradition and no good deals.

I asked lots of people, including my students, about the "Black Friday" ads on tv and on the Internet and they didn't have the least idea of what it was about (of course, they guessed it was about sales, but the big question was "Why Black Friday?"). 

As an English language teacher, I really thinks it's funny to learn about these holidays and festivals, and even take part on them in the context of cultural learning. But when it becomes something strictly commercial things get really weird. 

Do business people need another great sales day? Ok, that sounds fair enough. But please, try to do something more meaningful and respectful next time...

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