The Portuguese are welcoming, they like to talk to foreigners, to help in every way possible and also to share a little of their culture.
Showing interest in local culture, customs and traditions will facilitate your integration into the country and will certainly help make you feel at home.
The Portuguese are very proud of their gastronomy, they love to eat and talk about food all the time, so this is part of their culture that is very much alive in all parts of the country and can be a great starting point for you.
The people are usually very friendly and the atmosphere in most places is relaxed, lively and relaxed. However, this sometimes means that timelines are not followed very strictly.
For someone who comes from a different country it can be a bit frustrating at times, but don't worry, it's part of the culture and in the end, things get done anyway!
The Portuguese have a habit of receiving well! Mothers and grandmothers are particularly hardworking. Going to the home of a Portuguese family for dinner or lunch, means attending a whole preparation of a complete and elaborate menu and the decoration and storage of the space. Pleasing visitors is the main goal and ensuring that your experience is the best possible.
The food will probably be plentiful, tasty and prepared for hours. They will be extremely friendly and will ask several times if everything is okay, if anything else is needed and similar things. It's kind to reciprocate with a compliment to the host's effort. It is also common to take a small souvenir to those who receive us. Flowers, can be ideal for a more formal invitation and for ladies. For a simpler lunch or dinner, there's nothing like bringing a bottle of wine or a homemade dessert.
The Portuguese, despite globalization, have not abandoned their gastronomic roots. In the kitchens of Portuguese families, the traditional cod is still common, which is cooked in the most varied ways, but always salted and soaked.
The food in Portugal has a Mediterranean base, is healthy and balanced and focused on the correct choice of good products. The cuisine also varies according to the regions and it is wrong to speak of Portuguese cuisine in a generic way. Some generic products are cheese, charcuterie and fresh fish. However, for example, the regions close to the sea often serve fish and seafood while in Trás-os-Montes, a region in the north of the country that borders Spain, the alheira, a sausage, is traditional.
Confectionery is also a well-kept secret, especially the conventual one. Throughout the country you can find fabulous recipes that deserve to be tried, such as the Ovos Moles de Aveiro or the Pudding of Abade de Priscos, from the Center. There is much more than the iconic Pastel de Nata, which of course is also an excellent option and works as an excellent souvenir
The Portuguese learn from an early age that their language is not very common. Especially in Europe, no other country has Portuguese as an official language and it is equally rare that it is taught as a second language or is part of school curricula.
In Portugal, especially since much of the country's wealth is created through tourism, they strive to learn other languages in order to communicate, sell or take "the water to their mill", as is so traditionally said in Portuguese.
In schools, it is currently compulsory to learn at least two languages, and English is compulsory. It is also very common for the older generation to speak French, as this was the first language to be taught at the time they did their schooling. Even if they do not master the language, the Portuguese will make an effort and smile, using everything in their power to allow and facilitate communication with foreigners. I confess that, exceptionally, with the Spaniards we get a little irritated when they do not understand the Portuguese or do not try very hard for it.
Of course, everyone is different. However, the Portuguese are traditionally an open, approachable and conversational people. In case of need, it is easy to find someone on the street who is friendly and helps with some indication. It also won't be hard to make friends in college. At least in mine, we tend to be very welcoming with international students and "having a conversation", driven by some curiosity to know a little more about their countries and cultures.
This is also an excellent feature for which you are focused on learning the Portuguese language. This effort will always be appreciated and nothing judged and accompanied by some tips to improve.
Although we are not as close when it comes to fixed contact as a Southern Italian, there is no great ceremony when it comes to greetings.
The Portuguese tend not to value punctuality, but of course, this is also an issue that varies from person to person. Delays of 10/15 minutes are common in banal combinations such as a coffee among friends or a birthday lunch or dinner.
Just like people, public transport and other services are somewhat unpredictable and may not be very compliant with schedules, however, nothing like arriving on time to avoid hassles.
Like most of the peoples further south, the Portuguese greatly favored sharing and family reunification. Sunday family lunches are common, but during the week family members also tend to gather and have dinner all at the same time, for example. There is a great closeness between people and the family, it is a web that works as a support and support system whenever necessary.
Nothing like a coffee break for the Portuguese. First thing in the morning, before you start working; after lunch; in the middle of the afternoon... Anyway, every hour is good for a short break and an exchange of words.
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