The population of Portugal is roughly 10 million. Out of this
number, only a third live in a city. The rest live in the beautiful
rural areas of this relatively undiscovered country. The rural
population tend to congregate in small fishing or farm villages.
The traditions of these small towns go back centuries. A visit
to one of these towns is extremely interesting.
A visit to Portugal will reveal a people are easy going and very
mild mannered. It is said that the politeness of the Portuguese
is a reflection of their respect for others.
Despite their easy going mannerisms, formality rules when people
are introduced. However once friendships are established, everything
becomes much less formal, or even casual in nature. The Portuguese
are a social group of people. It is very common to see them in
groups eating, drinking or dancing. The family is very important
in Portuguese culture. Despite the fact that some of the old customs
are falling by the wayside, it is still fairly common to see a
few generations of family still living together. Even when people
move to another region of Portugal, they still tend to keep very
close contact with relatives and friends back home.
Though the Portuguese are courteous, there are few things that
may seem to show something different. Punctuality: This is something
that does not seem to be high on the list of priorities for the
Portuguese. Another notice lack of courtesy relates to driving.
The Portuguese seem to have no rules when driving. These items
are more cultural than anything else.
A prominent part of Portuguese life is religious
faith. The country is overwhelmingly Catholic, and signs of this
devotion to faith can be seen in every corner of the country.
Some of the more important Portuguese foods include
fish, beef, pork and chicken. Seafood is extremely popular.
Portuguese engage in a variety of recreational
pursuits. Some of the more popular include folk songs, football
(soccer) and bullfighting. It should be noted that the style and
the result of bullfighting is very different from what is enjoyed
in Latin America and Spain. The matador is on horseback, and at
the end of the fight the bull is not killed.