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Moving to a new country can be an exciting but often daunting experience, and it’s natural to have questions about what to expect. If you’re considering a move to Portugal, you may be wondering what the people are like. 

While it’s difficult to make generalisations about a population, there are a number of traits and characteristics that are common among Portuguese people, and as a country there are certain values that are held strongly throughout the population.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Portuguese people is they have a friendly and welcoming nature. They are generally very easy-going and helpful and take pride in making guests feel at home. Many expats come to really appreciate the strong sense of community that exists across the country.

Some newcomers to Portugal may find us a bit distant or unapproachable to begin with. This is usually due to language barriers or cultural misunderstandings. It’s not unusual to hear tourists using “Gracias” instead of “Obrigado” when saying thank you, which is something that can grow a little tiresome. Don’t let this worry you though – once you get to know the people here and they see you a few more times, you’ll find that most of us are happy to help and want to make you feel at home. A little effort goes a long way when it comes to learning Portuguese, and you’ll find that the majority of people here will really appreciate the effort put in.

Are the Portuguese good hosts? I’ll use a German proverb to demonstrate this, which says “just as it echoes in the forest, it also echoes back”. The Portuguese are known for being very hospitable and with time, you will find that most Portuguese will be more than happy to welcome you into their homes.

It’s important to note, like anywhere, that there are regional and individual differences that can impact your experience. For example, people from the north of Portugal are different to those from the south, and there are also notable differences between urban and rural areas.

Portuguese people are also known for their love of food. Portugal’s cuisine is diverse and emphasises fresh, local ingredients with dishes to cater to every taste. Fresh seafood, grilled meats, hearty soups and stews are staples around many Portuguese tables. You also can’t miss out on Portugal’s many sweet pastries enjoyed alongside a traditional “bica” or espresso.

Another important aspect of Portuguese culture to understand, is the importance placed on family and traditions. Portuguese people have very strong family ties, and gatherings involving both close and extended family members are held regularly. Long Sunday lunches with relatives remain a cherished ritual for many Portuguese people.

In terms of work and punctuality, Portuguese people do generally have a more relaxed attitude towards timekeeping than some other cultures. It’s not uncommon for social events to start later than the stated time. This can be frustrating for those who are used to strict adherence to schedules, but it’s also a reminder to slow down and enjoy life at a more leisurely pace.

It’s worth noting that Portuguese people are incredibly proud of their country and its history, and this can be seen in the festivities and celebrations held throughout the year. If you’re moving to Portugal, taking the time to learn about the country’s history and traditions can be a great way to connect with your new community and appreciate all that Portugal has to offer.

From their warm and welcoming nature to their love of food and family, there is much to admire about the people of Portugal. By being open-minded and taking the time to learn about the culture and customs, you’ll be well on your way to settling into your new home in this beautiful country.

Source: The Portugal News

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