The Culture of Portugal Mariana Vanessa Sánchez

Portugal is a country located on the Iberian Peninsula on the continent of Europe. It is bordered by Spain on the east and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Isn't Portugal culture the same as a Latin Culture?

As we discussed in Chapter 3 Culture is the learned patterns of behavior and attitudes shared by a group of people. (pg. 84) Every culture has their own way of displaying their way of living, each culture is unique so instead of comparing each culture and country we should just experience the different ideas that the world offers to share!

Every reviews the country of Portugal and how people in Portugal are. The Portuguese are extremely friendly people who take pride in their home. They are friendly people who welcome visitors to their paradise. People who are from Portugal do not mind if you don't know their language while visiting but they are very appreciative when you know basic saying such as "Thank you" (obrigado), "Hello" (bom dia), and "goodbye" (tchau).

Family is central to the Portuguese way of life, and takes the top place over all other relationships, including in business. Employing family members within a business is the normal thing to do in Portugal, it's a way to surround yourself with the people you know and trust the most.

It's important to know the history of our culture, the people of Portugal take great pride in where they came from. From Chapter 4 of our textbooks, it discusses that we must acknowledge the way that they got to become who they are. Portuguese take great pride of who where they family come from. The emphasizes more on their social history because they want the younger generation how their ancestors impacted their life experiences (pg. 123).

Commiseo Global talks about how Portuguese are very attentive when it come to greeting other people. They expect that everyone is well mannered and proper when meeting someone new. A simple "hello" will not be tolerated when meeting someone from Portugal, they want they same respect as if they were family to you. A hug is always the best way to greet someone in Portugal.

This video explains a brief video of the rules of etiquette in Portugal

During spring break I took a trip to San Jose with my best friend and she was telling me about an amazing place called "Little Portugal" there I experienced a bit of a culture shock, but it wasn't a bad experience at all! Everyone was so sweet and kind when I was walking around. I experienced different types of food, markets, and a few paintings that were beautiful!

Little Portugal San Jose, CA

For my interview I decided to ask my best friend if she would be able to help me out. She is half Portuguese and Anglo. She said that her grandfather lives near San Jose and she decided to take me to meet him so I could get his perspective on the Portuguese culture. Before I met him she informed me that must give him a kiss and a hug to greet him so he wouldn't be offended. I greeted him and we had an amazing conversation.

His name is Afonso Bellaniva and he was such a gentleman. He told me that no matter the distance people of Portuguese decent always have the passion that comes from Portugal. he told me things that even my best friend didn't know the Portuguese culture. For the first sixteen years of his life his parents were so concentrated on showing Afonso the different manners to treat elders and also showing the traditions of Portugal. He recalls that after he left Portugal and moved to San Jose he still continues to celebrate the holidays the way his family taught him, with religion. For Christmas he celebrates by giving praise to the birth of Jesus and giving thanks to the Virgen Mary. This would not only bring him at peace it would also bring his parents peace. When he had his children he took it to be his first priority to show his kids these traditions so they know what a festive culture they have.

The biggest thing that my family taught was the importance of religion. Catholicism played a big role growing up. No matter what day it was I had to say my prayers before I left the house. -Afonso

We began to discuss that for Afonso and I both have a spiritual identity, we saw that the connections that we have with catholicism we have gained knowledge of who we are, and we both follow the same religions and we have gained not only our identities but also our cultural. Even though Afonso and I have different cultures we discussed that we both have similar customs because of religion.

Some of the major traditions that the Portuguese people celebrates revolves around religion. From the Journal of Legislatives from Madeira (a archipelago located in Portugal) displays the major holiday that Portuguese celebrate. One is all saints day (or Dia de Todos-os-Santos) which celebrates all of the saints that have been brought upon us, Immaculate Conception (Imaculada Conceição) which celebrates the Virgen Mary and conception of her without sin, St. Matthews Day (Dia de São Mateus) which celebrates this particular saint, and so much more.


Throughout my time in Little Portugal and taking the time to talk to Alfonso. I learned that every culture can be connected through some similarity. Being Hispanic my main source of being connected with my culture was religion. Growing up I was the same as Afonso, I couldn't leave the house without saying a prayer or before I went to bed. Even now Is still continue to do the things that my mom showed me. My experience with the Portuguese culture has been an amazing experience and will cherish this experience it was amazing being able to be in a different culture and environment for a couple of days.

There is only one thing which can master the perplexed stuff of epic material into unity; and that is, an ability to see in particular human experience some significant symbolism of man's general destiny.- Lascelles Abercrombie
  • References:
  • Martin & Nakayama. Intercultural Communication in Contexts. S.l.: McGraw-Hill Education - Europe, 2012. Print.
  • Special thank you to Afonso Bellaniva! It was a pleasure meeting you!
  • Image Sources:


Created with images by nathsegato - "porto portugal river douro" • nathanh100 - "Map of Portugal, 2012" • Pedro Nuno Caetano - "A walk through the roofs of Porto VI" • JoaquinAranoa - "lisbon decadent shop" • BarborMarisol - "lisbon portugal belem tower" • Iqbal Osman1 - "Faith" • Public_Domain_Photography - "portugal peace hand"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.