The mentality of the inhabitants of any country is difficult to generalize, because the formation of personality is influenced not only by the country of birth or residence, but also by family, environment, reference points and views. However, after a long stay in the country, you can make certain sketches that convey the experience of communicating with the locals and the influence of the country’s culture on them.
What distinguishes the Portuguese?
- Relaxed rhythm of life
Residents of the sunny country are willing to turn a blind eye to certain circumstances and are not used to giving 101%. Here they can carelessly forget your request at the bank, or repair work may bot be very good or take a long time. The Portuguese do not rush with their life, so be prepared for a call to a handyman to result in work being delayed for several weeks, and a request to a government agency – forever without callback.
The Portuguese are used to tourists and welcome them with a smile and interest. You don’t feel like a stranger here and strangers can quickly become friends. This is probably influenced by the presence of international ports in one of the oldest countries in Europe. The locals have been exploring foreign culture since the era of the great geographical discoveries. The Portuguese are always happy to share a bottle of wine with a traveler and talk about the country’s history with enthusiasm.
The ocean, sun, warm climate and green thickets relax even those who come to Portugal for a week, let alone the locals. The national trait can be assessed polarly: carefree attitude gives the Portuguese a lightness, but some situations in life need extra attention, and they are not always ready to “get involved”. This can be felt in doing business with locals or creating joint projects.
The passions of the Portuguese deserve a separate piece. Here they know how to rejoice, cry and laugh loudly all over the street, even in the middle of the night. They are not used to hiding their emotions, despite the fact that in Europe the Italians are the undisputed leaders in emotionality. In Portuguese there is even a unique word “saudade”, describing deep thoughtfulness and romanticized nostalgic sadness.
- Attitudes toward culture and history
In Portugal, the locals value traditions and are happy to pass them on not only to young people but also to foreigners. The older generation holds conservative views, while at the same time young people are eager to change the system and culture. In local families this sometimes creates inconveniences and misunderstandings, but relatives are very important to the Portuguese, so they are ready for constructive conversations and the search for consensus.