Portuguese History & Culture

There are many forum members, that come from various Countries, so this is the place to post your favourite recipes for the 3A COOKERY BOOK, pictures, talk about your cultures, holiday recommendations and share with other members your Countries Culture. Also share your holiday snaps and your ventures whilst on holiday.

Portuguese History & Culture

Postby Maya » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:07 pm

I am going to try and compile a thread with articles about our Country's History and Culture here, we have been so much in the news for all the wrong reasons that it would be nice to give people that don't know Portugal a different perspective, and to those that already do know Portugal perhaps a little more insight to our History and our ways, all help very welcome...
Last edited by Maya on Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby Maya » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:13 pm

I am going to start with this famous Alliance between Britain and Portugal, since I am sure many of you have heard so much about it:

http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servle ... 3700037476

600 Years of Anglo-Portuguese Alliance

Britain and Portugal have had a Treaty of Alliance since 1373 when the English fought alongside the Portuguese Royal House of Avis at the battle of Aljubarrota against Spain. The two nations signed the Treaty of Windsor in May 1386 formally confirming the alliance which has been the cornerstone of their bilateral foreign policy for more than 600 years. The final seal on that alliance was the royal marriage in 1387 between Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and João I of Portugal. Bilateral trade flourished through English warehouses in Oporto. Cod and cloth were exchanged for wine, cork, salt, and oil. And the couple's youngest son Henrique (Prince Henry the Navigator) paved the way for Portugal's Golden Age with his sea voyages of discovery.

Almost 300 years later Britain responded to Portugal's request for help against threats from France by signing in June 1661 a military treaty in which Britain pledged to defend Portugal. This was sealed by another royal wedding. Charles II married the Infanta Catharine of Braganza who introduced tea to Britain, as well as bringing a dowry of two million cruzados, Tangiers and Bombay.

In the 18th and 19th centuries Portugal and Britain continued to support each other. In 1700 France declared war on Britain and asked Portugal to close her ports to British ships. Portugal's response was to join Britain and the Netherlands in May 1703 in a 'Grand Alliance' against the French and Spanish Bourbon dynasty, as requested by Britain's emissary, John Methuen. She also signed a second, bilateral, commercial treaty, the Methuen Treaty, in December 1703, which saw Portuguese wines flow into England. In 1807 when Napoleon marched into Lisbon and the royal family fled to Brazil, Portugal invoked the Treaty of Windsor of 1386. British Generals, including Beresford and Wellington, came to defend Portugal and Napoleon was defeated 3 years later. As a result, Britain was allowed to trade directly with Brazil.
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby Maya » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:17 pm

And how it was subsequently 'broken' by the British:


British Ultimatum

The 1890 British Ultimatum was an ultimatum by the British government delivered on January 11, 1890 to Portugal, in breach of the Treaty of Windsor of 1386 between the two countries, forcing the retreat of Portuguese military forces in the land between the colonies of Mozambique and Angola (present-day Zimbabwe). The area had been claimed by Portugal, which had included it in its "Pink Map", but this clashed with British aspirations to create a railroad link between Cairo and Cape Town, thereby linking its colonies from the north of Africa to the very south.

When Portugal acquiesced to British demands, it was seen as a national humiliation by Republicans in Portugal, who denounced the government and the King as responsible for it. The government fell, and Ant├│nio de Serpa Pimentel was appointed Prime Minister.

On August 20 1890 the Treaty of London was signed between Portugal, Germany and Great Britain, defining the territorial limits of Angola and Mozambique. The treaty was published in the Diário do Governo (Government Diary) on August 30 and presented to the parliament that same day, leading to a new wave of protest and the downfall of the government.

The Ultimatum inspired the lyrics of the Portuguese National Anthem, A Portuguesa.
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby perrito » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:32 pm

Thank you Maya, that is very interesting indeed.
User avatar
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Espa├▒a

Postby Maya » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:05 am

Yes indeed Perrito, thank you for reading :)
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby chimaera » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:19 am

MAYA: What an absolutely wonderful idea for a thread. I know a bit of the history of your country, but regret to say, I have still to visit it. As a keen (but really bad) golfer, it is definitely on our agenda. My partner has been on many occasions in the past and adores it! Thank you for this.
Things are never so bad that they can't get worse.
User avatar
On Parole
Posts: 1295
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:02 pm

Postby Maya » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:51 am

Found this website by the Association of History Teachers that offers a pretty good summary of PT history:


The Kingdom of Portugal emerged in the 12th century connected with the process concerning the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. At the same time that all the territories occupied by the Moors were conquered southwards Portugal, originally a county and a part of one of the most ancient Christian kingdoms of the Peninsula - Leão - demanded its independence in 1143. Due to endless fights and negotiations D. Afonso I, first king of Portugal, was awarded by the pope (1179) with the papal bull manifestis probatum thus bringing stability. At the eyes of all the Christian world, that meant the birth of a new kingdom in a part of the world were the fight against the infidels would be reinforced by a backup force of attack (The Palestine and the Peninsula).

The concept of crusade and the belief that all Peninsular Kings descended from an ancient Visigoth Monarchy justified all the Southern process of conquest in the al-Andaluz. The support of the church was unquestionable - the crusaders (conquest of Lisbon and Silves) and the religious and military orders gave a big help to the birth of several kingdoms by their endless effort of conquest and settlement.

Image D. Afonso Henriques
(D. Afonso I, first king of Portugal).
A warrior's son and a fighter himself. His wish of independence became real in 1179.

ImageThe D. Afonso Henriques girdle of Lisbon. A picture by Joaquim Rodrigues Braga (a Portuguese artist from XIX century). Represents the surrender of the besieged.

The peculiarity of the kingdom's formation lies in the various ways by the which the territory was occupied. To all the well known European feudal forms of occupation - by the nobility, by the clergy and the allotment, the council land is added. It is an autonomous form surveyed between the King or the nobles and a community of free men, it derives from an effort to populate deserted territories and it was carried out by kings and nobles during the conquest process. The word council is still used in the modern local administration.
The Arabic culture, which is clearly seen in several Portuguese cultural aspects, as been since the beginning denied, especially because of the religious contrast by which it is enveloped. However we must not forget the numerous quantity of words of Arabic influence existing in our vocabulary.
Portugal was an expert concerning the technological development of cartography and navigation and that enabled us in the 15th century of discoveries.

The inventions and the technical improvements have the most various roots, though Portugal's geographical position and its cultural cohesion were a step ahead to find new things. A nautical culture was being built.
ImagePortuguese mercantile navigation in XIV century was influenced by Arabic techniques.
In the picture we can see an Arabic pirate boat from XIII century. Portuguese people learned a lot with the constant attacks from those vessels...

The motivation to the great adventure was bottom line the food and workers scarcity. Social and economic reasons do not justify such deed. In that period it was important to fight the infidel and save souls. Foreign people (such as Italians or Catalonians, Castilians, Bascs, northern Europeans and muslim`s) also wanted to take part on the crusade enterprise but with their own interests. Above all, the discoveries enterprise was seen as a way of increasing the national patrimony and treasure.
In the beginning of the 15th century, due to the crisis felt through all Europe during the 14th century, Portugal was dealing with serious economical problems.
It was urgent to find new resources, spread the Christian belief to new people and fulfil the desire to find/know new lands.

In that time the Infante D. Henrique, one of D. João I sons, took the responsibility to make these journeys:

* The islands in the Atlantic were found: Madeira (1418) ; Azores (1427);
* We sailed around the Bojador Cape in 1434
* The western African coast was found until Sierra Lione in 1460 (the Infante died in the same year).

ImageLisbon in XVI century. Coloured and gilded decoration in a manuscript from 1520.
ImageMadeira Island in a illustration from XVII century ...
and seen from the same place that the first navigator saw it..
ImageD.João II in a coloured and gilded decoration in a manuscript from the epoch.

From here on king D. João II was the leader of the Indies reached by sea sailing along the African coast. The known maps showed that that was impossible to accomplish, for in those maps the African coast was straight down until the south pole without any access to Indian ocean, however the Portuguese navigators and merchants experience indicated that it might be possible for them to connect the Atlantic ocean to the Indian ocean.
D. João II organised several voyages:

* Diogo Cão reached the Zaire (Congo) river mouth in 1483;
* Bartolomeu Dias sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, until than Known as Cape of the Torments, in 1487.

Vasco da Gama discovered the maritime route to India.
Died in 1524 as portuguese viceroy in India.

The doorway to the Indies was opened, the land of the spices and the luxurious products. Meanwhile Spain had also joined the expansion race, and, to solve several conflicts the two countries drawn a treaty in 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas, in which they agreed to share among them all the found or found-to-be lands.
Vasco da Gama reached the Indies in 1498, in the reign of D. Manuel I.
The second expedition sent to the Indies was commanded by Pedro Álvares de Cabral, but on that voyage he officially found the Brazil in 1500.
The recent navigation knowledge was enormous. The Portuguese people in little less than a century found new lands in a big part of the world. They maid bonds with people from different continents.
They informed us about animals and plants that had never been seen before. Even the sky and the stars looked different seen from the southern hemisphere.

ImageVasco da Gama discovered the maritime route to India.
Died in 1524 as Portuguese Viceroy in India.
ImageDiogo Cão is placing a stone monument in the mouth of Zaire river in 1482, replacing the first one that disappeared because was used as a target in exercises from British navy artillery.

One of the main reasons that lead the Portuguese to the expansion was the pursuit of wealth. Whenever they reached a new land they tried to take as much advantage of it as they could.
In the 16th century Portugal had dominion over areas from the Atlantic until the Far East, making it altogether a vast empire.
The new worlds that Portugal found melted together. They learn the ideas, the techniques, the knowledge and the every day life of one another. Out of all these exchange of ideas one thing is for sure, a new world emerged.
A new sensibility, a new taste and a new knowledge were brought in to a light with the discovery voyages made in 16th century. The culture, the science, the arts, the literature were given new impetus.
Lisbon in 16th century was the capital of an empire, it became the trade centre. Its geographical position was fundamental. The city became the meeting point of all Europeans, who soon would settle in Lisbon, from Africa slaves were brought (in the 16th century, in Lisbon, 10 out of 100 were slaves) people from all over the world arrived to Lisbon seeking a better way of life. On the other hand, others would leave to the new world seeking adventure.
While Lisbon was becoming one of the most important and busiest cities of the world, the rest of the country had stagnated.

The maritime commerce was largely profitable, but that money was not directed to the agriculture or hand craft industry development, therefore every consumer goods were imports. The national expenses soon became larger than the profits.
By the end of the 16th century there was a succession problem, for D. Sebastião disappeared in the Ksar el- Kebir battle in 1478. Portugal was then ruled by a Spanish king. Though at beginning Portugal had same benefits with this fusion, by the 17th century the situation was different it was that this integration in the big empire of Carlos V's successors brought a higher tax pressure along with all the empire troubles: participation in wars which Portugal had nothing to do with (the Spanish Armada); the loss of influence in the colonies (Dutch advance in South America).

ImageAlcácer Quibir battle. Also known as the battle of the 3 kings (because of the death of the Portuguese king and 2 Muslim leaders). D. Sebastião disappearance during this suicidal mission was responsible for the beginning of a legend that tells about the return of the desired king ...

The independence process began in December, 1., 1640 and ended in 1668 when a peace treaty was sign were Spain granted Portugal its independence. This is not an isolated riot, many others took place during the Phillips Dynasty which led to their downfall (Catalunian up rise, ....).
After achieving the independence it was of major importance to get back the lost empire, Portugal did not rule any more in the found lands, the Cape Route was now in the hands of the British, the Dutch and the French. Brazil looked like a good solution to the weakened Portuguese economy, they had the sugar production during the 17th century and lots of gold in the 18th century.

ImageA polychromatic retabule of wood in blue and dory. It is a magnificent production inspired by the north Gothic style.
This kind of work was possible because (as the great and fantastic Portuguese art at the epoch) of the economic power that the ultramarine profits made possible.

The echoes of the French revolution were also felt in Portugal, ending with the Ancient Regime (Antigo Regime). The ideals of this revolution were in a way gladly acknowledge by some people, however they were violently imposed by three invasions (1807, 1808, 1810). The royal family fled to Brazil keeping Portugal's independence and its government, even ruling from overseas. Meanwhile the British, taking advantage of several popular uprisings all over the Peninsula against the French dominion, send troops to another European battle field.
With the end of the Napoleonic Wars, England enjoys a privileged governmental position controlling all commercial relationships with the colonies and the rest of the world (Oporto and Madeira wine).

ImageJunot and Lisbon. Detail from a Domingos Sequeira' sketch.
Junot was one of the military responsible for the French invasion.

While the king was still in Brazil there a was in Portugal and uprising against Beresford (Who represented the British interests in Portugal), the idea was to expel him out of the country. People were getting angrier every day and the acceptance to the French Revolution ideals - Liberty, Equality and Fraternity - was growing. So, in 1820 a group of liberals organised an uprising in Oporto that spread through out the country.

Government was set in the hand of a temporary committee whose task was organise the first elections and write a constitution, which would be published in 1822. That is how a constitutional monarchy was born. The loss of Brazil in 1822 shows a period of troubled times to the liberals. The remaining supporters of an absolute system went to a civil war that lasted until 1834, the liberals won the war, they were led by D.Pedro, brother of the leader of the absolutist wing, D.Miguel.

ImageMotherland crowning the heroes from the liberal fights. This is a painting by Veloso Salgado.

Liberal governments do serious agrarian and industrial reforms in the country, and also in transports and public affairs. It is obvious that the progress in commerce is due to the development of the communications.
The technological delay, the lack of capital, loosen investments, the foreign competition in main economical sectors, opposite policies of development led to a slight gap between Portugal and the rest of the world.
Like the Berlin Conference (1884-85) has confirmed, other European major countries were looking for new markets and raw materials, but Portugal was far back in this race, though without enlarging its possessions, Portugal still maintained, with some effort, the colonies. There were many problems with which the monarchic government could not deal with: in one hand the people dissatisfactions, and in the other hand the growing group of republican supporters that were against the government. In fact on 1. February of 1908 in an attack against the royal family D.Carlos and the heir prince D.Luís Filipe, are killed. D.Manuel II (the second son of D.Carlos) was recognised king of Portugal by the end of that same year. He was the last king of Portugal. During the two last years of is reign the revolution movements did not stop growing.
In October 5. 1910 it was proclaimed the Republic in Lisbon, the royal family was expelled out of country. The first temporary cabinet declared:
* The national hymn «A Portuguesa»
* The nowadays known flag
* Abolished all nobility ranks
* Abolished the religious swear at trials
* laws protecting the family (civil marriage, the end of illegitimate child status)
* Laws concerning free press
* Labour rights (strike, weekly rest, social bonus)
* The lock-out right

All these measures were set in the first Constitution of the Portuguese Republic of 1911.

ImageThe five shields of the Portuguese arms are representative of the five Islamic kings that D.Afonso Henriques defeated at the Ourique battle.
The points inside each shield are representing the five wounds of Christ.
ImageThe seven castles are the five fortified villages conquered by D.Afonso Henriques from the moors.
ImageThe armillary sphere is the symbol of the world that portuguese navegators discovered in the XV and XVI century
ImageThe green is the colour for hope in the future.
The red is the symbol of the courage and blood spilled by Portuguese soldiers on the battle field.
ImageA commemorative illustration about the Republic Proclamation in 5.October in 1910 published at the time as a post card.

However the economic weakness and the political immaturity of the congress members led to a huge social and political instability.
War times were also lived in this particular period: between 1910 and 1926 Portugal had height presidents and 45 congresses.
But not all was bad, the first republic changed areas like the education and culture, the compulsive school, and the grade birth of new universities.
This situation of political instability leads to a military coup in 1926, a military dictatorship was declared. The press began being censured and all liberties were diminished. This military dictatorship turned it self into a real absolute regime of fascist tendency like many others throughout Europe who sought in a strong government the answer to all their problems.

This regime is strengthened by the nomination of Salazar to the government and with the proclamation of a new constitution in 1933, that set a new authoritarian regime - Estado Novo.
The Portuguese unicity is also seen here, for unlike its Europeans partners, Portugal does not show much interest about industrialisation and has not broken its bonds with the church, remember the motto: god, motherland and family.
During the Salazar regime the Portuguese economy was almost stagnant. Many efforts were made to diminish the state expenses.
Agriculture continued to be the main activity of the population and kept the technological delay. The access to education was conditioned. The third sector was slowly developing. Despite the development of some industries unemployment spread and life conditions were getting tougher.
Between 1960 and 1970 many people immigrated especially to France and Germany. Some political opponents to the government also immigrated, like Mário Soares and Álvaro Cunhal.
ImageSalazar was the face of the power for almost 40 years...
This picture is one rare photography just because he was smiling...

Once the second world war was over a anti-colonies spirit spread. To many European colonies in Africa and Asia independence was granted. In 1961 also the African colonies start a guerilla war seeking independence from the metropolis. To support the war it was necessary to send thousands of soldiers to Africa, along with a supplementary economic effort. The Portuguese colonial war was on for 13 years, thousands of soldiers fell in battle, many physically challenged returned from the war, the Portuguese people had to deal with heavy expenses to support all them.
The lasting of the fascist regime and the colonial affair led Portugal to a gradual world political isolation. The connection of Portugal with NATO, UN and EFTA did not granted Portugal the international community acceptance of the Portuguese position.
The desire of freedom, the dissatisfaction towards the government and the war in Africa were some of the causes to the government overthrow, on the 25th of April of 1974, led by an army group.
That is how a second Republic was born, democracy was back again after 48 years of dictatorship.
In May was gathered the first temporary cabinet with members of all the political parties. During this government was followed the programme written by the army group:

* The constitution of political parties and unions was declared legal;
* The organisation of free elections;
* The extinction of the political police;
* Censorship was abolished;
* All political prisoners were set free and the exiled were authorised to return to they motherland.
ImageSoldiers and people in April 1974. This became a symbol of Portuguese revolution to democracy. The first civil president took over only in 1986!!
ImageThis photo is a symbol to Portuguese people: the innocence of a child and a flower are (or must be) stronger than a machine gun...

The 25. of April of 1974 brought to the Portuguese people the freedom of thought and speech and the peace along with the independence of all the colonies.
This photo is a symbol to Portuguese people: the innocence of a child and a flower are (or must be) stronger than a machine gun...

On the 25th of April of 1975 took place the first free election (in 50 years), the aim was to elect a representative convention that later wrote a new Constitution published on the 2nd of April 1976. This Constitution set new basics to a new democratic government and to the performance of the institutions, as well as to the participation of the citizens in the political, social and economic life and the autonomy of the local power.
The new challenge that Portugal get in to through deals with the formation of the EC, of which is a member since 1986.
Today there are eight countries which official language is the Portuguese. It is the 5th language that is spoken all over the world.
The political maturity brought Portugal a new conception off identity. Portugal and his Portuguese spoken fellows created CPLP (Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa), a Community of Countries with Portuguese as their official language. This community, among other things, pretends to bee the cultural and linguistic link between those countries (from America, Africa or Asia). For them, Portugal is the doorway into Europe and a window to the world. To Portugal they are the link to world... The new world again.
The international community has already recognised the CPLP importance. In 1st November off 1999 CPLP assumed a new role as an international observer in the UN.
Last edited by Maya on Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby Maya » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:55 am

chimaera wrote:MAYA: What an absolutely wonderful idea for a thread. I know a bit of the history of your country, but regret to say, I have still to visit it. As a keen (but really bad) golfer, it is definitely on our agenda. My partner has been on many occasions in the past and adores it! Thank you for this.

Thank you very much Chimaera! :D

I hope you both enjoy reading and when the time comes of course to enjoy our hospitality first hand.
Last edited by Maya on Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby portuguesegirl » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:44 am

Yes, our country has a great History. Thank you Maya.

Postby Maya » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:53 am

welcome portuguesegirl and thank you, all help very welcome :wink: , the history bit is pretty much covered, could do with some articles about traditions, society, any ideas?
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby Maya » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:30 am


Facts and Statistics:

Location: South western Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain

Capital: Lisbon

Population: 10,524,145 (July 2004 est.)

Ethnic Make-up: homogeneous Mediterranean stock; citizens of black African descent who immigrated to mainland during decolonization number less than 100,000; since 1990 East Europeans have entered Portugal

Religions: Roman Catholic 94%

The Portuguese Language

The 10-million population of Portugal speaks Portuguese, a Romance language which derived from Vulgar Latin. Galician and Mirandese, which are technically classed as separate languages, are spoken by a few thousand people in the north of the country, along the Spanish border.

Portuguese Society & Culture

The Family

. The family is the foundation of the social structure and forms the basis of stability.
. The extended family is quite close.
. The individual derives a social network and assistance from the family.
. Loyalty to the family comes before other social relationships, even business.
. Nepotism is considered a good thing, since it implies that employing people one knows and trusts is of primary importance.


. Portuguese are traditional and conservative.
. They are a people who retain a sense of formality when dealing with each other, which is displayed in the form of extreme politeness.

Appearances Matter

. In Portuguese society appearance is very important, especially in the cities.
. People are fashion conscious and believe that clothes indicate social standing and success.
. They take great pride in wearing good fabrics and clothes of the best standard they can afford.


. Portugal is a culture that respects hierarchy.
. Society and business are highly stratified and vertically structured.
. Both the Catholic Church and the family structure emphasize hierarchical relationships.
. People respect authority and look to those above them for guidance and decision-making.
. Rank is important, and those senior to you in rank must always be treated with respect.
. This need to know who is in charge leads to an authoritarian approach to decision- making and problem solving.
. In business, power and authority generally reside with one person who makes decisions with little concern about consensus building with their subordinates.

Meeting & Greeting Etiquette in Portugal

. Initial greetings are reserved, yet polite and gracious.
. The handshake accompanied by direct eye contact and the appropriate greeting for the time of day.
. Once a personal relationship has developed, greetings become more personal: men may greet each other with a hug and a handshake and women kiss each other twice on the cheek starting with the right.


. The proper form of address is the honorific title 'senhor' and 'senhora' with the surname.
. Anyone with a university degree is referred to with the honorific title, plus 'doutour' or 'doutoura' ('doctor') with or without their surname.
. Wait until invited before moving to a first-name basis.
. Use the formal rather than the informal case until your Portuguese friend suggests otherwise.

Gift Giving Etiquette

. If you are invited to a Portuguese home for dinner, bring flowers, good quality chocolates or candy to the hostess.
. Do not bring wine unless you know which wines your hosts prefer.
. Do not give 13 flowers. The number is considered unlucky.
. Do not give lilies or chrysanthemums since they are used at funerals.
. Do not give red flowers since red is the symbol of the revolution.
. Gifts are usually opened when received.

Dining Etiquette

. If invited to a dinner arrive no more than 15 minutes after the stipulated time.
. You may arrive between 30 minutes and one hour later than the stipulated time when invited to a party or other large social gathering.
. Dress conservatively. There is little difference between business and social attire.
. Do not discuss business in social situations.
. If you did not bring a gift to the hostess, send flowers the next day.
. Table manners are formal.
. Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a particular seat.
. Table manners are Continental -- the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
. Do not begin eating until the hostess says "bom apetite".
. Do not rest your elbows on the table, although your hands should be visible at all times.
. Most food is eaten with utensils, including fruit and cheese.
. Keep your napkin to the left of your plate while eating. Do not place the napkin in your lap. When you have finished eating, move your napkin to the right of your plate.
. If you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife.
. Leave some food on your plate when you have finished eating.
. Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel on your plate, tines facing up, with the handles facing to the right.

Building Relationships & Communication

. The Portuguese prefer to do business with those they feel comfortable with, which means those that they know they can trust.
. Therefore, it is advisable to have a mutual contact provide the initial introduction.
. Expect to invest a great deal of time developing the relationship.
. The Portuguese prefer face-to-face meetings rather than written or telephonic communication, which are seen as too impersonal.
. Relationships are built with people, not companies.
. If you change representatives or people on a negotiating team once negotiations have started, the relationship-building process will have to begin again.
. It is important that you treat business colleagues with respect and not do anything to embarrass them.
. Communication is formal and relies on strict rules of protocol.
. If your Portuguese business colleagues have questions or want clarification during a presentation, they will wait until you have finished speaking and not interrupt.
. Although honest, the Portuguese do not volunteer information unless solicited, especially if remaining silent is in their best interest.
. Although the Portuguese are not emotive speakers and do not use hand gestures, they may be demonstrative when greeting friends. . If you tend to use hand gestures while speaking, you may wish to moderate your behaviour since it may incorrectly be viewed as overtly demonstrative.
. Portugal is a hierarchical culture that respects age and position.
. Defer to those in senior positions and maintain a sense of formality in written communication.
. Do not be concerned if your Portuguese colleagues fail to follow through on promises.
. They have a more relaxed attitude towards time and do not see deadlines as crucial as people from many other cultures do.
. They do not appreciate direct criticism, even if you consider it to be justified

Business Meeting Etiquette

. Appointments are mandatory and should be made 1 to 2 weeks in advance.
. Reconfirm the meeting a few days in advance.
. Initial correspondence should be written in Portuguese.
. Since most Portuguese take vacation during August, it is not an ideal time to try to schedule meetings. It is also best not to plan meetings during the week between Christmas and New Year.
. You should arrive on time for meetings.
. In many circles, 5 minutes late is considered on time.
. Punctuality displays respect for the person you are meeting. If you are kept waiting, it is important that you not appear irritated.
. People from the north are generally more punctual than those in the south.
. A fair amount of getting-to-know-you conversation may take place before the business conversation begins.
. Agendas serve as starting points for discussions; they do not serve as schedules.
. Presentations should be well thought-out, thorough, and backed up with charts and figures.
. Decisions are not reached at meetings.
. Maintain eye contact when speaking.
. Meetings may be interrupted.
. Do not remove your jacket unless your business associates do so.


. Portuguese put great importance on the character of the person with whom they do business, so they will take time to get to know you.
. Wait for your Portuguese colleagues to bring up business. Never rush the relationship-building process.
. Portuguese are very thorough and detail-oriented.
. Portuguese prefer to do business for the long-term although at times they focus on short-term gains.
. Business is conducted slowly. You must not appear impatient.
. Have printed material available in both English and Portuguese.
. Do not use high-pressure sales tactics. Portuguese are offended by aggressive behaviour.
. Portuguese business is hierarchical. The highest-ranking person makes decisions.
. Portuguese negotiate with people - not companies. Do not change your negotiating team or you may have to start over from the beginning.
. Contracts are respected.
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby Maya » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:52 am

Bar-hopping and dancing the night away in Lisbon


A sunset in Lisbon does not mean it's the end of the day (especially on a weekend or a typical summer night). For many, the day is just beginning and many bars haven't even opened their doors yet.
A typical evening might start in the caf├®s of Chiado, serving as meeting points before heading to a restaurant for a long, relaxed dinner in the Bairro Alto quarter. It is the epicenter of the city's bar scene and where most of the nighttime action takes place.

Venues range from the hip ("Bedroom"), to the quirky ("Pavilhão Chinês"), to the laid-back ("Clube da Esquina"). Most close between 2 and 4AM, when it is time to move down by the river to the docks of Alcântara and the district of Santos, home to several fashionable bars and clubs. The attractive setting of the docks is a pleasant place to stay and watch the sun rise to the sounds emanating from "Op Art," a bar with a view that stays open well into dawn on weekends. Best of all is ending your night (or beginning your day) on the dancefloor or sipping a cocktail on the terrace of the city's most stylish club, "Lux," partly owned by Hollywood actor John Malkovich and often hailed as Europe's best-designed club.
Club LuxLisbon is fast gaining a reputation as one of Europe's trendiest cities, and it's an established favorite with the international DJ set. The young European crowd has joined the party, with many young Spaniards, Italians, and Brits visiting the city specifically for its nightlife. It caters to everyone, offering everything from house to electronica, to 1920's-style jazz bars, to a flourishing gay scene.

If clubbing isn't your scene, classical music is well represented at various venues such as the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Culturgest. The city's several beautiful old theaters, especially Dona Maria II National Theater, present experimental contemporary works and classical plays, and for opera, look into São Carlos Theater.

For some local flavor, spend a candlelit evening at a Fado House, ranging from elegant restaurants to downmarket taverns with live Fado performers. Oriente Station at night Many have lost their authenticity, are tacky, and are targeted at tourists (clustered in Bairro Alto), but there are still some genuine Fado establishments in Alfama and Lapa (home to "Senhor Vinho," the best of them all). Fado remains a lively part of the city's culture, and is a must for any first-time visitor.

The major concert venues are Atlantic Pavillion and Coliseu dos Recreios, often hosting some of the world's top bands and artists. For other cultural events, check out the extensive program of Belem Cultural Center, and consult the monthly Follow Me Lisboa guide provided by the tourism office, listing all the major happenings in the city.
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby portuguesegirl » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:47 pm

Portuguese Cuisine

Today, naturally, Portuguese food varies from region to region, but fresh fish and shellfish are found on virtually every menu. The national dish is "bacalhau," dried, salted cod. The Portuguese have been obsessed with it since the early 16th century, when their fishing boats reached Newfoundland. The sailors salted and sun-dried their catch to make it last the long journey home, and today there are said to be 365 different ways of preparing it, one for each day of the year.

Grilled sardines and horse mackerel are also popular in the coastal towns, and a mixture of other types of fish is put into a stew called "Caldeirada."

The country is full of specialty seafood restaurants, many with artistic displays of lobsters, shrimp, oysters, and crabs. To try a mixture of these, have the rich seafood rice, "arroz de marisco."

Another national dish, but made with meat, is "cozido à portuguesa," a thick stew of vegetables with various kinds of meat. The favorite kind is pork, cooked and served in a variety of ways. Roast suckling pig ("leitão assado") is popular in the north of the country, as are pork sausages called "chouriço" or "linguiça."

Typical of Porto is tripe with haricot beans. It is not to everyone's taste, but has been Porto's most famous dish since Henry the Navigator sent a vessel to conquer Ceuta in Morocco and the people of Porto slaughtered all their livestock to provision the crew, keeping just the intestines for themselves. They have been known as "tripeiros" or "tripe eaters" ever since.

Breakfast is traditionally just coffee and a bread roll, but lunch is a big affair, often lasting up to two hours. It is served between noon and 2 o'clock or between 1 and 3 o'clock, and dinner is generally served late, after 8 o'clock. There are usually three courses, often including soup. The most common soup is "caldo verde," with potato, shredded cabbage, and chunks of sausage.

The most typical desserts are cinnamon-flavored rice pudding, flan, and caramel custard, but they also often include a variety of cheese. The most common varieties are made from sheep or goat's milk, and the most popular is "queijo da serra" from the region of Serra da Estrela.

Many of the country's outstanding pastries were created by nuns in the 18th century, which they sold as a means of supplementing their incomes. Many of their creations have interesting names like "barriga de freira" (nun's belly), "papos de anjo" (angel's chests), and "toucinho do c├®u" (bacon from heaven). A particularly delicious pastry is "pastel de nata," a small custard tart sprinkled with cinnamon.

Before any meal at a restaurant in Lisbon or elsewhere in Portugal, try the bread placed on the table -- Portuguese bread is delicious.

Some examples:


And for desert:


Postby Maya » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:59 pm


Some traditional Fado sung by Amália:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VEsoPN7 ... re=related

Carlos Paredes playing Portuguese Guitar:


Dulce Pontes:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpExb2hC ... re=related

Group of PT singers paying homage to Zeca Afonso (this song became the symbol of our Revolution):


Here is the man himself Zeca Afonso:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yZkC3YC ... re=related

Carlos do Carmo:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vB07z_X ... re=related




Entre Aspas:


Santos e Pecadores:


Xutos & Pontap├®s :


Mafalda Veiga e J├Áao Pedro Pais:

Last edited by Maya on Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
You're Nicked
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:12 pm

Postby chimaera » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:35 pm

Thank you; this really is such a good thread. I am determined to visit before much longer.
Things are never so bad that they can't get worse.
User avatar
On Parole
Posts: 1295
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:02 pm


Return to From Around the World - Living, Holiday, Food and Drink

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest