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10 Random Facts About Portugal You Need To See

Facts about Portugal
City of Lisbon, Portugal

It is country in southern Europe. Portugal is on the Iberian Peninsula. The country is bordered on the east by Spain and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Being located by the ocean influences many aspects of the culture of Portugal, especially its food culture. The capital city is Lisbon, and the official language is Portuguese. Here are ten other facts about Portugal that you would like to know.

Population: 10.46 million (2013) World Bank

Capital: Lisbon

Currency: Euro

PresidentMarcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Prime Minister: António Costa

Continent: Europe

System of Government: Unitary semi-presidential republic

Official Language:

Random Facts About Portugal

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1. FAMILY IS BASE

Family means a lot to the Portuguese.  In fact, loyalty to family comes before other social relationships, even business.  For this reason, nepotism is considered a virtue, since it implies that employing people one knows and trusts is of primary importance.

2. A CONSERVATIVE SOCIETY

Portuguese are traditional and conservative.  They are a people who retain a sense of formality when dealing with each other.  This is displayed in their form of extreme politeness.  In like manner, you are expected to observe same level of politeness and formality when dealing with them.

3. GIVE TO GIVE OR NOT

If you are invited to a Portuguese home for dinner, take along the following:

  • Flowers
  • Good quality chocolates
  • Good quality candy

You are to present these to the hostess.  But do not take wine along unless you know which wines your hosts prefer.

4. FLOWER GIFT TO AVOID

As a matter of absolute "don't", never give 13 flowers.  The number is generally considered by Portuguese as unlucky.  Another absolute "don't": never give lilies or chrysanthemums.  They are used at funerals.   And a final "don't" never give red flowers.  Red is the Portuguese symbol of the revolution.

5. TIME-CONSCIOUS SOCIETY

Portuguese people value their time and so punctuality means a lot to them.  If invited to a dinner arrive not later than 15 minutes behind the stipulated time.  For parties and other social gatherings, you may arrive between 30 minutes and one hour later than the stipulated time.

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6. HOSTS' RIGHTS

In the house of your host, certain things are reserved for the host as privileges.  When being hosted to a meal, any meals at all, for example, do not begin eating until the hostess says "bon appetite".  Also, do not rest your elbows on the table.  But ensure your hands are visible at all times.

7. SCRUPULOUS TABLE MANNERS

On the number 7 facts about Portugal is that during meal time, always keep your napkin to the left of your plate while eating.  Never place the napkin in your lap. When you are done eating, move your napkin to the right side of your plate.  If you have not finished eating, and you need to get up or you are talking, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife.

8. YOU ARE DONE EATING

When you have finished eating, there are ways to indicate it.  The first way to show it is that you must leave some food on your plate.  The second way to show it is by laying your knife and fork parallel on your plate with the handles facing the right of your plate.

9. MUM IS THE WORD

Portuguese are generally honest people. However, they hardly volunteer information unless it is solicited.  And even when any information is solicited, they weigh the pros and cons and decide carefully whether to give it or not. They would specially keep mum when doing so is in their best interest of someone or everyone.

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10. PROMISE IS NO VOW

Last but not the least facts about Portugal, expect a Portuguese colleague to make a promise. But never expect a Portuguese colleague to make good his/her promise.  They'd make a promise so that they don't hurt your feelings by not promising. So, do not be overly concerned if your Portuguese colleagues fail to follow through on promises.

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