Portugal

By Kayla and Morgan

Location

Portugal is located in Europe. Its west coast borders the Atlantic Ocean in the Iberian peninsula next to Spain. Continental Portugal occupies approximately a sixth of the Iberian peninsula. Portugal also includes the Madeira Archipelago (west of Morocco), and the Azores (Açores) Archipelago (about 800 miles, off the Atlantic coast). The capital is Lisbon and it is located on  hills on the northern shore of the Tagus River estuary. The Tagus River runs from Spain to Lisbon and divides Portugal in two: north and south.

Flag

• Red section - the Portuguese revolution of 1910

• Green - hope

The white shield consists of five blue shields with five white dots.

• Blue shields - the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques I, victory over five Moorish kings

• The blue shields are arranged in a cross to represent Christianity.

• The red border consisting of seven castles symbolizes the extension of Portugal's territory.

• Navigational instrument (an armillary sphere) - exploration led to Portugal's colonial empire

Language

• Official Language: Portuguese (a romance language which derived from Latin roots

• Co-official Language/Dialect: Mirandese

Population

10,813,834

• Traditional and conservative

• Open and liberal society, but place greater emphasis on religious values

• Hospitality, honesty, kindness, and being a good person are highly valued qualities

• social position and land and wealth left for inheritance is important

• Proud of their cultural heritage

• Open and friendly to visitors from other nations and countries

• Being late is acceptable

• Dress conservatively

Religion

• 80% of population is Roman Catholic (most non-practicing)

• 3% of population belong to Christian denominations

• 7% of population belong to no religion

Catholics from around the world make a pilgrimage to a holy site (Catholic shrine) in Fátima (central Portugal).

Greetings

• Firm handshake is an appropriate greeting for anyone

• Family and friends give beijinhos (little kisses) on each cheek to other women

• Touching = friendship

• The person arriving is expected to greet first

Eating Customs

• Eat continental style - fork in the left hand and the knife in the right

• Important to keep the hands above the table at all times

• Breakfast = eaten at home or on the run

• Lunch = traditionally the biggest meal, is eaten about 1 p.m.

• Snack and coffee break = around 4:30 p.m.

• Dinner = eaten between 8 and 9 p.m.

Food

• Average calorie consumption is among the highest in Europe

• Staple foods: meat (pork, lamb, beef, chicken and rabbit), bread, fish, cheese, vegetables, fruits and soups

• Table wine is consumed at meals by adult family members

• National dish is bacalhau (dried salt cod)

Recreation

• Soccer is the most popular sport

• Surf, ski/snowboard, field hockey, table tennis, bullfighting

Education

Education is free and required for all students though high school (12th grade).

• Public education begins with elementary school at age 6, middle school at age 10, and high school at age 15.

• In high school, students can take either three years of college preparation or two-four years of vocational schooling that also incorporates some college preparatory courses.

• Admission to public universities are selective and less expansive, while private universities are more open and expansive.

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