Portugal: Culture and Tradition

November 20, 2017

Portugal, officially known as the Portuguese Republic, is a country located in the southwestern part of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Spain.


Portugal is one of the oldest nation-states in Europe and throughout history it has been fought over numerous times. Portugal was established as a country after the Christian Reconquista against the Muslim Moors who invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 and occupied most of the region. The establishment of the kingdom was recognized in 1143 and its borders were settled by 1249. Portugal became a global empire and was one of the world's major economic, political and military powers.



gpi-portugal tradition-homeThe Portuguese language belongs to the western branch of Romance Languages. After the independence of Portugal, the Portuguese language evolved from the Galician language, which is still spoken by the inhabitants of northwestern Spain


Initially, early Portuguese was influenced by Arabic and European languages, later after it spread overseas, it was influenced by local languages from Brazil and African countries.



Portugal developed its own culture, although it was influenced by the various civilizations that crossed the Mediterranean and the European continent during the Age of Exploration. The culture is a unique mix of Islamic and European traditions.



Religion in Portugal was formally separated from the state in 1910 and this was confirmed in the Portuguese Constitution of 1976. Portugal is a secular state.


According to the CIA World Factbook, 84.5% of the population are Catholic. Most Portuguese holidays, festivals and traditions are of Christian origin or significance. Portugal also has Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Baha'i, Buddhist and Jewish groups of people.



The Portuguese cuisine is varied with each region enjoying its own traditional dishes. The Portuguese consume a lot of dried cod (bacalao) and two other popular fish dishes: grilled sardines and caldeirada, a potato-based soup made with several different types of fish, meat and vegetables.


Portuguese wines have been recognized internationally since the time of the Roman Empire, which linked Portugal to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. The country is known today by wine lovers and the country's wine has won numerous international awards.



As we have pointed out, Portugal experienced a succession of different types of rulers and systems of government, which has resulted in a unique mix of cultures and traditions that distinguishes it from many surrounding European countries.

Further Cultural Resources from GPI

You may gain further insight into country specific cultural facts and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:



Please feel free to contact GPI at info@globalizationpartners.com with any questions about our translation services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs.







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Ahmed is a native Arabic speaker from Egypt, Cairo. He has over 12 years’ experience in the translation and localization field working as a Hebrew – Arabic translator and editor. He has also held positions for language Testing Engineer and Localization Project Manager. Ahmed has extensive experience in handling large volume translation projects for software and document localization. He has worked for a range of translation and localization groups and companies including Microsoft, Babylon, Saudisoft, as well as several governmental authorities. He holds a B.A. degree in Translation and Interpreting from Faculty of Alsun Ain Shams University and additionally is a certified Hebrew - Arabic translator with a High Translation professional diploma from the same faculty. He is a published author translating news articles and writing political analysis with contributions to an array of research centers and newspapers including AL Aharam, Beirut Political Centre, Aldiplomasy Magazine, and Lindro Italian News, to name a few. In his free time Ahmed likes swimming, shooting and reading about new ideas.