Govind Joshi Period 6 01/25/2013


Olá, como vai? That is Portugese for "Hello, how are you". Potugal is a small country located on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal's capital is Lisbon, or Lisboa. It is bordered by Spain, therfore Portugal and Portugese are influenced a lot by Spain. Portugal has a long coastline and many sandy beaches. The Beaches in Portugal and its great history and culture makes it one of the best places to visit during summer vacation. Portugal is also home to many historical monuments and Christopher Columbus. One the most famous monument is the Tower of Belem (Torre de Belem) located in Lisbon. It was built in 1515 to protect Lisbon's harbor. Other monuments include the Discoveries monument (Padrao dos Descobrimentos). It represents the explorers of the world in stone. The tour of this monument gives you an exquisite bird's eye view to the Tower of Belem.
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Portugal has a republic government. A republic government is where the people are allowed to vote for candidates who they want should represent them. The current Cheif of State is President Anibal Cavaco Silva and the Head of Government is Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho. Portugal is divided into 18 districts and 2 autonomous regions. The voting age for the citizens of Portugal is 18 years.
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Portugal is a part of the European Union. It is still developing its market, industry, workforce, and infrastructure because it is a poor country. Portugal's GDP per Capita is $23,000. Most people focus in Service Occupations such as teaching, shopkeeping, banking, etc. Some of the most important industries in Portugal are Textiles, leather shoes, cork, timber, canned fish, wine, machinery, and tourism. Portugal's currency is the Euro, and each is Euro is equal to $1.35.
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Education and Languages Spoken

Portuguese is the official language of Portugal. Most of the schools in Portugal use Portuguese as the first language and English as their second. About 95.2% of people in Portugal are Educated. Both male and female attend school for at least 16 years. Education starts when the child is 6 years old and is compulsory till 9th grade.


Food is very important to Portugal's culture. The specialty is seafood. The national dish is "bacalhau," dried, salted cod. The Portuguese love this dish and it is said that there are 365 different ways to make this dish. Another national dish is "cozido à portuguesa," a thick stew of vegetables with various kinds of meat. Grilled sardines and horse mackerel is also a popular dish. A mixture of other types of fish is put into a stew called "Caldeirada." Breakfast is usually a quick bread roll and coffee, but lunch can last unto 2 hours. Dinner is served at about 8:00pm. The usual dessert is a cinnamon-flavored rice pudding, flan, and caramel custard, but they also often include a variety of cheese.
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Beaches and Resorts

Some of the best beaches in Portugal are Vila Praia da Ancora, Costa Verde, Praia da Caparica, Costa de Lisboa, Cascais, Costa de Lisboa, Praia da Rocha, Algarve, and Porto Santo, Madeira. Most of the Resorts are near the beaches and some of the most famous are The Oitavos, Madeira Palacio Resort Hotel, and Hotel Vila Vita Parc.

Madeira Palacio Resort Hotel

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About 80% of Portugal's people are Roman Catholic. 2% are other christians and 0.3% people practice other religions. 4% don't practice any religion and 9% of the people's religion is unknown.
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Interesting Facts

  • The oldest bookstore in the world is located in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • The longest bridge in Europe, called the Vasco da Gama is located in Portugal.
  • Portugal and United Kingdom have the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world called the Anglo-Portuguese. It was signed in 1373.
  • Portugal put an end to slavery the earliest in 1761.
  • Seafood is very important to Portugal's Heritage. Portugal is ranked 4th in fish consumption. Their usual food is Cod, or bacalhau.
  • Lisbon is famous for its Museums such as the world-class Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and the outstanding Ancient Art Museum.
  • The most popular sport in portugal is Football, AKA Futbol (Soccer).
  • Every year, Portugal celebrates Freedom on April 25th. This day represents the change in the government of Portugal from a dictatorship to a democracy.
  • Portugal day is celebrated on 10th June every year. It is a day when Portuguese across the world celebrate their heritage and cultural traditions.
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Social life

The usual greeting in Portugal is nice and firm handshake. Some friends hug and family members sometimes even give each other little kisses, or beijinhos. Many of the common greetings are Olá (Hello),Bom dia (Good day), Boa tarde (Good afternoon), and Boa noite (“Good evening” or “Good night”). Adeus (Good-bye), Por favor (Please), and Obrigado (Thank you).
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Great, isn't it?

Portugal's fine, sandy beaches, beautiful buildings and sculptures, and its exquisite landmarks make it a great place to have a vacation. Those of you who are interested in going to Portugal to contact me.


"Portugal." CultureGrams Online Edition. ProQuest, 2013. Web. 27 Jan 2013.

The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2009.


"LISBON BEACHES." Lisbon BEACHES and the Lisbon Coast. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.

"PORTUGAL TOURISM GUIDE." PORTUGAL Tourism Guide: Tourist Sights & Attractions, Portugal Hotels, Top 10 Cities, Algarve, Madeira, Azores. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.