Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Is the culture (people) different between Portugal and Spain?

Is the culture (people) different between Portugal and Spain?

Oct 4th, 2007, 05:36 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 25
Is the culture (people) different between Portugal and Spain?

How different are Portugal and Spain culturally. I am visiting these countries for the first time this fall and am looking forward to people watching and learning about their culture and society.

When people go from Germany to Italy there is a huge shock on how different the people from each country is from each other. Their cultures are so different.

How about Portugal and Spain? How are the countries and people different (other than language)?
distant_traveler is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 05:44 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,705
Yes, they are different. Portuguese seem to be more solemn.

I donīt know where OP comes from, but for a European it doesnīt come as any kind of shock or surprise to go from Germany to Italy. Or from France to Germany. Even Norwegians and Swedes are different.
elina is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 05:44 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
They are very different culturally, but then so are the different parts of Spain (or Germany or Italy). I'm sure there are also differences between the regions of Portugal.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 06:02 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,215
Very good point that even within the different regions of Spain, Spaniards can be different. I haven't been to Portugal but would not be surprised that people from Galicia (northwest Spain) have more in common with Portugal that with people from Andalucía. Even their language "gallego" is very similar to Portuguese.
cruiseluv is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 07:05 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
I remember being surprised at how different Sp & Port are when I first visited 40 years ago. I shouldn't have been after all sorts of geography lessons in school, but I assumed (and what does "assume" to you and me?) that being isolated by the Pyrennees on the same peninsula, they would be more similar.

Later I moved from one end of Massachusetts to the other, and Mass. is not a large state and I found a big difference in many things. Though there are common threads in all human interaction. It was the first time I saw people eating ketchup on french fries and tried it myself.

I remember the first time I went home for a visit, my brother said in disgust, "You're starting to talk like those people out there." And he made gagging noises when I put ketchup on my fries.

In 40 years, things have changed and we are more alike than different, but I still here nuances in speech that are distinctive. The ironic thing is people here often say, "I can hear that Cape Cod speech pattern!" or ask me where I come from with that funny accent.

My brother now eats ketchup on his fries as well. At 60+ we are more and more alike.
irishface is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 07:36 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,260
I believe our world is one country and one people
lobo_mau is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 08:31 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
>>When people go from Germany to Italy there is a huge shock on how different the people from each country is from each other. Their cultures are so different.<<

Are the cultures really so different?

Ferrari was very successful with a German driver. Beethoven is played in Milano as often as Puccini in Berlin. You find Italian restaurants at every corner in Germany, and Italy's most acclaimed chef (from La Pergola in Rome) is a German. Germans love Italian design, and Italians love German luxury cars. 13.1% of Italy's exports go to Germany, and 16.7% of Italy's imports come from Germany. Jürgen Klinsmann and Oliver Bierhoff played very successfully in Italy's football league, and currently Luca Toni is the star of Bayern München.

I have never experienced a culture shock when I travelled to Italy.
traveller1959 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 09:00 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
I did notice Portuguese are well more reserved than Spaniards. It really compares to the differences between people in Catalunya and Andalucia, though.

Portuguese also seemed more willing to speak English than Spanish; maybe a result of the centuries of substantial and well established wine trades with the UK.
Viajero2 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 09:53 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 198
I was in Spain in 1993 followed the next year by Portugal. I took Spanish in school so I faired well in Spain. This "skill" did not hold up so well in Portugal. I asked a bartender why the words I read looked Spanish but were pronounced so differently? I got a history lesson on the Spanish invasion of Portugal and how once they regained their independence they wanted to distance themselves by using different pronunciation of the same words. When I asked the same “BARISTORIAN” why everyone spoke English? I was also told at the time English was a mandatory subject in school…this helped this tourist greatly.
tyedye33 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 10:02 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,384
The differences within the different autonomous communities (17) in Spain are quite big...so imagine the difference with Portugal. Portuguese people donīt hang around as much as the Spanish, and yes, there is a certain air of "saudade" around them. Two topic ideas that may be true to some extent. Spain lives ignoring Portugal, sad, but true. We donīt have the slightest idea of who is their president, what do they like or what kind of music they listen to. Neighbours, but truly ignorant about them...

Sad, I love Portugal and getting lost in the interior cities, but most of my fellow citizens just donīt care...
mikelg is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 10:50 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,300
I would describe the difference as mutual disdain.
kerouac is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 12:36 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,384
Those are the exact words, but probably Portugal is more keen on Spain that the opposite.
mikelg is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 01:03 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
The Portuguese are a morose but kind people. My Father-in-law was a Gallego and we visited that region many times and they are a gregarious and generous people. The speak Gallego which is a combination of Potuguese and Spanish with the pronounciation closer to Spanish. The Gallegos culture has a distinct Celtic flavor as the bagpipes are played and as many surnames reflect. As noted in other posts Spain is many countries under one flagthus the comparison has to made to each.
Aduchamp1 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:31 PM.