Do you know why Portuguese are friendly people to tourists? Or, at least, why we have this reputation of being so helpfull?
In our opinion, probably for three reasons the first being the gigantic enterprise of the Portuguese Discoveries and its consequences on our collective memory! It is no small feat to think that a bunch of people (2 million, perhaps?) reached most of the world’s corners in 15th and 16th century. It is no small feat to look at maps in the world’s best museums and realize that so many of them were drawn by the Portuguese or were re-designed based on Portuguese drawings. We strongly believe that the fact of having left our imprint in so many parts of the world, mingling with locals, often marrying them, thus becoming familiar with so much diversity, so many different customs, languages and traditions, has left the Portuguese with this desire to reach for others, to be curious about others, to exchange ideas with them….
A second reason has probably to do with our own nature: we tend to be humble, pacific and generous. We love to help tourists make themselves at ease and safe while visiting us. We love it when they say how beautiful Portugal is, how kind people are, how surprisingly delicious is our food. Trust us, there is no better compliment for a Portuguese than to listen to someone saying: “We absolutely adored your country”. There is also a quiet charm about the Portuguese which is rather lovely (so we are told!). Quite different from the Spanish and the Italians, we are more melancholic, often melodramatic and even low profile.
The third reason has to do with our ability to speak other languages. Because the Portuguese language is very rich phonetically, probably because our collective unconscious is still full with different and exotic forms of expression, we easily capture other languages’ sounds. Believe us: with a few Spanish, English and French words, a natural ability for accents, an accentuated body language and a strong desire to please, we will be the perfect hosts for your next holiday!