Working as a team
In Portugal the people like to work together. They are really group orientated. The group is more important than the individual. Colleagues are working together, in the breaks they share cake and after work they see each other as well. If you are lost and you ask someone on the street they are willing to help you and if they don’t know it, they will call a friend to ask if he knows it. This makes clear that they are taking care of their fellow human beings and not only themselves. It’s not surprising that family is really important to the Portuguese people. In the weekends they have picnics or barbeques in the park with the whole family. Children stay with their parents until they are able to make a good living for themselves. Another main value is respect. This relates to the high group orientation as well. You have to respect your compatriots. When you waiting in line if you want to get in the bus, you wait until it’s your turn. No one tries to jump the queue.
It can wait
Portuguese people don’t look far in the future, they live in today. They have great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results. You don’t need to rush, there is time enough. If it don’t happen today, it will tomorrow. Patience is important. For example lectures can start fifteen minutes late, the same for busses or they don’t come at all and you have to wait for the next one. Buss tickets are only available for this month, you can’t buy one for next month.
Portugal has a feministic culture which means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. Portugal’s society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not important. You can see that on the street, people are hanging around, families are picnicking in the weekends. They do everything to help you and willing to talk with you. Good grades in school are important but you don’t have to be the best. On the job a good atmosphere is more important than getting the best job. People really care about family, friends and the people around them.