Portuguese Stereotype #3: “All Portuguese People are Alcoholics”

Before I begin to debunk this stereotype (which is ridiculous), I want it to be known that alcoholism is no laughing matter. It is an addiction which many individuals suffer from, with disastrous effects on one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. portuguese stereotype 2It invades victims’ lives, as well as those closest to them, and does discriminate against gender, age, race, or nationality. That being said, not all individuals who drink alcohol are alcoholics, and not every single person in the world who does drink alcohol lives in Portugal. Therefore, all Portuguese people are not alcoholics. But to those of you who are not convinced, chew on this:

  • Like in all countries, not every individual who lives in Portugal there drinks alcohol. This could be for many reasons such as: they dislike the taste or effects of alcohol, they are too young to drink it (legally), their religion does not permit them to drink it, they have stopped drinking it for health reasons, they are recovering alcoholics (not everyone can escape a stereotype), and many more. The main point, they do not ingest alcohol. They cannot be alcoholics.
  • Also, like in all countries, not every individual who lives in Portugal drinks to get wasted. In Portuguese culture, alcohol (especially wine) is seen as a mechanism for celebrating the gathering of family and friends, with a grand toast. This means verbally stating how and why these individuals have enriched your life, and how you hope to continue to enrich theirs. Therefore, wine has a social component of enjoyment, not bodily destruction.
  • By many, wine making is seen as an art form, and therefore should not be enjoyed in excess. This means, that wine (and other alcohols) is to be consumed in moderation, and as a complement to a meal, that matches the drink’s flavor. Therefore, it requires culinary mastery to properly be a wine connoisseur making gourmet wine tasting a sought after art, not manner of high ingestion. (this is the case in all major European wine exporting countries)

So to those of you who believe the Portuguese are all alcoholics, simply because they created Port wine, and have some of the most popular vineyards worldwide, consider yourselves now newly educated.

Vinho do Porto e do curacao (Port wine is from the heart)

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Portuguese Stereotype #2 “All Portuguese Women Have Moustaches”

When I read this stereotype on www.thenationalstereotype.com I was infuriated. It is physically impossible for every Portuguese woman to have moustaches. This is because of the following:

  • Portuguese women (like most of their European counterparts) invest a great deal in personal hygiene treatments, especially waxing.
  • Portuguese women are women, who thanks to a biological miracle called hormones, do not have the same chemical makeup as men, who are able to have moustaches, because of increased tester one.
  • Some Portuguese women do have moustaches, because they simply choose not to invest as deeply in personal hygiene treatments as others (see point number one). But that is the case all over the world. Therefore, there are plenty of American, British, Chinese, (etc.) women who have facial hair above their lives (“moustaches”), who do not get criticized for it, so knock it off!

So, until some lunatic takes physical data of every single woman in Portugal, and provides close-up, non-edited photo proof of the claim that all Portuguese women have moustaches, I deem this stereotype to be one of the most ridiculous, untrue pieces of information out there about Portuguese people. (I’m also a Portuguese-American with no upper lip facial hair in sight).

Ciao lindos! (See you later cuties!)portuguese stereotypes 3

Portuguese Stereotype #1 “Portuguese people are insane soccer fans”

portuguese stereotype 1Ever since the photo of Mr. Ridiculous, here, was released, there is a crazy assumption that all Portuguese people are die-hard soccer fans, which simply is not the case. Portugal, like many of its European soccer power countries, has great talent, which draws an extensive fan base and large support system, but with differing levels of fandom, and national acclaim. So why do so many assume the Portuguese are “Soccer-heads?” Well:

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has been cited multiple times as the best footballer in the world (sorry Messi).
  • Portugal has yet to win a world cup, but almost always advances to the playoffs, with dramatic plays and close finishes (i.e. the Selection’s third place finish in the 1966 World Cup).
  • People such as the man pictured show up and games, and become media representations (Google Italian soccer fans, they are crazier).
  • Players such as Pepe head butt their opponents (no that we approve), and become meme sensations shortly after
  • They have been one of the world’s Top 10 Teams according to FIFA, for many of the recent major soccer tournaments (i.e. World Cups, European Tournaments, and Club Ligas).

Although there are multiple reasons justifying Portuguese soccer madness, there are many reasons why it is unjust to assume that every living, breathing Portuguese loves their team. Why? Because a lot of people dislike sports. (A lot of people also dislike Ronaldo’s sizable ego). Therefore, ask the Portuguese on an individual basis, whether or not they like soccer, and base your judgment on an individual basis, rather than a group.

Adios pessoal (Goodbye people)!