Later groups also changed the culture, but few remained. The Muslim Moors from North
Africa converted many people to Islam, but never truly succeeded in taking over
the region and with the Moors' expulsion from the peninsula most influences
were lost, although numerous foods and spices remained.
Despite division among the people for much of history, the people united once again
and formed a thriving government, which soon turned this small country into a world
power. Portugal gained control over lands in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. This
power led to financial growth, urbanization, a changing economy, a shift in jobs,
a shift in priorities, and cultural changes in many directions.
Foreign influences arrived to Portugal with economic growth, but also in the forms
of immigrants and new foods and spices. This exchange also went the other way as
Portuguese influence spread to various parts of the world, creating the huge country
of Brazil and introducing Catholicism to Timor Island, which later gave Timor-Leste
(East Timor) independence.
After the country's fall from power on the international stage, focus turned
inward. Today the country is a member of the European Union and is closely linked
to their neighbors. The culture remains tied to its past in the form of religion,
language, foods, and more, while the lifestyle remains rooted in enjoyment of life.
Most people today live in the cities along the coasts, but farming is still a common
occupation and these setting help dictate the daily routine. No matter the location,
the people tend to be relaxed as life moves slowly; meals, socialization, and relaxation
continue on for hours with family and friends as tardiness is a way of life.