The Western Edge of Europe: Portugal

Last week we visited Portugal. My husband made a presentation at the International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Technology (Lisbon, May 14-16) and my aims were concerned intercultural communication and dialogue. It was interesting to analyse how national cultural traditions have affected presentation topics and research approaches. Especially since representatives of so many countries participated at the Conference: Portugal, China, USA, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Poland, India, Iran, Jordan, Romania, Belarus, Peru, Japan, Greece, France, Malaysia, and Egypt. Globalization and universal character of science mostly erase cultural and mental differences but fortunately, they give new opportunities, for example value of diversity. I mean diversity in cultural aspect, not in living standards or common values like human rights.

We love Portugal. We were pleasantly impressed with not high prices and organic food. The Portuguese are hospitable, friendly, and polite. They dress modestly and quite sternly: Portugal is a Catholic country, and the Islam influence is rather sensitive. This small country set on the western edge of Europe, in permanent dialogue with the immensity of the Atlantic. Ocean gives a unique possibility to forget all hassles and to make a contact with Absolute. Surfing was too scaring for us so we just watched the exercises of brave people. Probably courageous persons are formed exactly here!

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Liubou Uladykouskaja