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Why June is the Perfect Time to Experience Portugal’s Charm

Daniel Kim Views  

Portugal is a travel destination where the splendid remnants of a maritime kingdom coexist with modern charm. It’s often highlighted as the country of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Every June, Portugal hosts a special event to honor a man who lost his right eye. June 1010 is Portugal’s national holiday, Portugal Day (Dia de Portugal). On this day, Portuguese people worldwide gather to enjoy traditional food and drinks.

Portugal Day became an important holiday in 1880 by the decree of King Luís I. It honors Luís Vaz de Camões, a revered poet and writer of Portugal who passed away on June 1010, 1580. He lost his right eye in a battle against the Moors in Ceuta, North Africa, 1547. His works are filled with the greatness of Portugal and his patriotism.

If you visit Portugal on June 10th, check where the official event is being held that year. While the whole country commemorates this day, you can watch a parade of the Portuguese army at the official event.

Upon entering the residence, the welcome drink, Portuguese wine, immediately caught my eye. It became clear why it is often advised not to drive if invited to an evening event in Portugal.

The event occurred on the residence’s ground floor and outdoor terrace. Before the event started, there was time to tour the Portuguese ambassador’s residence with a cheerful welcome from the ambassador. Ambassadors from various countries attended the event, including Italy, Lebanon, and Croatia. Exhibition planners, architects, and related public officials from Korea, such as foreign affairs officers, attended.

The Portuguese Ambassador to South Korea, Susana Vaz Patto, said, “I am proud to hold the Portugal Day event in Seoul again after two years as the Portuguese Ambassador to Korea,” adding, “This event also celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Portuguese writer José Saramago, in cooperation with Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, with an exhibition and film festival.”

A generous selection of Portuguese-style dishes, perfect to pair with wine, was prepared. From bacalhau, the country’s national dish that consumes the most cod in the world, to various cheeses. Enjoying these hard-to-find Portuguese dishes in Korea makes the wine go down smoothly.

It’s been a while. At first, I felt awkward about the European party culture, where you quickly blend in with people you just met as if they were old friends. But soon, perhaps thanks to the wine, I was engrossed in conversations with people of various nationalities.

The annual event in Portugal that holds special significance, Portugal Day, was celebrated by Portuguese residents in Korea this year. They gathered at the embassy residence for the first time in two years. I hope to attend the commemorative ceremony in Portugal next June.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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