Easter means family, peace and calm to me. Sometimes it’s good to break from the everyday’s routine and calm down a bit. That’s why I have always visited my family for Christmas and Easter. This was the first Easter what I spent far from them. I was wondering how strange will be this holiday like this when I got a message that goes like this: the Erasmus students have the opportunity to spend the Easter with a Portuguese family. For me, it was obviously to apply for this program.
Everything happened very quickly and in some days Catarina contacted me. She lives with her family in Parades. It’s a small city 30 km far away from Porto. They call it the “middle of nowhere” but actually I think it’s not as small as they believe.
The Easter accurately starts at 9 am. Everybody came together to a room and we were waiting for somebody. This time I didn’t know who and what we will do. Then suddenly some people wearing white clothes appeared in order to go along all the houses in the city, say a poem, take a big cross what we needed to kiss. After that, we went further to the next relative’s house where we have done the same. I really liked this tradition, because it’s not about eating or spending money for expensive presents, rather it’s something that just people is needed who are opened for old traditions.
Then everybody went back to their own house to have breakfast. We didn’t eat that much because we had already known a big lunch was waiting for us. When we arrived the grandmother’s house we have realized we were right. There were many many foods: rabbit, lamb, pig and chicken. I could also choose from a huge variety of desserts.
The relative consists of 32 people. Even though they were so different, one thing was the same. All of them showed the curiosity to me, my country and culture. The men were interested in Puskás and football European Championship, the women asked me about the national foods. I also taught them some Hungarian words.
The rest of the day we visited the churches and a mass nearby the city and had dinner. After it, Catarina’s mother invited me and my family for a lunch (my parents and my sister are going to visit me in some weeks), packed some cakes and took me home.
I cannot express with words how wonderful, hospitable and warm- hearted the Portuguese people are. They were so trustful and opened to me. They told me a lot of stories about Portugal, the cultures, traditions etc.. Most probably I would never know these things if I hadn’t visited them. I think taking part in Erasmus project and choosing Portugal were one of the best decision of my life.