Similarities in the Ocean of Differences

Funchal and my home city are so distant, however, what are their similarities? In this united Europe, what do our cities share in this Union of, so far, 28 countries?

Funchal and Warsaw are both capital cities. At this point, I could end the list of similarities between both places. What comes to my mind are mostly differences. In terms of the number of citizens, area, architecture and landscape that surrounds both cities. But where I see the biggest difference is climate. In Warsaw and generally Poland, the weather is quite unpredictable. During summer days there might be an average of thirty-five degrees plus. On the other hand, sometimes in winter, the thermometer can show minus twenty-five degrees celsius. While Madeiran temperatures are more stable throughout the year. Secondly, I need to mention the pace of life. In my home city, everyone is running for something, always late and stressed. Here time slows down and people seem to be more relaxed. Maybe a high dose of vitamin D in their veins caused by the sun’s rays makes them happy.

In my opinion, the common thread is in people, their beliefs, culture and values. In the past, shared European identity was deeply associated with Christianity. Nowadays most people in both countries still declare to be Roman Catholic and a lot of public holidays in Poland as well as in Portugal have a connection to religion.

People, especially youngsters from European countries, are similar to each other. They listen to the same music, dress in the same clothes, eat similar food, and have common hobbies. It seems this is what we call globalisation.

Katarzyna Janek
Students’ Union Polish Volunteer