Spain is one of my favorite countries in Europe. The weather is warm most of the time, the food is excellent, ZARA is much cheaper there than the ones in the rest of Europe, (sorry guys, just had to mention it ) and Spanish people definitely know how to enjoy life.
Madrid – Photo by Two Steps Behind
Many cultural things we all know and love come from the Spanish culture: inspiring football, tapas restaurants, Ibiza style parties and of course the beautiful actress Penelope Cruz. If you plan a trip to Spain anytime soon, do some research in advance about Spanish culture. It won’t harm you; it will actually give you the chance to get closer to the local people, a guarantee for a fun experience!
1. Football – for those of you who live on the moon, I shall inform you that Spain is the current world champion in the professional football field, (FIFA World Cup). As you can imagine, the country was one big happy nation thanks to this respectable title winning. But the world cup is just a small part of Spanish football; teams such as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona keep creating history when it comes to their achievements and creative goals. As well as legendary players like Cesc Fàbregas, Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso, make the world stand still when they are on the field. If you visit Barcelona make sure to see the football stadium there, it is one of the largest stadiums in the world and for sure also one of the most exciting ones!
2. Siesta – as mentioned before, Spanish people love to enjoy life. They are not workaholic or a nation too busy to even say hello – the Spanish are relaxed people and like to enjoy the small moments of life. If you happen to wander around the streets of Spain around lunch time, you will be surprised to find out that all the shops are closed. This is the time when the Spanish people take their long lunch break and go home to rest. Even if the shops are packed with hungry tourists, hard core spenders or someone important, the locals are not available at that time of day, they are resting. This is traditionally because of the high temperature in Spain that push people to stay at home instead of going around. Anyhow in now days is not in use as before.
Siesta! – Photo by RaidersLight
3. Tapas – tapas food refers to small starters, snacks and tiny treats from the Spanish kitchen. Tapas are being served in very small dishes and the idea behind it is to be able to enjoy small piece of each delicacy, without getting totally full. Tapas restaurants are everywhere in Spain and although there are common Spanish tapas dishes, each restaurant offer its own special tapas dish. Don’t come too hungry to a tapas place as you will eat small food portions that will be served with a lot of (red) wine.
Tapas – Photo by Dabasse
4. Flamenco music – this romantic, passionate and elegant music is another amazing thing that started in Spain. Believe it or not, Gypsies were the ones that invented the art of flamenco. The origin of flamenco came from a Southern Spanish art movement. These days flamenco keeps influencing the music world: jazz, salsa, nova and other music genres, are all inspired by flamenco music.
Flamenco – Photo by Flydime
5. Family life – unlike some other European cultures, Spanish people are very close with their relatives and there is a very strong connection to home and family roots. Spanish people love to spend time with their loved ones over the weekend and visiting their parents, grandparents and siblings, is a number one priority to them. It is really nice to see how strong their connections are, (this is obviously a generalized observation) and if you happen to sit with a Spanish local on a bit more intimate atmosphere, you can be sure he or she will mention at least once a member of their family.
There are so many other unique factors and details about Spanish culture that it would be simply impossible to mention them all in one post. If I were you, I would look for some more information about this interesting culture; Spain is more than just a beautiful country – it’s an attractive country also thanks to the people who live there!
For those of you who have been to Spain before, what was your impression? Is there anything you would like to share with the rest of our readers?