There is no country without stereotypes which personalize the people who live in them; it is well known that Americans like everything bigger, or that Italians gesticulate a lot when they talk, Asians are said to be really hard working people and that the British are really punctual. Spain also has its own clichés and here you can learn about some of them.
- The Siesta. This really famous word, known around the world, is a classic Spanish cliché. In the heat of the summer many streets seem completely deserted just after lunch, as local residents take refuge in their homes to enjoy a well-deserved siesta. That is because the sacred nap after lunch is not usually missed by the great majority. It needn’t be that long; in fact research has proved that a 20- minute nap is enough to get you reenergized and ready to carry on working for the rest of the day, and without leaving you with a feeling of drowsiness.
- The food. Eating in Spain, as in most Mediterranean countries, is a ritual. It is not just sitting down at the dining table, but it’s more about sharing. Meals are usually pretty long because of the accompanying conversation. In fact if the meal is being enjoyed at a restaurant, it will most probably take a whole lot longer. So if you are having lunch with a Spanish friend, don’t expect it to be a quick one.
- Time. This is a relative concept since the rhythm of life here in Spain is slightly laid back and slower as compared to other European countries. Don’t get upset if your Spanish friend is 10 to 20 minutes late; the usual 5 minutes of courtesy is sometimes misunderstood. And if you call them to figure out where they are, the answer will probably be “I’m on my way”, even though they might still be at home or about to leave.
- Personality. Spanish people are not only extroverted, but friendly and fun to be with; always ready to give you a hand and get you involved in their plans. In Spain most people are hospitable and greet you with a smile. Sooner or later you’ll end up being part of the ‘family’, and there’s always room at the dining table in case you turn up unexpectedly during meal times.
- Bars. It is popularly known that on every street corner in Spain there is a bar, or even a number of them. As Spanish people are really open and friendly, you can strike up a conversation and start socializing over a drink and of course the famous tapa. In fact this idea is becoming increasingly popular in other European countries. Bars are also great places to brush up on your Spanish, and to disconnect from the daily hassles at work.
In conclusion, every time you hear the expression ‘Spain is different’ it would probably be because of one of the reasons above.