Spanish Culture – What to expect in Spain
When visiting another country it’s normal to be curious about what to expect. What will the people be like? How do the people live? These are common thoughts when delving into the unknown, but that’s all part of the fun! Here in Tarifa in Spain, there is a wonderful way of life to be discovered so join us at Lenguaventura summer camp and soak up the sun, sand and Spanish culture.
Of course, every country has its habits and characteristics and sometimes they can seem strange or just very different from what we’re used to. Having lived in Tarifa for many years now, we thought it would be fun to talk about some of the characteristics of Spanish culture that we and our campers have experienced — some may say quirks but to us it’s normal, and we love it!
Coffee is very important!
Can you imagine heading down to the bank or town hall to run your daily errands and waiting in a queue only to reach the front, when the employee stands up and walks away?! The reason for this is coffee! Spaniards love coffee and they take it very seriously which is why they have one hour each day called ‘holy free time’ which is a break during the working day purely to enjoy coffee and have a rest. So if you’re waiting in a queue and the employee walks away you know it’s for their break. You’ll simply be asked to join another queue or come back in an hour. Simple as that!
Spanish people are probably the noisiest people in the world! Spanish is naturally spoken very loudly and people can often mistake two people chatting for an argument. They are not angry, it is their way of communicating and enjoying life.
World’s best queuer
Spanish people do not queue, they simply form a gathering of people that could seem somewhat disorganised. But don’t be fooled, this is an organised system and people will always be aware of who is last in the ‘queue’ and the order of things. If you enter a shop or a bank, be sure to ask who is last so you know your turn to avoid chaos and endless discussions.
Spain is a very sociable place, so it’s a great place for meeting new people and making new friends. You’ll notice that people walking around in the streets, going about their daly life will talk to anyone, whether they know them personally or not. If you’re ever lost or have a question, Spanish people will always try to help. In smaller towns and villages, shop keepers will recognise you from your last visit and will start a conversation.
Personal space is a relative term
Imagine you’re laying on the beach with your friends, nobody else around with plenty of space for everybody. What do Spanish people do? They put their towels directly next to you. It may seem strange but Spanish people don’t mind physical closeness. Please be aware they are not obtrusive, they just don’t mind being close to other people.
For more curiosities about Spain please click here.