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Spanish Culture: How to Live Like a Local

spanish culture
By ConversaSpain

Bienvenidos to a journey that goes beyond the surface of Spain’s vibrant façade. We’re here to introduce you to the real deal – the unfiltered world of Spanish culture. Say goodbye to the typical tourist experience and get ready to dive into the heart of local life.

From mastering the art of Spanish greetings to savoring the irresistible flavors of tapas, we’ll be your guide as you uncover the hidden gems that truly make Spain a country like no other. So, grab your curiosity, and let’s embark on an adventure that promises to redefine the way you see, taste, and embrace España. ¡Vámonos!

Spanish Culture: Tips About Times

Navigating the rhythm of time in Spanish culture offers a glimpse into the heart of daily life. From relaxed meal schedules to vibrant festivities, understanding timings allows you to immerse yourself fully in the Spanish way of living.

Coffee = sharing time with friends

Punctuality: In Spanish culture, while punctuality matters for formal events and business meetings, social gatherings have a more relaxed starting time. Embrace the rhythm, adapt, and value being present – whether it’s a café chat or an evening paseo.

Nightlife: Spanish nightlife pulses with energy and excitement, often lasting well into the dawn. Clubs stay open until 6 or 7 in the morning, inviting you to dance, and socialize. Get ready to immerse yourself in the lively Spanish nightlife, where the party continues until you’re ready to call it a morning!

Meal Schedules: Spanish meal schedules are unique and delightful. Lunch is the main meal, usually between 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM, while dinner is served around 9:00 PM or later. Food is a very important aspect of Spanish culture, so savor flavors, and engage in meaningful conversations over delicious dishes.

Celebrate Festivals: Spanish culture shines through vibrant festivities. Take San Fermín in Pamplona, the lively Las Fallas in Valencia, or Semana Santa processions – each captures community spirit. Immerse yourself to witness passionate cultural preservation.

Be Aware of Store Hours: One thing that might shock you is that stores are not always open. Some close for lunchtime and Sundays most of them will be closed. Make sure to check it out before you plan to go shopping. And, if you need something for Monday, better get it on Saturday!

Spanish Way of Life

Spain is a unique blend of tradition and modernity, and it shapes how Spaniards enjoy every moment. Join us on a lively exploration of the Spanish way of life – where the art of living takes center stage!

Spanish culture
Enjoying outdoor time with friends

“Mi casa es tu casa”: This phrase embodies the warm and inviting nature of Spanish hospitality. When welcomed into a Spanish home, you become part of the family. Expect heartfelt conversations, shared meals, and a genuine desire to make you feel at home.

Outdoors: In Spain, plazas, parks, and beaches spill daily life outdoors. Locals usually hang out in the streets. Terrace culture enhances the experience as well. From lively evening paseos to leisurely moments, celebrating simple pleasures and forging connections.

Fashion: Spaniards take pride in their appearance, dressing elegantly for everyday activities. Whether going to school or doing a simple errand, there’s a touch of sophistication. Sportswear is for practicing sports, do not expect people to dress like that for something else.

Sobremesa: Sobremesas are conversations for hours after eating. Spending time with no pressure to leave. From profound discussions to lighthearted chats. It fosters connections, as Spaniards value engaging with others, relishing shared moments, or just gossiping (XOXO). It is usually held in the same place you ate while having a coffee or a drink.

Work-Life Balance: Spaniards value a healthy work-life balance, often prioritizing leisure and personal connections. This approach highlights not just working but also embracing life outside of work. It’s the Spanish belief in cherishing relationships, relaxation, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is not just us who say it, you can read about it in this article written by Cameron Chang.

Social Interactions in Spanish Culture

Spanish conversations are a dance of gestures and emotions. Sharing stories, engaging in lively debates… Spanish social interactions are a vibrant blend of warmth, passion, and genuine engagement.

Spanish culture
Personal space? No, thank you!

Engage in Conversations: Spanish culture treasures meaningful conversations. Debating, sharing stories, discussing events… Make sure to connect with locals, open your mind to new perspectives and enrich your understanding of Spain.

Personal Space: Spaniards value close interactions, and personal space tends to be smaller than in other cultures. It involves lots of hugs and kisses -on the cheek. In fact, the two kisses on the cheek are our way of saying hello. If uncomfortable, communicate your preferences.

Fast Speech: Spaniards are known for speaking at a relatively fast pace, especially in animated conversations. This shows the expressive and passionate nature of Spanish communication. While it might seem rapid initially, with exposure and practice, you’ll find it easier to follow along.

Prioritize Relationships: Relationships come first. Spaniards prioritize connections with family, friends, and colleagues. Embrace this value by fostering meaningful relationships and participating in gatherings.

Expect loudness: Spanish conversations often include expressive gestures, animated tones, and passionate discussions. Don’t be surprised by the volume – it reflects the spirited nature of Spanish communication. Nobody is angry at you, it is just the way it is.

Become a Disfrutón/Disfrutona

But, what is it to be a disfrutón/disfrutona? It’s to wholeheartedly embrace the pleasures of life. It’s about finding delight in the everyday experiences that surround you. A disfrutón/disfrutona enjoys the taste of a perfectly prepared meal, the warmth of a sunny day… They find fulfillment in the small details that often go unnoticed.

It’s an outlook that prioritizes happiness. They understand that life’s true richness lies in the ability to find it in the grand and the mundane.

So, to live like a local, we recommend you become a disfrutón/disfrutona and follow these tips. If you do so, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the nuances of Spanish times, way of life, and social interactions, allowing you to immerse yourself in the rich and captivating culture of Spain.

Does this way of life sound appealing to you? You can become a local through the Auxiliar de Conversación programs.

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