Xenophobe's® Guides: Typically Spanish – who are they?
Frank, irreverent and funny, and covering topics from nationalism to bullfighting, 'The Xenophobe's Guide to the Spanish' is almost guaranteed to cure xenophobia.
Xenophobe's® Guides: A book series that highlights the unique character and behaviour of different nations with insight and humour.
A guide to help identify stereotypical Spanish traits. Who are the Spanish really? And how can you be like them?
Nationalism – if it's enjoyable
"When nationalism is enjoyable, the Spanish are fervently nationalistic. Otherwise, the Spanish do not much care what other nations think of them, nor are they particularly patriotic. Spaniards quite like the bull symbolising the country because they are moved by the pageantry of conflict between man and beast and, as an icon, it helps sell vast quantities of brandy and quite a few beach towels."
The social scene
"The Spanish are emotionally demonstrative and gregarious. They love to talk, so much that they indulge in ocio (leisurely chatting) at any time anywhere, invariably in the middle of the street, ignoring the traffic chaos they are causing, or in the supermarket in front of the fresh produce counter."
Turn it up
"Shouting indoors as well as out in the open has to be endured as the Spanish voice box was originally built along the lines of a quadraphonic sound system. The result is that everyone appears to have a hearing impairment from childhood and needs to compete with others very loudly in order to be heard."
"Roman Catholic Spain may be, it is no longer religiously oriented except on saints' days, which are celebrated with extravagant pageantry. Every day in the calendar is a saint's day, from 1 August to 31 July the following year, so that somewhere in Spain an essential fiesta will be celebrated, services will grind to a halt and everyone will get tipsy."
"As the Spanish avoid thinking about time, and never plan, it is anybody's guess when meals will be served. Tell your guests a good two hours before the time you plan to serve the meal. Avoid hot dishes altogether because, should guests arrive at the appointed hour, they will talk for ever about how they managed it and ignore the food put in front of them."
"Queuing was not invented by the Spanish and the older generation of Marias (all elderly women are called Maria) don't understand the concept. For them it is a matter of pride to succeed on getting served first in any shop with as little subtlety as possible. The butcher will serve whoever comes into their line of vision, or whoever has the most interesting piece of gossip."
Want to learn more? Read part two in the series: How to act Spanish.
For more, check out The Xenophobe's Guide to the Spanish.
Reproduced from Xenophobe's Guide to the Spanish by kind permission of Xenophobe's® Guides.
Photo credit: SubtlePanda
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