Even More On Spanish Culture Essay

1917 words - 8 pages

Jason ConradNovember 17, 1996Even More on Spanish CultureThe Spanish culture is very similar to American culture with just a few subtle differences. Those differences would not make it difficult for the average American traveler to get along in Spain, but they should nevertheless be paid attention to as it is always respectful to adhere to the customs and norms of any country that one visits. The more one knows about a culture the more one understands about the people, and the more he/she is able to effectively communicate with the people of that culture.The Spanish culture is ultimately very collectivist, therefore teamwork and team rewards are the norm. This is largely due to the fact that many local Spanish businesses are family owned and family run so any fortune that comes to a business will benefit the family as a whole.The norms of reciprocity in Spain are very lax, just as they are here in the United States. Gift giving is largely voluntary, but just like Americans, the Spanish people feel obligated to buy gifts for the people who have bought them gifts. The Spanish people spend what they can afford on gifts and tend to spend large amounts of money at Christmas time. Since Spaniards tend to be very social however, many of them choose to buy Christmas gifts only for family members. Many Spanish people simply have too many friends to buy gifts for all of them, so instead of buying for some people and neglecting others, they choose not to buy gifts for their friends at all (Fernandez).The Spanish people are very social and are not at all obsessed with privacy. Spanish families tend to be very large and siblings often share rooms making privacy at home virtually impossible. Spaniards also tend to have their homes open to friends at all times and are willing to give up any chance at privacy to remain hospitable. Ultimately, even if a Spaniard did desire privacy, it would be very difficult to achieve in such a social, family oriented society.The rules for eye contact in Spain are the same as the rules for eye contact in America. The Spanish maintain eye contact when they are speaking to some one as a sign of respect. Eye contact shows that the listener is paying attention to what the speaker is saying.The Spanish people are nearly all Catholic and Catholic principles tend to be strictly adhered to, especially in the case of women. Women are expected to and frequently do remain virgins until they are married. If it is discovered that a woman has lost her virginity before marriage, she is looked down upon by society and will frequently have a difficult time finding a mate. Spanish men on the other hand, in the typical manner of American society, are considered macho if they sleep around. However, the ideal Spaniard be it man or woman will adhere to strict Catholic principles and remain sexually inactive until he/she is married.The confidence rules in Spain, again, are very similar to the rules adhered to in America. If a Spaniard tells a friend...

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