Located in Southwestern Europe, Spain, the 51st largest country, lies at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Spain is deep with values and architecture that date back centuries. With such a profound history, each region of Spain could easily be thought of as an independent country. Surpassing many hurdles over the last few decades has taught Spain at the end of the day all that matters is your word.
Rich with medieval architecture, Spain is plentiful with Romanesque and Gothic structures. Due to Muslim presence, Spain can also possess an unequal number of buildings that give the presence of a totally different culture. Spanish villages or ...view middle of the document...
Manners and Custom
In Spain, people firmly believe in modesty, protecting the social status of individuals, and personal pride. It is just as important as one’s integrity. They do not believe in bragging or boasting about what you can do or how smart you are. It is frowned upon. Spaniards believe in shaking hands with everyone when greeting and departing and standing close when they are talking. It is unacceptable to touch, hug or slap on the back unless you know them well. Punctuality is a must as well and they prefer to spend time with someone before doing business with them to get to know them.
In the past Spain was known to have a sharp divide between the very wealthy and very poor. In the 1980’s a large middle class developed due to tourism and industrial development. The recent recession, however, has created a spike in unemployment made up of young and immigrants. Inequalities are still a factor. Women still face discrimination in the workplace including lower wages than men and sexual harassment. The Roma are discriminated against but to a much higher degree. They are often refused housing. Immigrants from Africa and Morocco face racist acts and Muslim women are forbidden to wear their head scarves.
The majority of Spain is considered Catholic, yet the seminaries, monasteries and nunneries are half-empty. As little as 15% of Spanish Catholics attend mass weekly. Most rarely step foot inside a church as they do not agree with the beliefs of the Vatican on sex and contraception. There seems to be an opposition taking place between the guardians of the Catholic religion and the government. The government would like to legalize same sex marriage and promote abortion, both of which are strictly forbidden by the Catholic religion. The church in turn has asked that doctors and lawyers who are supporters of the Catholic religion not to participate in divorce cases or abortion cases.
Because Spaniards are concerned about how others perceive them, they do not like to admit when they are wrong in public, so confrontation is unadvisable. They tend to be very extroverted and outgoing. Some may seem extremely friendly upon first meeting them. Most of the younger generation can speak some English. Spaniards like to network with people from other countries. They believe in the quality of products and services coming from abroad. They tend to take their time and hate to be rushed on decision making. Face-to-face contact is the preferred method of communication as they believe this leads to building a more personal relationship. First impressions are critical.
The education system in Spain is much like the system in America as far as pre-school, primary, middle and high school, however schooling is divided into cycles. Pre-school is divided into two cycles: the first cycle is ages 0-3 and the second cycle is ages 3-6. Primary school is three cycles: the first cycle is ages 6-8, second cycle...