If you are going to Spain as a tourist or an overseas worker, you need to learn the acceptable and not acceptable behavior in the country. Spain has different traditions, cultures, and norms. If you come from the Philippines, you might find the new environment really different when it comes to food, people, and gestures. Although there are some similarities because of the influence of Spain over the Philippines, it’s still better to prepare yourself and study the dos and don’ts of the country.
In this article, we share some important things that you can use when you are in Spain. You can share this with your friends or family in Spain. This may serve as your guide whenever you are engaging in a conversation with the locals.
How to behave in Spain
To behave in Spain, you might want to learn the basics first before you go for complicated laws and regulations. The basics will help you a lot, especially when you are mingling with the locals. The basics will give you ideas on how you can effectively communicate without offending others and their tradition or culture. With the basic dos and don’ts, you won’t need to isolate yourself from the crowd. You can even make local friends.
Do’s in Spain
Now, let’s start with the dos. These are the things you can freely do and practice in Spain. Make sure to observe the locals and their norms in the society so you can get more ideas on how they behave in the country.
- Do take your time to engage in some small talk with the locals. This will help you become aware of how locals behave and how they entertain new people in the country. Also, it’s okay to inquire about someone’s family background. Don’t hesitate to talk comfortably with the locals.
- Do ask about the origin of the person you are talking to. If you know the place where he is from, talk about the interesting things about that place. If you don’t have any idea, show your interest to learn more about the place.
- Do stay for a slight conversation after a meal. It’s a good practice in Spain, especially if you are new to a group. This will help you establish a close relationship with the people with you. Spaniards tend to stay for long during the night. If you think you can’t keep up with the late-night talks, it’s okay to say goodbye.
- Do voice out what you want to say. Spaniards are used to people speaking up when they know something is wrong or if there’s an issue. Don’t hesitate to tell them what the problem is. They would appreciate it more if you will be more vocal.
- Do speak about sensitive topics cautiously. Spaniards take pride in what they do and what they speak about. They tend to be more confident about themselves and their country. Spaniards also take offenses, especially if it’s all about their dignity.
- Do be comfortable with louder noise. You have to adjust to the high level of noise Spaniards are used to.
- Do appreciate it when Spaniards give you a lot of recommendations and advice. Spaniards are confident in voicing out their opinions.
Don’ts in Spain
- Don’t criticize the Spanish culture or the locals. It’s not a good impression especially when you are still new to the environment. You will also encounter locals who will talk about politics and who will subsequently complain about the government. Regardless of the complaint, it’s always to play safe.
- Don’t talk about Catalan independence. This is another sensitive topic in Spain. If you don’t know where your Spaniard counterpart stands, don’t open this topic yet unless your counterpart initiated the conversation.
- Don’t say anything derogatory about Spaniards. Again, it’s not a good impression to say something insulting against Spain or its locals.
- Don’t imply or say that Spaniards are lazy or late. This stereotype is really frustrating in the eyes of Spaniards. Many people still do great jobs and work hard to earn money.
- Don’t talk about Francisco Franco when you are in Spain. This may lead to long debates.
- Don’t make jokes about Catholicism or the Pope especially if you are around older people. Young people take these jokes more calmly than other people.
- Don’t criticize the preference of someone over a football team unless you want to initiate a debate. Leave the topic as it is.
- Don’t get mad at people for having loud voices when conversing with each other. Spaniards are used to a high level of noise. Be comfortable with it.
- Don’t get someone wrong when you are given advice or opinion about things. It’s normal for Spaniards to give advice to someone in Spain.
Tips when going to Spain
When going to Spain, it’s important that you are equipped with enough knowledge about the culture of the country. This is so you can effectively adjust to your new environment despite being new to Spain. You don’t have to be so intelligent to know all the rules. The basic ones will give you the best idea of what to do. Being an expat in a stranger country doesn’t mean you need to isolate yourself. You are free to mingle with the locals, make friends, and explore Spain. However, it’s always better if you know something about the country where you are going.
We hope this list of dos and don’ts helps you become aware of the behavior of Spaniards even if they are just in writing. Soon, you will become more familiar with the norms and the people. It’s okay to find the environment new but always be willing to learn more about the people’s culture and tradition as it will help you adjust fast. Follow the guidelines we have in this blog and don’t forget to share this with your relatives, acquaintances, and friends who are soon going to fly to Spain. Remember that wherever you are going, there’s always a risk as the environment might be unique.