The country of Spain is on Southwestern Europe’s Iberian Peninsula. It really consists 17 autonomous regions, each with its own geography and culture. The capital, Madrid, is home to the Royal Palace and singular Prado museum. The museum houses works by European masters, and Segovia to the north has a fairy-tale medieval castle and Roman aqueduct.
However, outside these generally known facts, there are quite a few other facts that would-be visitors to Spain would like to know. For instance, what is the position of the once popular machismo now? What is the position of children in Spain? When must you remain standing? And when you finish eating, what must you do or not do?
The answers to all these and many more are in the following 12 funny facts about Spain. Enjoy your reading!
King: Felipe VI of Spain
Prime minister: Mariano Rajoy
Government: Parliamentary Monarchy
Population: 47,737,941 (2014 estimate.)
Funny Facts About Spain
1. Family Eroding Fast
Family used to be the bedrock of the Spanish culture. Not anymore! The greatest changes have taken place within families because the values that inspire these relations have changed. For example, today, it is less common for family members to work in a family business.
2. Male Dominance
Machismo is the word for male dominance. But, funny as it may sound, that is only talk now. The old culture that created it has changed, fizzled away. Spain is now very equalitarian, and birth rate is the one of the lowest in Europe. Also, women are present at university and at work.
3. The Spanish Handshake
When introduced to a Spaniard, expect to shake hands. As a general rule, people are often called Don or Dona before their first name when in formal occasions. Many men use a two-handed shake where the left hand is placed on the right forearm of the other person.
4. Never Ignore Children
One good turn deserves another. So, when honouring an invitation to a Spaniard’s home, take along chocolates, pastries, or cakes; wine, liqueur, or brandy; or flowers to the hostess. And if you know your hosts have children, they may be included in the evening too. So a small gift for them is always appreciated.
5. Compulsory Standing
If you know you cannot stand for long, you might need to do some exercise before honouring an invitation to the home of a Spaniard. This is because you will need to remain standing until invited to sit down. And you might not find that funny at all. You may be shown to a particular seat.
6. Keep Hands Visible
Perhaps you might need to have a manicure before a meal in the home of a Spaniard. Think this is funny? Well, you will need to always keep your hands visible when eating! Keep your wrists resting on the edge of the meal table. And do not begin eating until the hostess starts.
7. Eating With Utensils
Spaniards use utensils to eat most food. Even fruit is eaten with a knife and fork. If you are used to this you might not find the embarrassment funny at all. So take a bit of crash programme lesson before going to a meal in the home of a Spaniard. If you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife.
8. When You Finish Eating
Meal etiquettes matter to Spaniards a lot. One funny this is that when you have finished eating, you don’t need to say anything. You can show it by laying your knife and fork parallel on your plate, tines facing up, with the handles facing to the right. And do not get up until the guest of honour does…even if pressed to use the loo.
9. Establish Rapport
To get Spanish people to do business with you, you must diligently establish some kind of rapport with them. The Spanish prefer to do business with those they know and trust. Therefore, it is important that you spend sufficient time letting your business colleagues get to know you.
10. Modesty Is a Virtue
Do you brag a lot? Then you cannot have business dealings with Spaniards. The way you present yourself is of critical importance when dealing with Spaniards. When describing your achievements and accomplishments, being modest counts a lot with Spaniards.
11. Interruption Means Interest
Learn to tolerate and see the positive side of interruptions. You may be interrupted while you are speaking. This is not an insult; it merely means the person is interested in what you are saying. The funny thing is that Spaniards do not like to lose face. So they will not necessarily say that they do not understand something, especially if you are not speaking Spanish.
12. Gestures Mean Much
You must be adept at discerning body language. Spaniards are very thorough people. In line with that, they tend to talk with their hands quite a lot. In nearly every conversation, their hands are waving around, giving emphasis to what is being said. A most common gesture in conversations is a slight shrugging where the arms are extended and held mid-way to the chest. Those hands could be really funny too.