What do people think about Spanish people?


Stereotypes about Spanish people

We have all heard and used clichés to talk about our European neighbors or people from other nationalities. A lot of these stereotypes are false, but others are true. 

Today we will talk about the existing stereotypes about Spanish people and which ones we think are false and true.

False stereotypes about Spanish people:

  1. We all dance flamenco and sevillanas

These two dances are traditional from the south of the country, but not even there everybody knows how to dance these. Although flamenco and sevillanas are the most famous Spanish dances worldwide, each region has its own type of dance.

2. We take a nap (siesta) everyday

It is true that la siesta is a nacional invention, or that is what we claim. However, most of the people in Spain work at this time of the day (right after lunch time). We can only enjoy this afternoon nap during the weekends.

3. The paella and the tapas are our typical dishes

La paella comes from Valencia, and the tapas are very common throughout the whole country. But ¿do we eat paella and tapas everyday? No.  Each region has different local specialties and our daily meals are simpler and based on the Mediterranean diet.

4. We are religious 

Spain is a traditionally catholic country and that is why you can find numerous churches everywhere you go. However, the country has no official religion and, nowadays, a minority of the population goes to mass every week.

5. It is always sunny and hot

It is normally very sunny and warm in the south of Spain, and the Mediterranean coast has nice temperatures all year round. Nevertheless, in a lot of parts of the country, such as the center and the northern coast, cold temperatures, rain and snow are very common.

6. We are always partying

We like to celebrate and spend a lot of time outdoors having drinks with our friends. It is also true that we have a lot of local festivities during the year (Ferias de Abril, las Fallas, San Fermines…), but the truth is that we don’t have time to enjoy all these activities, where a lot of times there are as many visitors as locals.

True stereotypes about Spanish people

  1. We don’t speak very good English.

Traditionally, people studied French as a foreign language in school, that is why old generations have a good domain of this language, and not English. Things have changed though, and nowadays kids are required to study English at school. In addition to that, young people travel more and it is becoming easier to find young Spanish people with a good level of English.

2. Family is very important

Not only that, we feel deeply rooted in our city of origin. Most of the people in Spain live in the same city in which they were born, thus, the relationship with the rest of the family is very close.

3. We greet each other with two kisses, we get very close to the other person when we speak and we are loud. 

We kiss not only once, but twice, when we greet and we like the physical contact. We also speak loudly to express our emotions and message better.

4. We like to get stuff for free

We love to get things for free even if we don’t need them. Roguery and cheap tricks (what we call the Spanish picaresca) is quite extended.

 Can you tell us what other clichés exist in your countries about Spanish people? Based on your experience, do you think they are true?

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