5 Things The Spanish Do Well

There is a lot to be learned from different cultures. The western, English speaking community isn’t always the best at it though.

It can be easy to fall into the trap. Going somewhere but living the way we are used to living. Not seeing it like the locals see it, not experiencing what they experience, eating their food, drinking what they drink, experiencing life through their eyes.

Having just returned from Spain, a little up the coast from Barcelona, I thought I’d share five things that the Spanish do well:

1. Tapas

The Spanish are world famous for their tapas. But it’s not just the great range of food that eating tapas provides. Tapas isn’t just about the small portions, the variety, the range. That’s what the uncultured think it is. Tapas is far more. Tapas is a social activity that involves food. It’s about enjoyment, interaction, sociability. And it’s healthy too – small portions, eating slowly, digesting.

2. Boldness

With towns and villages full of colors and patterns, the Spanish are not afraid to be bold. They state who they are and they’re proud of it. They’re confident. It might be clothes, buildings, decor – you name it and you can find an example of their boldness.

3. Siestas

Siestas aren’t for the lazy. Quite the contrary – not only do they make you feel good but there is scientific proof that they’re good for your heart, reduce stress and improve alertness and memory. Most houses tend to have black out shutters to help you take that mid afternoon nap.

4. Relax

The Spanish don’t tend to be rushed. They do things in their own time. For those that aren’t used to this part of their culture it can be frustrating. But, once you understand it and accept it, you start to blend in and relax with them in their lower stress lives.

5. Responsible Drinking

Want a glass or two of wine at lunch time? That’s fine. After all, they tend to have long lunches. The Spanish tend to drink sociably and responsibly, not with the intention of just getting drunk. Follow their lead and you’ll fit right in, and enjoy it.

Main photo by Salome Chaussure.