25 ways you know you’ve become culturally Spanish

1. You have dinner after 10pm.

2. You can’t say goodbye without exclaiming “VENGA!

3. Tortilla de patatas and pan con tomate is a perfect meal for any occasion.

4. You know that “Sangria” and “tinto de veranos” are the liquid fuel of champions.

5. You start complaining about days without clear sunshine.

6. Ordering tapas instead of a meal at the restaurant becomes natural.

7. Sandals replace your daily shoes.

8. Lunch time begins after 2pm, because evenings start to get longer.

9. You pick up abandoned furniture off the street for your flat.

10. Your speed of walking decreases.

11. Queuing at the supermarket without chafing at the salesperson becomes normal.

12. You start complaining (“Que frio”), when temperature drops under 25 degrees.

13. You kiss people’s cheeks, when you meet them the first time.

14. On your messages you sometimes write “jajaja” instead of “hahaha”.

15. Your personal space turns into public one.

16. Every sentence you speak in Spanish contains at least one of these words: “bueno”, “coño, “vale”, “venga”, “es que”…

17. You know that after 2pm there’s no point in going shopping, so you plan it for the evening.

18. If you plan to meet with a friend at half past 4, that’s a general point of reference where punctuality is neither expected or adhered to.

19. You think adding lemonade, fanta or even coke to red wine is perfectly acceptable.

20. There’s no way you can eat any meal without having a “café con leche” or “cortado” afterwards.

21. You use public places like your own terrace.

22. You forget to say please (por favor) or thanks (gracias) when you order a drink at the bar – you implied it in your tone of voice, right?

23. You drink several coffees a day, especially in the morning.

24. You have no problem bringing your small kids to festivals past midnight.

25. You’ve mastered the art of partying until 8am.

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  1. “9. You pick up abandoned furniture off the street for your flat.” This is mostly done by foreign students in the streets of Madrid and Barcelona and I find enormously offensive relating this to “Spanish culture” and the Spanish middle-class. Please remove it as it’s not true. 99% of the Spaniards wouldn’t furnish their apartment with something from the streets.

    • Hi Daniel. You’re perfectly right: No other people in the world would feel offended by picking up things off the street. For instance, you feel offended by just the mention of it. This is perfectly normal in any other culture, and not a matter of offense. It is called “recycling”, but it seems that you Spaniards are too good for that.

    • Hy Daniel, taking abandoned furniture off the street for your flat is a great way of recycling things, don’t you think? Rescuing ‘pre-loved’ items from the street certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but in these hard-pressed times it’s becoming an increasingly common way for homeowners to furnish their flats in order to save money and protect the environment. Due to this fact Spain is an inspiring example for other cultures in order to start thinking green by recycling things instead of throwing them away. Picking up abandoned furniture off the street for your flat is very positive example for sustainable living. I would welcome that more countries take over this habit and “rescue” furniture from the street in order to help saving the environment through long term recycling. Or do you think recycling should only be related to foreign students in the streets of Madrid and Barcelona?

      • Yea it is cool and nice but it not very commun in Spain. And I have doubt about the wine and sodas, that is not true, just to get drunk as teenagers!!

    • You clearly haven’t been to andalucia, I know for a fact a lot of Spanish people do this, as well as foreigners, get off your high horse and sit down.

  2. All said is bullshit ! …. One and ONLY ONE way to know you are culturally Spanish ….. When you finally can learn the diference between “una persona simple” and “una persona sencilla” ….. till then you are just a lost ignorant soul in an ocean of solourful emotions.

    Cheero !

    • Hy Fernando, this article is targeted on expats, who live in Spain and realize how their own culture difference from the Spanish one. People usually experience many emotions while adapting to a foreign culture, changing from excitement and interest in the new culture to depression and fear of the unknown. The difficulties that you experience as you integrate into a new society can be a result of what is termed “culture shock.” Most experts agree that culture shock, although often delayed, is inevitable in one form or another. But adjusting to a foreign culture, and living through difficult times of change can be a satisfying experience, one worth the occasional discomfort and extra effort. When you visit another country, you take along a lot more than what is in your suitcase. You will also be carrying your “cultural baggage”.

      Your cultural baggage (or culture) is the collection of all the values, beliefs, concepts, and behaviors that you learned as a child and that will have a great effect on the way you see the world. Keep in mind that your cultural baggage is unique and will most certainly differ from that carried by members of your host culture.

      This article is written with a touch of humor and not meant to criticize Spanish people. I live in Spain, love the Spanish culture and language and these are just examples of cultural diversities between my and the Spanish culture that I have recognized and experienced during my stay in Spain.

      How would you describe then the difference between “una persona simple” and “una persona sencilla”?

      • The main difference between “una persona simple” and “una persona sencilla” is that the first example has rather negative connotations and basically means that the person is uninteresting, dull, not very bright whereas the second example is much more positive and implies that someone is humble, not ostentatious

  3. This is totally meaningless. I’m spanish and I don’t see myself reflected on any of this points. They seem to fit more into what we call ‘guiris’. Nobody drinks sangría but foreigns, only a few small stores closes at 2pm, if you don’t say ‘please’ or ‘thanks’ people will think you are very rude, I walk pretty fast compared to some friends from other contries, I never wear sandals and I never say ‘VENGA’…and this is just a beginning. Who wrote such a stupid stereothypical article? Useless.

    • Thanks for your comment. To make it clear, the article is not about how Spanish see and describe themselves. These are only examples and refer to how foreigners see or experience their cultural change when they moved to Spain or were living on the beautiful Iberian Peninsula. I might have an example for you to make it clear: I was living for more than 25 years in Austria and have lots of international friends. When we had a conversation about cultural differences they told me that lots of Austrians eat sausages, drink beer, greet you with the hand and ski during winter. I don’t eat sausages, drink beer or ski during winter and greet people with kisses on their cheek, although I might have other behavioral diversities then my international friends. So am I not Austrian then?! Seeing the world through other people’s eyes can help you to understand and learn more about yourself and your own culture.

  4. These foreign people were living in Spain or in hell? 25 degrees “que frío” and always sandals? Wtf, spending your holidays in Valencia or visiting Barcelona during the summer is not living in Spain. But the rest of the article is quite true

  5. it seems that most of foreign people use to live in South Spain.. I’m from Galicia (which is part of Spain) and, believe me, we cannot use sandals even in August.. and, another thing, I recommend you “licor café”

    • Hy Beatriz. Thanks for your comment. Could you explain “licor café”, it sounds great and I would like to try it out.

  6. Hello,

    I’ve been living in Spain for the last three years and I still have at least three more years to go. I totally relate to the points listed in your article! True, I’m not relating to all of them (for instance, I never drink sangria, or coffee, I’ve never ever said “venga!”, I never forget to be polite because that’s how I was brought up and no amount of years lived in Spain can change that, etc) but some of them are really true to me (such as partying until super late, or the famous spanish punctuality, the adding of limonade in red wine (or the mixing of white wine with red wine, just because there’s no more limonade), wearing sandals during winter also.

    True, a lot of these things, I grew up with them doing them, like kissing someone on the cheek when first met, or recycling things I find in the street, or even going everywhere with my sandals just because it’s not SO cold anymore.

    I’ve never lived in South of Spain (although I’m going to go in Sevilla now) ; I spent these three years in Albacete and I can assure you that it can be quite cold there. But having my feet free is too important for me so even in the middle of winter, I can bear to have my feet almost naked.

    So, I find your article quite true and I’m sure that if I pass it along to my fellow foreign friends who have lived in Spain for more than a year, they will agree with me.

    It was also really funny by the way 🙂

  7. Hilarious! Love the tongue in cheek comments. I also understand that the difference between ridicule, mockery, irony and laughing at our own idiosyncrasies isn’t as comfortable for some as it is for others However, for me, you have tickled me pink! Venga, vale, vale, venga! VIVA ESPANA : a mi, me encanta!

  8. ¡Venga! Qué poco sentido del humor tienen los que han comentado antes, coño. Pues yo soy español del noreste y me siento identificado con muchos de los puntos que citas. Estos han debido de pasar mucho tiempo fuera de España perfeccionando su inglés. Pues a mi me ha gustado. He echado en falta una mención al jamón serrano.

  9. Why are there so many rude comments about this? It takes more effort to complain than not.
    I have lived here for 20 years, some things I used to do/had to do in the beginning: get used to shops closing for lunch & drinking calimochos.
    Spain is a beautiful country with a rich culture which I happy to be able to experience, most of the time.
    Now, everyone put down the smartphone/tablet and go out and enjoy your Sunday aperitivo!
    Sed felices!

  10. Im Spanish, from Almeria (really south) and almost everything is true even for spaniards, maybe I don’t like coffe or sangria, or I don’t use to walk very slowly… But many people from my family and friends do… And for example my mother… She is 100% Lije you describe! And that’s absolutely true, don’t saying thanks or sorry doesn’t mean you are unpolite… I use to say: me podrías traer una manchada? And with a big smile and a small movement of my head I’ve said thanks and please! That’s all… Everybody may understand this!

  11. As an expat who lived in Madrid for two years, I smiled reading this article because some of it it home. Thanks.

  12. I am the more Spanish person here and I agree on most of the things here. I have 25 years old and I have done most of those things . I love writing JAJAJAJA and I use coño, venga and carajo everytime i open my mouth. Example : coño tío que guay!!!!!joder que suave tu pelo! Or : que chupi sangría Is great. Also you forgot about doing botellon, if u really want to be spanish make a huge botellon with your friends and sing songs like : menos policia , Mas cerveza fria’! Oh, and don’t forget to buy some ice cubes, even if it’s cold as fuck!! So that u can say: queeeeee frioooooo tioooo! ????


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