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Essays on Spanish Customs

  Spaniards are very friendly and usually like to show this enthusiasm when meeting each other. The greetings between relatives are often hugs and kisses, and when meeting elders, they will also give you a few warm kisses. For strangers they meet for the first time, they often get to know each other by shaking hands. For men, they sometimes pat each other on the arm or shoulder a few times. For women, they give each other two kisses on the left and right cheeks. When you are a guest in a Spanish home, it is best not to sit silently, but to tell the host about your feelings as much as possible. Whether it’s showing you a family photo album or showing you a home tour, you can have your say. If a Spanish friend invites you to his house for dinner, you need to bring a gift to the host: a bottle of wine or some dessert, and the host will always say something polite, such as “I’m giving you trouble,” and so on.
  Spaniards tend to have their own set of domestic customs. They never take off their shoes to enter the door, and are used to walking around the house wearing outdoor shoes; some families also keep some birds. When eating, although there is always bread on it, it is never eaten with soup; when eating fish, the head of the raw fish is often kept on the table and placed on a separate plate to show the freshness of the food. TV is the focal point of family life. Spaniards have a habit of turning on the TV as soon as they get home, even though the family is busy in other rooms, the TV is always on. This small screen is like the head of the family, hosting family gatherings and accompanying the whole family to dinner, but in fact no one pays special attention to it.
  After 10 pm, unless there is an emergency or a known friend, it is generally not suitable to hang up the phone privately, because the limited time at night belongs to the individual. Today, some unmarried children stay at their parents’ homes until they are in their 30s, mostly not to maintain family relationships, but to succumb to financial inadequacies. Despite the crisis of one kind or another in the traditional family model, “home” is still the basic structure of Spanish society.
  Spaniards are particularly fond of going to the streets, like walking and shopping, watching the people around them, and also like to be noticed. Every time I go out of the house, even if I do a small thing for a few minutes nearby, I have to take care of it from top to bottom before I show up, but this kind of dress is more casual, after all, it is not going to a banquet. In the past, the central square of small towns was often the preferred place for people to walk. Everyone circled around the square, and they would meet each other many times, and a sense of satisfaction of being watched and scrutinized would arise spontaneously.
  Bars are social places for Spaniards. In their schedule, in addition to work, eating and sleeping, they have to include time at the bar. There, friends get together to chat, play cards, enjoy snacks, or watch a football game, sometimes just to take a break from the hustle and bustle. There’s always a TV in the bar that’s on all day, loud enough to drown out the screeching screams of the slot machines: this gaming machine is also a feature of every bar: as you know, Spain is one of the best in gaming. The most expensive European countries. It is worth mentioning that when checking out at the bar, it is rare to pay the bill separately. Because they usually come in groups, each time one person pays the bill first, and the next time, another person takes the initiative to take the order, so everyone always takes turns.
  The topics that Spaniards chat about in bars are usually football games, social news and some family chores mixed with gossip. People like to communicate directly, and they don’t like to use pen and ink to express their opinions. Of course, they will be more than happy to send and receive greeting cards with touching words during Christmas. When it comes to addressing each other, Spaniards are increasingly moving away from using the honorific “you”, reserving it only for conversations with strangers, seniors or bosses. In addition, Spaniards seem to have always paid less attention to “punctuality” and never used it as a measure of a person’s character, so they usually leave a few minutes of “polite waiting” after the agreed time.
  Almost 80% of Spaniards claim to be Catholic, but now it is only elderly people who visit church for Mass. However, the wedding of a young partner, the baptism of a newborn, and a child’s first communion service must be held in church. Obviously, the Spaniards closely combined religious activities with folk customs. As soon as the religious ceremonies in the church are over, the folk activities follow. When the newlyweds walked out of the church, people scrambled to throw rice grains on their heads (they often use rose petals instead) to wish for more children in the future; when the baptism was over, people would throw out candy and coins for the children to share. After all the programs are over, the host usually hosts a banquet in a restaurant to entertain the guests. However, the Catholic doctrine, after all, has been deeply rooted in the hearts of the people for generations, and several major events in life, including funeral ceremonies, must be completed by the Spaniards in the church, although many believers only step through the door of the temple at these moments.

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