SPANISH CULTURE. INTERNATIONAL EXPLORERS 2011. Facts and Statistics. Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France Capital: Madrid
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INTERNATIONAL EXPLORERS 2011
Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France
Climate: temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy,cold winters in interior, partly cloudy & cool along coast
Population: 40,280,780 (July 2004 est.)
Ethnic Make-up: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Government: parliamentary monarchy
The family is the basis of the social structure and includes both the nuclear and the extended family, which sometimes provides both a social and a financial support network.. Today, it is less common than previously for family members to work in a family business, as personal preferences are important and university education is general. The structure and the size of the family vary, but generally, people live until longer lives, have fewer children than before, and fewer people live in their homes with extended family.
. Familial networks have become less tight. The greatest changes have occurred inside families, between men and woman, and the parents and children because the values that inspire these relations have changed.
Machismo is the word for male dominance, and the culture of old men who created it has changed dramatically. . Spain is a very equalitarian society, the birth rate is the one of the lowest in Europe, and women are present at university and work.
The majority of Spaniards are formally Roman Catholic, although different religious beliefs are accepted. . During the history of Spain, there have been long periods of where different religious groups have coexisted, including Muslims, Jews and Christians. . Still some traditions manifest more like a cultural event than a religious one. . During Holy Week, many participants of the processions wear peaked, black hats as the sign of a penitent and walk barefoot, carrying a burden of some kind. . Religious history is apparent in every small town, where the most grandiose building is typically the church. In the large cities the Cathedrals are almost museums.
Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a particular seat. . Always keep your hands visible when eating. Keep your wrists resting on the edge of the table. . Do not begin eating until the hostess starts. . Use utensils to eat most food. Even fruit is eaten with a knife and fork. . If you have not finished eating, cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife. . The host gives the first toast. . Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel on your plate, tines facing up, with the handles facing to the right.
Dress as you would in the rest of Europe..
Business dress is stylish yet, conservative.
Everyday dress for teens is more conservative than in the US
Absolutely NO shorts in public
No shoulders in churches (girls should wear sweaters over thin straps) . Elegant accessories are important for both men and women.
Spain´s famous siesta brings on a sense of calm and tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, to many tourists, it is merely a cause of frustration and confusion. Between the hours of 2pm and 5pm,
Spain shuts down to allow the locals to rest after a long and hectic morning and prepare for the busy afternoon. Meanwhile, the common tourist invariably chooses this time to stroll the streets for their souvenir-shopping, newspaper or sightseeing, only to find the shops closed and the streets empty.
Markets are found in almost every town or village in Spain, some are daily and some are weekly, in larger towns and cities markets are generally open from 8am until 2pm, Monday to Saturday, every week.
By far one of the most impressive markets in Spain is La Boquería in Barcelona which, if you visit the city, is a must.
Whether you’re searching for ingredients for a fine meal or just wandering through it is an assault on the senses; sights and smells range from fish to fruit, and that is not to mention the colourful sweet counters bound to impress children and adults alike.