The Spanish flag with a bull

Top 10 Myths about Spain

Myths and stereotypes about other people and countries are natural, and they can be quite amusing. However, the accuracy of such stereotypes can be questioned. We have heard many myths about Spain and the Spaniards. Despite these misconceptions, Spain is no worse than any other country. Lets debunk the top nine myths about Spain.

So heres our top 10 Myths about Spain
  1. Bullfighting is a popular sport watched by all Spaniards. Actually, bullfighting often happens only once per year in many towns, including Ronda, the home of the modern style of bullfighting. Matadors are held in high esteem, but the average Spaniard is probably not going to make a special trip to see a bullfight.
  2. Spaniards drink a lot of sangria. Nope, sangria is like fruit punch, it goes down easily and gets you drunk quickly, but most Spaniards prefer beer or wine like other national groups. In fact, most bars make sangria only for the inevitable requests they get from tourists.
  3. Flamenco music and dancing is all you ever hear in Spain. Most popular radio stations play a mix of modern pop music, older rock songs, and the DJ’s favorite Latin music. Bars in tourist areas play a lot of Flamenco style music, but true Flamenco music tends to be quite spontaneous amongst friends.
  4. Siesta is an afternoon nap for Spaniards. Actually, most Spanish people take time to enjoy lunch, do their weekly grocery shopping, household chores, etc. Siesta these days is just a convenient time to break the monotony of work, although in summer, the afternoons can be too hot to work. Some people still use siesta to relax and take a short nap, but they are definitely in the minority these days.
  5. Spaniards are lazy and will promise to do something mañana, which means anytime in the next few weeks. Actually, most Spaniards are fairly punctual, and if they make an appointment with you, they usually keep it or call to offer an excuse why they can’t. A possible reason for foreigners getting confused about mañana is the meaning of the word which doesn’t just mean tomorrow, it also means morning.
  6. Spanish people will pretend not to understand foreigners just to have fun at your expense. In fact, most people in Spain never learn a foreign language and often forget what they learn at school because they don’t have the chance to practice. A Spaniard who has learnt another language will often be very excited about trying out what they do remember. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to learn Spanish, especially if you plan a longer stay or a move to Spain.
  7. Spanish people use a lot of gestures when they speak. Actually, most Spaniards are quite circumspect about body language, and they think the Italians are more physically expressive.
  8. Spanish men are very macho and make great Latin lovers. This myth always makes Spanish women laugh. In reality, men are the same almost anywhere, and an evening in a bar with their friends is preferred for many men in Spain rather than a romantic night in.
  9. Spain is a very backward country, and don’t drink the water. This myth is far from the truth. Spain is a progressive nation within the European Union and is rapidly catching up with its Northern European neighbors in gross domestic product and average income. In fact, Spain has been successful in attracting investment from new technology companies. All of the modern conveniences you’d expect in a progressive European country are available in Spain. Spanish tap water is perfectly safe to drink, although, like in other countries, some of the water can be high in calcium, and you might prefer to drink bottled water.

10. Ah, gotcha, there isn’t a 10, but the title of this page sounds so much better saying ‘Top 10 Myths About Spain’ instead of ‘Top 9 Myths About Spain’ don’t you think? Anyway, Spain and the Spaniards aren’t so bad. Coming from an English speaking country it can be quite an adjustment learning to cope with the estilo de vida español but give it time and I’m sure you’ll love living here every bit as much as the several million other expats who choose to make Spain their new home.

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