Spanish Culture

Many cultures have had their influence on the Spanish culture. The main influence were the Celtic, Iberian, and Roman culture. The influence has ranged from cuisine to art and architecture.
Spain is located in southwestern Europe. It is a member of the European Union. The total area of Spain is 504,030 km sq. With the large area, it is the second largest country in the European Union, only next to France. There are many aspects of the Spanish culture, which are famous all over the world. It may be the flamenco music and flamenco dance, bullfights, etc., but it is the long serene beaches with lot of sunshine, which makes Spain a popular tourist destination. In the last few years the Spanish language has also become very popular with more and more people are taking to the language.

Spanish Culture and Customs

There are many interesting facts about Spain. We will see the different Spanish culture and traditions based on certain points like the Spanish language, societal culture, eating habits, festivals, etc.

Spanish Language
Spanish is the official language of Spain. It is also known as Castilian. It is a mother tongue to more than 72% of the Spanish population. It is said to be the romance language in the Ibero-Romance group. The readjustment of the consonants was carried out in the 15th century, which has enabled the adoption of foreign words from different languages of the world, as well as developing new Spanish words.

Spanish Food
The Spanish cuisine is heavily influenced by the seafood. There are numerous recipes, which make up the Spanish cuisine, but there are few recipes, that are considered common to almost all regions of Spain. The world famous Spanish dishes are 'tortilla de patata' or also called 'tortilla española', paella, various stews, migas, sausages like chorizo, embutidos and morcilla, jamón serrano, and various cheese. There are a number of dishes in the Spanish cuisine, which have chickpeas, lentils, green beans, etc., used as the base. The famous desserts include custard, rice pudding, torrijas, churros, madeleines and flan. One of the most famous regional dish is Fabada Asturiana. It is actually a rich stew made using large white beans, pork shoulder, morcilla, chorizo and saffron.

Authentic Spanish cooking is made with olive oil. The other ingredients, which are a must for the Spanish food are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and beans. The tradition of buying grocery from the open market is still alive in Spain, although in some urban areas the shopping malls are fast taking over.

Wine has an important place in the Spain culture. Spain is the third largest producer of wine in the world. The best loved variety of wine in Spain is Rioja, which is highly distinctive, is a full bodied wine, that is available in both red as well as white. There is a custom of drinking wine while having meals in Spain. It is very typically of the Spanish to have a piece of fruit or a dairy product as dessert. Although cakes are baked, cakes and tarts are often spared for special occasions.

Religion in Spain
Majority of the Spanish are practicing Roman Catholics, but there are people belonging to other religions as well. The history of Spain has been a witness to the fact, that a number of other religions have coexisted on this land. The Muslims, Jews and Christians have all existed on the same land peacefully.

Festivals and Traditions
There is a tradition in Spain where all the Spanish towns and cities have their own special celebrations, apart from the other national festivals like Christmas, All Saints Day, Easter Week, etc. Most of the festivities have religious base and are mainly based on Catholic traditions. One of the famous traditions in Spain is bullfighting. A fun fact about Spain is that bullfighting is looked upon, both as an art as well as a sport in Spain. Although the animal activists do not approve of the tradition, it is still practiced in some parts of the country.

Spanish Dress Code
The Spaniards have a modern outlook towards clothing. Although they are brand and designer conscious, the quality of the clothes is more important, rather than only the brand name and the designer. Teenage girls are often spotted wearing pants as compared to skirts. However, matured Spaniards tend to dress little more conservatively, yet with style. If you plan to visit the churches, then short dresses or skirts should not be the attire you are sporting, as it may not be taken positively. The business attire is stylish, yet conservative. Elegant accessories are an important part of the attire of both men as well as women.

Now that you are equipped with the information on Spanish culture, when do you plan to take a vacation in this country? Where you can enjoy a warm weather and lounge on the beaches the whole day? You can choose a place according to your liking from the various places to visit in Spain. Among the famous places in Spain is Madrid, the capital of Spain. Once you have visited Spain, you would want to visit the country more often.
By Bhakti Satalkar
Published: 9/14/2010
Bouquets and Brickbats