What comes to your mind when you think of Spanish People? Mmm… something not far from this picture, right? Well… I’m guilty too!
As an expat living in Spain I’m here to tell you that Spaniards are so much more than great party partners! In this post I’ll share with you 7 stereotypes people REALLY believe are true of Spanish people when in reality they’re not!
And trust me, you can only learn this if you’ve been living here at least for a while! When I first came here I didn’t know why people laughed when I said I’ve been in Murcia… (I still don’t get the joke but I’ll try to explain it later)
First let me begin with some spicy stereotypes by region:
1. All Spanish are the same
Spain is very diverse.
If you are in the middle of a conversation with two Spanish people who just met each other, you’ll definitely hear them ask:
“Are you from Spain as well? From which part?” And trust me they’ll low-key judge each other based on their perceptions from that region… You can see it clearly on this map:
And there’s nothing to be offended about! This right here is just the “truth”! In Spain they roast each other with love.
People from the north are said to be more straight-forward and cold while South People are extroverted, funny and loud. Maybe that’s the reason why most people believe ALL Spanish behave like that. But again, for us it depends on where you’re from.
All Spanish are not the same. There are different accents depending on the region as well… And It’s not that we have “A Lisp”!!!! It’s our natural way of speaking. In Spain we have 4 different languages: Castillian, Catalan, Galician, Basque and Aranese.
Talking about accents… People from Murcia take the crown for having the most special accent in Spain… It’s quite unintelligible and everyone always laughs at Murcianos, for no reason. (It’s not hate, just a joke)
2. Spain is Mallorca, Beaches and Parties
Let me say this clearly: Mallorca is ONE OF Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. That’s it.
Another amazing location that is not Mallorca is Canary Islands. This place is amazing! also worth visiting if you liked the Mallorca vibe. Fun fact: Spanish people have the saying that Canarians run an hour behind on everything. They’re also very laid back, lazy and tardy… that could explain why everyone always thinks Spanish are lazy, but they’re NOT. I can prove it by telling you that Spanish people work more than their European Neighbors! Don’t Believe me? Look at it yourself: Working hard or hardly working? Here are clichés that live on to this day.
Back to the topic: Spain is definetly not all beaches! There are a lot more incredible activities to do. Spain is very rich in art, literature, museums, you can go hiking, enjoy delicious food and enjoy from different activities and sports! Even winter is beautifull… you can go skiing, enjoy a snowy holiday, go to a christmas markets… and the list goes on! (The parties are true. Spanish people are real party animals)
Even in the North of Spain there are many beautiful beaches! (not everything is Mallorca) My favorite is in San Sebastian, Basque Country.
3. Spanish Are Temperamental
I was going to say this stereotype depends on personality, but that’s not true. Spanish people are temperamental. They react with their whole body.
Spaniards portray feelings and emotions with movements, shakes, and are very histrionic. In contrast to other Northern European Countries Spanish people might seem to act exaggeratedly too much upon things.
If they’re excited, sad, anxious, furious or suprised you’ll notice. Spanish have strong and impulsive reactions to mostly everything and their body language is also very gesticulating.
4. Spanish People talk trash behind your back
No, no and no. Let me get this clear: One thing is healthy gossiping about your neighbor and another thing COMPLETELY different is disrespecting someone behind their back. Spanish people are very honest, loyal and empathic. They’ll always support you no matter what.
Spaniards are savvy and wise, which means they’ll always know what’s happening around them and will talk about it if it bothers them. But this doesn’t include being dishonest or fake people.
5. Spanish people are all about bullfighting and flamenco!
My mom has a friend from Galicia (the north-west of Spain) and she has NEVER seen bullfighting, ever. It’s an activity that is totally unknown for many people in Spain, which is only practiced in a few regions.
Of course there are a lot of “Plaza de Toros” around Spain… which are basically empty because no one uses them. It is part of the culture and traditions but nowadays in modern Spain they don’t do that on a normal tuesdayfor example.
Those “Plaza de Toros” are mainly used as a theater or different activities. People who actually go there are tourists and other people who are visiting the country on vacation.
But, It’s important to highlight that in Pamplona, Navarre, there’s one week in which they practice that activity, mainly because of tradition and culture. It has become a festival with a lot of parties and activities with friends and families but I must say that many people who actually live there do not agree with this practice, for obvious reasons that we completely understand as well!
Talking about flamencos… Many old Spanish people grew up in a Spain full of bulls and flamenco and then got tired of them… Flamenco is an art form based on the various folkloric music traditions of southern Spain. Also a very important part of Spanish culture but nowadays you don’t see people obsessed with it. You can see Flamenco in a theater or a play but that’s it.
6. Weather is always nice, warm and sunny
This one stereotype is definitely not true. My friend from Stockholm came to visit me in Spain and she was surprised because it was “too cold to be true” (of course it’s a different kind of cold but you get the point) and also not that sunny in some places, but it’s true to say that compared to other Northern European countries our winter is a blessing.
Climate in Spain can be: Atlantic, Mediterranean, Subtropical and Mountain! Each of them is very different and differs depending on the region you’re in. Northern Spain is usually colder than Southern Spain. In andalusia, for example, winter can be more pleasant than in the North.
Almost forgot!!! Summer is incredibly hot!! Thank God we have great beaches because it’s pretty warm in summer. You know what’s -usually- warm? Spanish People. Okay, bad joke.. Moving on to the next one:
7. Food in Spain is Tapas, Wine, Paellas and Spicy Things
I’m sorry to disappoint you but if you think that in Spain we make tortillas, corn stuff and spicy chili you’re in the wrong place.
Spanish cuisine follows the Mediterranean diet. It is very rich and consists of cooking traditions and practices from Spain. The spices we use are not spicy, this includes: parsley, oregano, rosemary and thyme. And olive oil, garlic and onions are used as the base for most spanish dishes tho.
Another fun thing to know about Spanish people is that they have the perfect balance of eating out and preparing meals at home. It’s a tradition to have food at the table with your family and loved ones but we eat out a lot as well! Food is also enjoyed as a social activity. Spanish people are really friendly, warm and social, and definitely look out for any opportunity to go to a bar or restaurant to meet new people.
Now you know that Spaniards are so much more than the typical stereotypes we’re all tired of hearing. Spanish people have an incredible culture really worth discovering and breathtaking views and