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What are the cultural differences between Spain and the UK?

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Alex Bamford

on 14 July 2014

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Transcript of What are the cultural differences between Spain and the UK?

What are the cultural differences between Spain and the UK?
Drinks
The English have a huge variety of beverages including wine, beer and spirits. The English drinking culture extends past mealtimes and drinks are usually consumed in bars and pubs until 11.00 pm, and later in nightclubs (usually until 2.00 am). Generally, many English drink ‘to get drunk’, and the English drinking culture is quite different to Spanish people, who tend to restrict drinks to mealtimes. As such, wine is usually served in Spain with lunch and dinner. That being said, the Spanish have a name for going out to get drunk – Botellón – which involves going to bars and pubs before moving on to a nightclub or late bar.
Greetings
Shaking hands is expected across both genders and once a relationship is established, it is normal for men to embrace or pat each other on the shoulder, while female friends may kiss each other on each cheek. In England, handshakes are common although kisses (usually once on the cheek) and hugs are usually reserved between very good friends.
Meal Times
In Spain, lunch is the main meal. It is usually ate between 2 pm – 3 pm and may consist of several courses. Whereas in England lunch is often consisting a sandwich, salad or cold pasta ect and is usually ate between 12.00 – 1.00 pm. The exception is on Sundays when traditionally a large roast dinner is consumed. Spanish evening meals are usually lighter and served later, around 9.00 pm. In England the evening meal is the main course, normally ate around 5.00 pm.



Siesta
The siesta is a famous part of Spanish culture and one that’s often admired by the British! It’s a short early afternoon nap, usually taken after lunch and before returning to work. The tradition doesn’t exist in England, partly due to the shorter nature of lunches, but also because the temperatures are typically cooler. Siestas are more common in warm weather countries.


Christmas
In Spain, Christmas Day isn’t the main event. It’s all about Christmas Eve – “La Noche Buena” – which involves a huge feast. Gift-giving happens in January, while December 25th is all about eating your bodyweight in fabulous cuisine. In England, Christmas Day is the main celebration when gifts are exchanged, and the day is spent with family, eating roast turkey and drinking together. It’s also tradition to pause at 3.00pm to watch the televised Queen’s Speech.
Siesta
The siesta is a famous part of Spanish culture and one that’s often admired by the British! It’s a short early afternoon nap, usually taken after lunch and before returning to work. The tradition doesn’t exist in England, partly due to the shorter nature of lunches, but also because the temperatures are typically cooler. Siestas are more common in warm weather countries.


Public Holidays
Each person in Spain is allowed a maximum of 14 public holidays per year. In addition to national holidays, of which there are 9, many of Spain’s 17 regions celebrate their own public holidays too. In England, there are 8 public holidays, although an exception was made in 2011 for the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton when an extra public holiday was created.


Activities
Sport activities, both in the United Kingdom and Spain are higly important. In British and Spaniard education it is included as one of the main subjects for school children. However, the distribution is different in the two countries. On the one hand, in Spanish schools we will find sports like soccer, basketball or gymnastics; on the other hand, in British schools the common sports will be the mentioned before plus rugby, hockey, tennis, cricket and even swimming. This is why there are different priorities in Spain and the United Kingdom respectively
Opening times
The opening times of shops. While in Spain the shops are opened open between 10am to 9pm, English shops open between 9am to 6pm. Some of them close even earlier than 6pm. This makes you wonder what time people finish work there, but unlike what you might think (I thought they finished earlier), a usual working day finishes at about 5 or even 6pm. I find this quite frustrating because you can’t go shopping during the week and after work the only thing you can do is go for a drink.
The houses
English buildings are so different to the buildings in Spain. In most of the houses you can see carpet covering all the floor, something not common in Spain. Another thing Spanish people have is a mailbox in the door. You can easily see what people is doing in their houses. They have big windows to let the sunlight go in. English people love their gardens. If you walk the streets you can see people pruning shrubs and bushes. And in nearly every garden there is a trampoline.
Customer Service
Spain take a more relaxed approach to every day life whereas in the UK, customer disappointment is usually a direct result of staff. Personally. Although Spain is not as organized as the UK when it comes to complaints or filing, they often tend to take a lot of time to sort out a problem which is different to the UK as they sort problems out quicker.

Drinks
Meal times
Siesta
Customer Service
Public Holidays
Opening Hours
Christmas
Houses
Actives
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