Cultural Differences: Spain & Slovakia
Country and Culture Research Assignment
October 8, 2008
Adding sparkling lemonade or coke to red wine in Spain during lunch time is usual habit, while in Slovakia, people often drink, with their lunch, still, sparkling and gently sparkling mineral water or, of course beer of Slovak or Czech production. Even small details make these two countries different. Although there are some similarities among Slovak and Spanish population, mainly between the young generation, country and culture differences, such as general information, history, language, educational system, lifestyle, traditions, or cuisine would predominate. In order to be successful in the Spanish or Slovakian market place, it is important to get known the country, its business culture, etiquette, lifestyle and traditions. All these have a strong influence on the expenditure of doing business, future economic growth and business culture. General Information
Spain is located in the South-Western part of Europe with an access to Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. It has border with Portugal on the West, France and Andorra on the North and Morocco on the South. Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, two autonomous cities in Northern Africa, also belong to Kingdom of Spain. The whole area of Spain represents 504,788 sq. km with population of 39.2 million. Capital city is Madrid. It is also the biggest city by population in Spain, followed by Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Zaragoza (Facts at a glance, 2006). GDP shown in the Economist journal is 0.9% or $1.4 trillion in 2008. Forecast for future portrays decline by 0.6% in 2009 while GDP should grow up to 1.6% in 2010 (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2008 ). In comparison with Spain, Slovakia is directly situated in the heart of Europe; thus, it is located in the Central Europe. It has border with Austria and Czech Republic on the West, Poland on the North, Ukraine on the East and Hungary on the South. Although Slovakia has no access to sea, its biggest rivers are Danube, Vah and Hron. Territory of Slovakia represents 48,845 sq. km with population of 5.4 million. The capital city is Bratislava. Similarly to Spain, Bratislava is the biggest city in Slovakia followed by Kosice, Banska Bystrica, Zilina and Nitra. GDP in Slovakia is much lower than the one in Spain. It represents $36 billion (Basic macroeconomic data for the Slovak Republic, 2005). Government in Spain is different than in Slovakia. Spain still keeps their queens and kings; therefore, there is a constitutional monarchy while it has just the representative function. More important issues and decisions are left on the Prime Minister. In comparison, Slovakia has its own president, government and parliament. Climate and natural resources are another important part of general information. Mild and warm Mediterranean climate of Spain represents benefit in form of good conditions for agriculture, mainly for cultivation of many kinds of fruits and vegetables (Weather in Spain, 2007). It also gains from winter season because its ski resorts on the North, in perfect condition with the new technologies, develop winter tourism while over the summer season, it benefits from tourists enjoying seaside and historical monuments. In comparison, Slovakia in majority gains from winter season because 70% of Slovak land consists of mountains. These give very good opportunities for winter sports. Another advantage which makes Slovakia attractive is not seaside but variety of hot springs, spas and wellness centers. History
History of both countries is unique. While Slovakia was dependent on other countries for centuries, Spain was seen as a colonial imperium. However, in several battles with the USA, Spain lost Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam. Moreover, since 1939 till 1975, this country was led by nationalist Franco. When he died in 1975, dictatorship turned to democracy. Since 1978,...
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