Tourısm & Society
Tourısm & Society
1. General Information About Spain
Spain is a country located in South Western Europe. It borders two different seas, the Mediterranean Sea and the Balearic Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land-based borders with France and Andorra to the North, and Portugal to the west. It is a member of the European Union. The Canary Islands and that the Balearic Islands also belonged to Spain. It is the second-largest country in the European Union with a total area of 504,030 square kilometers. Spain is a democracy organized in the form of a parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a developed country with the twelfth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP, and very high living standards, including the tenth-highest quality of life index rating in the world, as of 2005. It is a member of the United Nations, NATO, OECD, and WTO. Madrid is the official capital of Spain. Currency is euro. General religion of country is Roman Catholic. 1.2. Language
Spain is consisting of 17 different regions. Spanish is the main language, spoken throughout the whole of Spain. But there are some regions with an additional language. In Cataluña people also speak Catalan, in Galicia Galician, Basque in the Basque Country and finally Valencian in the Valencian society. This can be very confusing at times, because in Cataluña and Basque Country many people consider their dialect the main language. On schools sometimes the regional language is taught as the first language, with Spanish as a second one. Roadsigns are often first in Basqe or Catalan and only then in the Spanish language in these autonomous regions.
1.3. Flag of Spain
The flag of Spain has horizontal bands of red across the top and bottom, each taking up one-quarter of the flag. Between the two red stripes, the flag is a thick golden yellow band, equal in size to both the red stripes together. Off-center on the yellow stripe of the flag, the Spanish coat of arms is featured, symbolizing the kingdoms of Spain. On the coat of arms are the arms and symbols of the various regions and former Kingdoms of Spain, including the Kingdom of Castile, and the House of Bourbon. 2. Spanish Society & Culture
2.1 Spanish Family Values
The family is the basis of the social structure and includes both the nuclear and the extended family, which sometimes provides both a social and a financial support network. Today, it is less common than previously for family members to work in a family business, as personal preferences are important and university education is general. The structure and the size of the family vary, but generally, people live until longer lives, have fewer children than before, and fewer people live in their homes with extended family. Familial networks have become less tight. The greatest changes have occurred inside families, between men and woman, and the parents and children because the values that inspire these relations have changed. 2.2. Machismo
Machismo is the word for male dominance, and the culture of old men who created it has changed dramatically. Spain is a very equalitarian society, the birth rate is the one of the lowest in Europe, and women are present at university and work.
3. Etiquette & Customs in Spain
3.1. Meeting Etiquette
* When introduced expect to shake hands.
* Once a relationship is established, men may embrace and pat each other on the shoulder. * Female friends kiss each other on both cheeks, starting with the left * People are often referred to as Don or Dona and their first name when in formal occasion as a general rule. * Many men use a two-handed shake where the left hand is placed on the right forearm of the other person. 3.2. Dining Etiquette
* If invited to a Spaniard's home, you can bring chocolates, pastries, or cakes; wine, liqueur, or brandy; or flowers to the hostess. * If you...
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