Do you know how families and friends show love and affection in Spain?
All around the world, people show their affection and love for others daily but we do not do it the same way. There are many different traditions and customs all over the globe and they normally change depending on how well you know the other person or how close you are to them. Today, we will look at some Spanish customs for showing love and affection to others.
In Spain, greetings are very gender-orientated. Girls don’t greet the same way as guys and vice versa. Greetings will be explained as to what is most common in the country, even though different people may act, of course, differently.
Greeting Family and Friends in Spain
When meeting family, it is very common to give a hug (un abrazo). Girls normally greet both guys and girls with a kiss (un beso) on each cheek and guys greet girls with two kisses and guys with a handshake. Guys normally don’t hug other males but, if they are close family, they may also hug. Of course, this all depends on the relationships you enjoy or how well you get one with other family members.
With friends, it is common to just greet them by saying “Hello” (Hola) . Sometimes, you may greet friends in the same way you would greet family, with a hug and kiss or by shaking hands but, in general, a quick “hello” would be the normal way to greet a friend or even Hola ¿Qué tal? Hola ¿Qué hay?
When greeting someone you do not know or you are being introduced to, it is common to give a kiss on each cheek, in the case of girls, and shake hands in the case of guys.
When greeting a stranger in a job or business related situation, the most normal thing to do is to shake hands, to keep it neutral.
Love and Affection in Families with Children and Multicultural Families.
Overall, people in Spain are very close, warm and very family-orientated. With children, it is common to call them little funny and sweet names. These names may vary depending on the family or how they act but “cariño” (similar to sweetheart), “mi vida” (meaning, “my life”) and “cielo” (meaning, literally, “sky”) are some common sweet names in Spain. They are rather “serious” ones but they are the more typical ones. Some “fun” names would be “churri”, “chiqui”, “peque” among others. These are only some examples as every child may be called different sweet names by their parents.
In Spain, it is very typical for families to spend lots of time together. It is common to meet regularly and spend weekends together as well as going out for dinner or for a drink. Of course, every family is different but, as we have explained before, Spain is a country where people are very family-orientated.
When it comes to multicultural families, some of the customs may vary and change to adapt to everybody’s traditions. It is a great experience as everybody gets to learn about different cultures and different ways of expressing one’s feelings and thoughts. The traditions, in these cases, often mix and get adapted to every member, always making sure that the different customs and ways of life are shared in an equal manner.
Sharing different cultures and ways of life is always an enriching experience, not only with family but with friends and other acquaintances. When learning languages, understanding the culture behind the language is essential as that way you get to see beyond the grammar and words and you understand the way people speak and express themselves and the reasons behind these ways.
So, no matter what language you are studying or would like to study in the future make sure to always look into the country or countries where the language is spoken and its traditions: only like that will you be able to speak and express yourself like a native.