Daily life and social customs Organization of the day Daily life in early 21st-century Spain looks little different from that in other industrialized countries of the West.
Spain occupies about 85 percent of the Iberian peninsula, with Portugal on its western border. Other entities in Iberia are the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrenees and Gibraltar, which is under British sovereignty and is located on the south coast.
The Pyrenees range separates Spain from France. The Atlantic Ocean washes Spain's north coast, the far northwest corner adjacent to Portugal, and the far southwestern zone between the Portuguese border and the Strait of Gibraltar.
Spain is separated from North Africa on the south by the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea, which also washes Spain's entire east coast. Spain also holds two cities, Ceuta and Melilla, on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco.
Spain's perimeter is mountainous, the mountains generally rising from relatively narrow coastal plains. The country's interior, while transected by various mountain ranges, is high plateau, or meseta, generally divided into the northern and southern mesetas.
Great local diversity flourishes on Spanish terrain and is part of Spain's essence. The people of hamlets, villages, towns, and cities—the basic political units of the Spanish population—and sometimes even neighborhoods barrios hold local identities that are rooted not only in differences of local geography and microclimate but also in perceived cultural differences made concrete in folklore and symbolic usages.
Throughout rural Spain, despite the strength of localism, there is also a perception of shared culture in rural zones called comarcas. The comarca is a purely cultural and economic unit, without political or any other official identity.
In what are known as market communities in other parts of the world, villages or towns in a Spanish comarca patronize the same markets and fairs, worship at the same regional shrines in times of shared need such as droughtwear similar traditional dress, speak the language similarly, intermarry, and celebrate some of the same festivals at places commonly regarded as central or important.
The comarca is a community of concrete relationships; larger regional identities are more easily characterized as imagined but emerge from a tradition of local difference and acquire some of their strength from that tradition.
A recognition of difference among Spaniards is woven into the very fabric of Spanish identity; most Spaniards begin any discussion of their country with a recitation of Spain's diversity, and this is generally a matter of pride.
Spaniards' commitment to Spain's essential Spain diversity is the benchmark from which any student of things Spanish must depart. It is essential to realize that outsiders can legitimately consider some of Spain's diversity as imagined every bit as much as its unity might be—that is, Spaniards sort their differences with a fine-toothed comb and create measures of local and regional differences which might fail tests of general significance by other measures.
The majority of Spaniards endorse the significance of local differences together with an overarching unity, which makes them regard Spain's inhabitants as Spanish despite their variety. This image of variety is itself a shared element of Spanish identity.
The populations least likely to feel Spanish are Catalans and Basques, although these large, complex regional populations are by no means unanimous in their views. The Basque language is unrelated to any living language or known extinct ones; this fact is the principal touchstone of a Basque sense of separateness.
Even though many other measures of difference can be questioned, Basque separatism, where it is endorsed, is fueled by the experience of political repression in the twentieth century in particular. There has never been an independent Basque state apart from Spain or France. The Catalan language, like Spanish, is a Romance language, lacking the mysterious distinction that Basque has.
This growing power was soon to be enhanced by the Crown's monopoly vis-a-vis other regions and the rest of Europe on all that accrued from Christopher Columbus's discovery of the New World, which occurred under Crown sponsorship.
Madrid, already at the time an ancient Castilian town, was selected as Spain's capital inreplacing the court's former home, Valladolid. The motive of this move was Madrid's centrality: The Puerta del Sol is at kilometer zero for Spain's road system.
Spain's population of 39, in early represented a slight decline from levels earlier in the decade. The population had increased significantly in every previous decade of the twentieth century, rising from under nineteen million in Spain's declining birthrate, which in was the lowest in the world, has been the cause of official concern.
The bulk of Spain's population is in the Castilian provinces including Madridthe Andalusian provinces, and the other, smaller regions of generalized Castilian culture and speech. The Catalan and Valencian provinces including the major cities of Barcelona and Valenciaalong with the Balearic Islands, account for about 30 percent of the population, Galicia for about 7 percent, and Basque Country for about 5 percent.
These are not numbers of speakers of the minority languages, however, as the Catalan, Gallego, and Basque provinces all hold diverse populations and speech communities. Spain's national language is Spanish, or Castilian Spanish, a Romance language derived from the Latin implanted in Iberia following the conquest by Rome at the end of the third century B.
Two of the minority languages of the nation—Gallego and Catalan—are also Romance languages, derived from Latin in their respective regions just as Castilian Spanish hereafter "Spanish" was.
These Romance languages supplanted earlier tribal ones which, except for Basque, have not survived. The Basque language was spoken in Spain prior to the colonization by Rome and has remained in use into the twenty-first century.
It is, as noted earlier, unique among known languages. Virtually everyone in the nation today speaks Spanish, most as a first but some as a second language. The regions with native non-Spanish languages are also internally the most linguistically diverse of Spain's regions.
In them, people who do not speak Spanish even as a second language are predictably older and live in remote areas. None of the regional languages has ever been in official use outside its home region and their speakers have used Spanish in national-level exchanges and in wide-scale commerce throughout modern times.
Under the democratic government that followed Franco's death inGallego, Basque, and Catalan have come into official use in their respective regions and are therefore experiencing a renaissance at home as well as enhanced recognition in the rest of the nation.Spain - Daily life and social customs: Daily life in early 21st-century Spain looks little different from that in other industrialized countries of the West.
There remain, however, some important practices that are peculiar to Spain. The most obvious, especially for foreign visitors, is the organization of the day and the scheduling of meals.
Spain is highly addictive and, while expats may occasionally complain, the vast majority wouldn’t dream of leaving and infinitely prefer life in Spain to their home countries.
Put simply, Spain is a great place to live (provided you don’t have to do business there). Mar 23, · Spain, which occupies a large portion of the Iberian Peninsula, was once ruled by the Romans, and later by the Visigoths and Moors of North Africa.
The Spanish would eventually colonize the Americas, reaping the riches of the New World. Presentation of Spain and the day to day life of Spaniards. CH/Spanish (3) fall only | Spanish Language and Culture Intensive course of initiation into Spanish and Spanish culture.
Spanish conquistadors, who were primarily poor nobles from the impoverished west and south of Spain, were able to conquer the huge empires of the New World with the help of superior military technology, disease (which weakened indigenous resistance), and military tactics including surprise attacks and powerful alliances with local tribes.
Despite the country’s problems, the Spanish enjoy one of the best lifestyles (and quality of life) of any European country and, indeed, any country in the world; in Spain work fits around social and family life, not vice versa.