03 Feb Spanish Culture: How it’s like to live in Madrid
In recent years, Madrid has elevated itself to an important business hub in Europe. With the rise or startups and foreign businesses settling in Madrid, aspects of the original Hispanic Spanish culture have begun to fade to make way for new customs. For example, the traditional Spanish “siesta’”, a short nap taken at the beginning of the afternoon, has taken a backseat to the full working day, as Madrilenians become increasingly busy.
Nevertheless, there is still much of the Spanish culture very well-rooted in the city. No matter how busy the workday may get, you’re still sure to catch many Madrilenians meeting their friends and family to blow off steam over a glass of sangria and some tapas. Like much of Spanish culture, tapas encourage social interaction, where the meal revolves around sharing both good food and conversation. To make it simple, tapas can be thought of as a sort of Spanish appetizer, served either hot or cold. Tapas are so strongly anchored in the Spanish culture, they even invented the verb “tapear”, meaning to go and eat tapas with your friends. In our opinion, it may be the best verb ever created…
Common tapas, such as “aceitunas” (olives filled with anchovies or red pepper), “chopitos” (fried squid), “empanadillas” (stuffed bread filled with meats and vegetables) or “queso con anchoas” (traditional cheese topped with anchovies) are staples in Spanish cuisine and should definitely not be missed!
You’ve probably also heard of “sangria” and may brush it off as just another variation of red wine. But did you know the typical Spanish beverage contains not just red wine, but is also infused with sliced fruits and topped off with a hint of brandy? Where the brandy is a real kick to the taste buds, the fruit adds a pleasant sweetness. There’s really no limit to the different fruity flavors you may find in sangria. From citrus to pineapple to kiwi, there’s sure to be a flavor to suit everyone’s taste buds. But, just to be safe, you should probably try them all!
There’s a lot you can learn from the Spanish culture, but we believe the core values of generosity, sharing and open-mindedness are truly what makes Madrid shine. Even better, you’ll find the typical “barrier” between colleagues is much smaller in Spain thanks to their fun-loving spirit and friendly ways. Just the same as social situations, Spaniards value openness and friendliness in the workplace. You’ll find a strong sense of community among colleagues, as Spaniards truly like to know with whom they are working. That being said, don’t be surprised if you get asked a few personal questions in the workplace! Don’t be alarmed they are only curious and want to get to know you as a person. Above all, Spanish core values revolve around trust and strong relationship-building.
Want to read another Spain related blog post? – Check out our guide about how to make the most out of the Madrid nightlife. In this post we discuss how the locals are enjoying a night out and where the best tapas bars and night clubs are in the city.
Related and Recommended Posts:
Photo credits: Photo by Marcus Hansson, CC-BY-2.0