Before you begin working your way to foreign language fluency, it helps to understand the culture behind the language you’re learning. After all, language exists to help a group of people express their ideas and beliefs. Spain is an old country with a rich history and culture. As you begin your Spanish language program, gaining a strong grasp on this history, the values, and the etiquette will help you rapidly achieve success. In particular, there are many options for forming personal relationships in the Spanish speaking world.
Language barriers are a problem for any type of speaking, and those barriers can limit even normal conversations. Finding love, “buscar el amor,” will be walking in a field of thorns. The love arena in Spain and Latin America is shining. The Spaniards believe in the traditional love game where macho men are required to treat women with unblemished love, buy them chocolates and flowers, serenade them to sleep, and take them on romantic dinners. It is the kind of love that is portrayed in many Latin American and Spanish soap operas.
The classic love is depicted in the courtesies that women are accorded in Latin America. Men will open doors for women, pay for all expenses after a night out with a woman, and ensure that the woman gets home safe. This is a great love scene and the couples are happy as long as vices such as jealousy, sensitivity, and possessiveness do not become a problem. The happy times and the downsides of this love scene can be seen in most mariachi songs.
In the city, Latin Americans and Spaniards have joined online love hunting. Apps like Tinder and dating websites have given young Spaniards and Latin Americans a chance to find love. Even though online dating works, it is advisable to be careful as you may end up losing your identity to a stranger, lose your money, or in some cases, your life. Avoid dates interested in local-foreigners hook ups.
Perhaps the best way to hook up, “ligar,” is to create long lasting friendships at work, networking sites, and expat communities. From these connections, your friends will start introducing you to potential soulmates. This can be a good thing as pressure is taken off your first date when you dine and party in groups. Again, you expand your social circle.
Pride, honor, and machismo are essential things to have in Latin American and Spanish culture. Most Latin American countries have a macho stereotype mainly associated with men. The men should be decisive, strong, brave, and should always rise to the occasion when it comes to defending their families and country. This defense should come at all costs. Mariachi songs reinforce the macho stereotype by portraying a Spanish macho as a rebellious loner who lives by his own rules and answers to nobody, which sometimes leads to bad behavior such as objectifying women. Furthermore, it can lead to men being overly aggressive and demanding and not being able to handle feelings of rejection well. However, old-school macho men should be generous and have great respect for women, especially mothers and grandmothers.
Romantic compliments, or “piropos” in Spanish, was a way through which men used to communicate with their love interests. The primary way of delivery piropos was in written form, especially poetry. The practice is less common nowadays, aspects of the romantic nature of Spanish men is still evident from the manner in which they write their songs.
Casual sexism is prevalent across all divides of the Latin American and Spanish culture. Boys usually go out to play, and girls stay back at home to help with chores around the house. Women also have to look presentable at all times. Despite the machismo culture, it is mothers and grandmothers who run most home affairs ranging from taking care of the children to managing budgets and, in some cases, have a job at the same time.