Displaying Respect and Honor in Spain

In Spain two of the most respected jobs is a doctor and a teacher. 74% of the Spanish community that was surveyed said they respected teachers, while 81% of them respected doctors. Rodrigo Martín Hernández, President of Santa Cruz of Tenerife’s School of Doctors told The Local that “Medical professionals have scored high because they give much more importance to patients’ views and opinions than they used to do”.  This translates to doctors in Spain listening to the fellow citizens and attending to their health needs. Doctors in Spain did not used to do this as much, so now that they have started doing it, it has changed a lot of people’s perspective on them. “I’m surprised that teachers are rated so high in the CIS study, to be honest,” says Macarena, a high school teacher from Andalusia currently on maternity leave. The reasoning behind Macarena is that teachers are not respected, and the fellow community doesn’t appreciate what they do. People think that teachers have too much time off, but few people see the preparation that teachers put into their job. Teachers were surprised by the results of the survey, and are curious as to why they are not respected face to face.

Being a doctor in Spain is honored by getting paid very well, generally the higher the respected you are the more money you are paid for doing your job. Unfortunately for teachers this is not the case, because although teachers were highly respected according to the survey, they are not paid much at all. Considering the hours that are put in by teachers during the school year they are not being paid enough. I think that teachers should be respected more because they work very hard and education is one of the most important necessities that a community needs. The world as a whole cannot move forward without education.

One way of showing respect in Spain is to not make yourself standout. Being a part of a group and being a large contributor is highly respected. Family is very important in Spain, and families spend many hours with each other throughout the week. Respecting the elder is also a big part of respect. Respecting your elder’s means taking care of them, and making sure they are not lonely, and visiting them constantly. One way teachers will try to earn respect from families is by inviting them to school functions so that the teacher and family can meet and introduce each other.

In the United States doctors are also highly respected, this is because of the attention they give to their patients and making sure that they have good health. One job that is highly respected in the United States that isn’t in Spain is an astronaut. Astronauts are highly respected because they risk their lives going into space, a place where very few people in the world have been to. Although the survey says that teachers are respected in Spain, Spain could learn from the United States in this aspect because teachers are highly respected in the United States.

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Nonverbal Communication and Social Taboos of Spain

Nonverbal communication can be expressed in several different ways in each culture, in Spain nonverbal communication is used often and should be well understood before traveling there and expecting a in depth conversation with a citizen of Spain. Some ways to express nonverbal communication is by showing personal space, gestures, clothing, body movements, affection, and eye contact.

Affection is a common nonverbal way of communicating in Spain. Affection in shown greatly between family members and generally when greeting a family member you give them hugs or touching cheeks while making kissing noises. Spanish people typically stand closer to each other and touch each other more in conversation. This is much different than affection in the United States because in the U.S. people typically keep their distance while in conversation and generally do not touch each other unless saying good bye.

Spain relies heavily on body language, Spanish citizens will talk over each other when arguing, and will use different hand gestures to express their frustration. They will also distort there face to express their thoughts on the situation. The way you stand and give your message can sometimes have more meaning then the actual words you are speaking. In the United States this is basically the opposite, because most American citizens are straight forward and do not want to be misleading nor confusing.

Some taboo’s you should know before going to Spain can be key to getting along with citizens. A taboo is something you shouldn’t do, this could be a gesture of something as simple as a handshake. Using the “come here” gesture like Americans do when you stick out your index finger and curl it in, have a much different meaning in Spain. In Spain this insinuates sexual gestures, so instead of using one finger use your whole hand.

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Indirect v.s. Direct Communication Round 1

Every culture has indirect and direct style of communication. Communication style is how you talk to people of the same or opposite sex, your body language when you talk, how you react to certain situations, and how much emotion you show. Direct communication is when the speaker clearly relays his thoughts and opinion in his verbal message. Indirect communication is when information is gathered from more than the words spoken by the communicator. Understanding direct and indirect communication can be critical when entering a new culture. If a culture is primarily a direct style of communication then they will say exactly what they are thinking at that point in time. For example, if you took a bite out of a sandwich and said that the sandwich tastes good. If a culture is primarily an indirect style of communication then they will not say exactly how they feel about something, but will express it in different ways. For example, if you took a bite out of a sandwich and it tasted bad you would make a facial expression that made it seem like the sandwich tasted bad.

Spain is an indirect culture which means that they do not tell you how they feel immediately. They will use body language to show how they feel, or even possibly be misleading about how they feel. You may not know how they felt about something you did or say until weeks later depending upon how much time you spend with each other. When entering a culture with indirect communication you always want to be aware of what you’re saying, and watch others body language. By learning body language you can decode what people are actually thinking instead of what they are telling you. Another great way to adapt to an indirect culture is by spending lots of time with people that you will be around the most. By doing this you will figure out what does and doesn’t bother them. 

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Spain’s Culture, Age, and Gender

Spain is rich in culture and is considerably different then the United states. Spain speaks Spanish while the United States speaks English. These two languages have little in common, but due to immigration from Mexico into the United States fellow Americans are learning Spanish. Sports are always popular no matter what country you are talking about. Soccer also known as futbol is the most popular sport, but in the United States the most popular sport is Football, and can be argued that it is possibly even baseball. In the United States soccer is one of the most unpopular sports, an example of soccer being so unpopular that it is not even played at many high schools, and most colleges don’t have a soccer team.

The population for Spain is 47,042,984 while the United States population is 281,421,906. The United States has nearly six times more people then Spain does. The average age for Spain is 41 years old, while the United States average age is 37 years old. This means that both countries consist of middle aged people. Aspects of identity are not changing in the culture of Spain because the bordering countries are similar to Spain. So when people migrate into Spain there still in Europe so the culture is similar. One of the United States bordering country is Mexico. Mexico’s culture is completely different compared to the United States which means the culture is changing much more compared to Spain’s. The average male in Spain and the United states is three years younger than the average female.

Spain and the United States can learn a lot from each other. Especially when it comes to sports, soccer should be much more popular in the United States then it currently is. The predominant sport around the world is soccer, and the world cup is a great example of that. Majority of American’s are missing a key point when visiting other countries all over the world because most do not understand the game of soccer.

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