Thoughts on Spanish stereotypes

Sorolla's painting at the Spanish Society Museum (New York City)

Sorolla’s painting at the Spanish Society Museum (New York City)

According to the Cambridge dictionary, a stereotype is ‘an idea that is used to describe a particular type of person or thing, or a person or thing thought to represent such an idea’.

People around the world think that Spanish people are bullfighters, flamenco dancers and spend all their time sleeping siestas.

Bullfighting is a tradition in several Spanish regions but, nowadays, it has critics and supporters alike.  Flamenco music is just another part of Spanish musical folklore. It’s very popular in the Southern region of Andalucia. But not everyone in Spain likes flamenco music. We have all sorts of wonderful music… pop, rock, soul… you name it, you can find every type of musician here. Not to mention famous tenors like Plácido Domingo or José Carreras who are also from Spain.

Although our working schedule is pretty different to the other Western countries, not everybody in Spain sleeps a siesta. We usually have two hours for lunch but we finish working later. The lucky ones who can sleep a siesta after lunch usually aren’t lazy; rather they take a healthy rest in the middle of a long working day.

Spanish people aren’t lazy. We are creative people. Literary Geniuses such as Miguel de Cervantes, Francisco de Quevedo, Calderón de la Barca, Luís de Góngora, Benito Pérez Galdós, Antonio Machado, Federico García Lorca, Camilo José Cela and Miguel Delibes were all from Spain.

Further evidence of our creativity is our painters like Pablo Ruiz Picasso, El Greco, Francisco de Goya, Salvador Dalí, Joaquín Sorolla…

We are hard working people. Spanish athletes such as the tennis player Rafa Nadal or the F1 star Fernando Alonso are famous around the whole world. Several Spanish basketball players are in the NBA (Pau and Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernández, Juan Carlos Calderon…)

Not forgetting soccer, the most popular sport in Spain. According to statistics Real Madrid is the best team ever, not forgetting that Our National Team is the current European and world champion.

Stereotypes aren’t always the best definition of a people or a place.

David Torija

davidtorija@hotmail.com

Acerca de David Torija

Economist and MBA. Business Development Manager, Advisor and Business Strategist. Passionate about Management, Finance, Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Writing and Public Speaking. Cross Cultural and Global Minded. Hard Worker. Entrepreneur. Optimistic, Enthusiastic: Always look on the bright side of life.
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