Cultural differences are everywhere. Some should be embraced while maybe others should be left behind. Katelin and I have loved noticing and talking about the cultural differences between the US and Sevilla.

  1. Family: almost always the kids go to the university in the city they grew up in, live at home till they’re 30, and when they move out, they try and move next door.
  2. Meal times: the Spanish lunch is usually around 2:30pm and dinner usually does not happen until after 930 pm. In the summer, sometimes you won’t eat until 11pm.
  3. Sense of personal space and respect: don’t expect a “sorry” after someone bumps into you or decides to stand so close to you that they’re breathing down your neck.
  4. Staring: Sevillianos have no problems staring at you for as long as they want for no reason.
  5. Affection: greetings consist of a kiss on either cheek. After only one day after meeting our Spanish parents, they always kiss us on the cheeks/forehead and tell us we’re “beautiful” every time we leave the house.
  6. Siesta: yes it’s true, the city completely shuts down from 2-5pm; you could not find one restaurant or store open during those hours, and kids even leave school for siesta and return to their classes after siesta.
  7. Parking and the value of cars: people have no problem bumping the car in front of them and behind them to fit into a tight spot… Check every car in Sevilla and you’ll see the front and back bumper have a few scratches to prove it. Also, if you park in front of a bar, people are likely to use your car as a table or holder for their beer or coat.
  8. Social Life: People love to have fun and go out all night. There is not such a stress on work and performance. Our 60 year old professor casually told us the night before our class he was out till 3 eating dinner with friends, and that’s a normal night.

After a full week, we’re beginning to adjust and get accustomed to the life of a Sevilliano. We’re writing down our observations, experiences and some of our favorite recipes of Luisa’s and we’re excited to post more about the food and culture of Spain.

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