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Index1. What is a ‘cliché’?2. Are true the clichés about Spain?3. First cliché: Spain is different4. Second cliché: Spain is Africa5. Third cliché: We love bullfighting6. Fourth cliché: It’s warm all year round7. Fifth cliché: In Spain people usually talk very loudly8. Sixth cliché: It’s cheap to live in Spain9. Bibliography
What is a ‘cliché’? A ‘cliché’ is anstereotypistic idea of acountry, a community,a job or another part ofthe social realitywhich is not alwaystrue.
Are true the clichés about Spain?There are a lot of clichés about Spain andSpaniards: it’s always sunny and hot; we all sleepthe ‘siesta’; all the Spanish people lovebullfighting and flamenco; we are so lazy; wespeak very loudly… Even though there are some of them that arereally true, others are completely false. We aregoing to talk about the truthfulness.
First cliché: Spain is different It’s true that Spain, in spite of being a developed country,it has its particularities: its economy is strongly based ontourism; its history is independent from European history… So, if you think about this cliché, you’ll draw your ownconclusions.
Second cliché: Spain is Africa Secondly, let’s talk aboutthe location of Spain.Spain is an Europeancountry located in thesouthwest zone of Europe.That’s just something onecan see in any map. Maybe, people think thisbecause Spain is veryclose to Morocco.
Third cliché: We love bullfighting Bullfighting is the most traditional of Spanish Fiestas, but lately some people who defend the animal rights demonstrate against this celebration. So, not all the Spaniards love bullfighting.Moreover, some regions ofSpain (Catalonia, forexample) have forbiddenthis kind of celebrations.
Fourth cliché: It’s warm all year round The climate of Spain variesacross the country. There is amix between Mediterranean,oceanic and semi-aridclimates. In summer, it’s very hot. The average temperature is about 86º K (30ºC).
In these maps we cansee the temperaturesaccording to touristiczones and regions. However, in winter,more in the inlandthan in the coast, thetemperatures are verycold. It usually snowsor freezes.
Fifth cliché: In Spain people usually talk very loudly Spanish people have a bad reputation for talking very loudlyand being unpolite. In one hand, this is a reality, because inSpain we are quite careless when we talk but, in the other hand,this happens because of our accent. Here we have a recordingexample of rural Spanish accent. (click here) So, if you are foreign maybe the people voice level is going to surprise you.
Sixth cliché: It’s cheap to live in Spain This is completely true. If we compare thecost of living of the developed Europeancountries, we’ll discover that Spain is oneof the cheapest countries of the EU alongwith Hungry, Portugal, Greece, Bulgariaand Poland.
For example, if we compare the price of a Combo meal atMcDonalds, we have the next figures: Ireland Greece Norway Poland Germany Morocco Spain 7.00€ 6.00€ 12.28€ 3.89€ 6.00€ 5.00€ 6.50€ Also, one can see the difference in monthly moneynecessary for food per person (assuming 31 day per month): Ireland Greece Norway Poland Germany Morocco Spain 235.9€ 183.8€ 372€ 113.1€ 200.5€ 111.3€ 163.9€ We have to consider the salary differences between thesecountries but, for a tourist who is visiting Spain, the daily lifewould problably seem to him cheap.
There are more clichés; some are completely absurd (Spaniards wear Mexican ‘sombreros’); but others are quite veracious:• We all sleep ‘siesta’: it’s true that a lot of people in Spain love it.• Spanish people dance ’sevillanas’ and sing ’flamenco’: these genres are mainly spread around Andalusia, but not all the Spaniards dance flamenco. • Spanish people are always drinking ‘sangria’: to be honest, most Spaniards prefer a good wine or beer. The tourists are actually the only ones who drink sangria compulsively.
Bibliography Some interesting webs where I have found the information are:• http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/• http://www.eyeonspain.com/spain- magazine/top-cliches.aspx• http://mybeautifuladventures.com/2011/04/04/g uest-post-top-7-spanish-cliches/ If you are interested in this topic, you will find information about it on the Net.