Spanish Etiquette

Just a few rules I’ve learned so far. I think it’s interesting to compare/contrast with/to American etiquette, or how there are some things on here we’d never even consider.

  1. Do not walk inside of a house barefoot. It’s considered very rude.
  2. Do not eat while walking. You will receive confused stares. (Fast food and eating on-the-go does not exist here.) Spaniards believe that there is always time to take a moment to eat. If you don’t have the time, then by golly, you make it!
  3. Do not say “sorry” too much. It annoys the Spaniards. They make fun of how often Americans apologize.
  4. Do not yawn. EVER!!!!!! (Very, very rude)
  5. Always let the older person take your seat on a bus if there are no seats available.
  6. Do not tip the waiter at a restaurant, or if you feel like you must, just round the change up.
  7. Ladies, ignore the catcalls. Whatever you do, do NOT talk back and risk making it worse.
  8. Never walk in the bike lane. The cyclists get really, REALLY annoyed (I learned the hard way!).
  9. If sharing a plate of food with a group of friends, do not eat the last piece. (I’ll talk more about this later. It’s actually a pretty big deal.)
  10. Do not stretch while engaged in a conversation with someone. It gives the impression that you’re bored with what they are saying & aren’t focused on them.
  11. If you enter a church, your shoulders and legs should be completely covered. It’s disrespectful otherwise.
  12. Do not switch your utensils in your hands while eating (opposite of proper table manners in the United States, where you are supposed to switch them).
  13. Don’t beat around the bush. Just get to your point, and be honest. (Painfully honest, if I might add.)
  14. When eating at a table, it’s considered rude to have one of your hands resting in your lap. Keep both hands visible. This is from back in the day when people used to carry weapons on them. It’d make everyone else nervous if someone had a hand in their lap, because you didn’t know if they were holding a weapon. People kept their hands above the table so that everyone could feel more relaxed. While the weapons are no longer an issue, the tradition of keeping your hands visible remains.

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