Today’s post is from Brigitte Seoane. Born and raised in Germany, Brigitte now lives in Barcelona and has both lived and experienced how different we can perceive other cultures. Thanks to her family background as well as intercultural communication classes Brigitte will share her unique insight into this subject and she will write a couple of posts for us about cultural differences.
Germany and Spain: So uniquely…different!
Even though only 2468Km separate Berlin from Madrid, the countries Germany and Spain are often extremely different. Despite the fact that people tend to stereotype, there really are several cultural differences between the north and the south of Europe that are based on historical happenings, religion and also simply: the weather!
To understand some of the behaviors, it is important to take a look back into the history.
Spain on one hand, parts from a very catholic background, which puts huge importance on collectivism, family and tradition. Have you ever thought about the Spanish word for wife? – Esposa…esposar= handcuff. Which leads to the stereotype of male chauvinism (machismo) in the latin culture.
Germany on the other, has experienced religious conflicts throughout its history that led to the creation of Protestantism, which is based on the belief that the protestant is alone before God (personal faith), which in some cases justifies the more individualistic (introspective) thinking of Germans.
But again, one can not generalize this for every aspect.
Germany, for example is a very collective country when it comes to social help and security. You would need to have 11 children in Spain, in order to receive the amount of help you get in Germany with only one child!
Funny enough, it already starts with our eating habbits. A German will never understand how a Spaniard can have dinner at 11pm in the night (in Germany dinner time is around 8pm).
In my next post, you will find more of these sometimes strange but interesting examples and stereotypes between España and Deutschland!
Have you experienced any cultural differences? We want to hear about it!
Related courses and posts:
Ten Strategies for Effective Cross-Cultural Communication
Communication skills courses
Interpersonal skills courses
Personal development courses