Spanish stereotypes

Spaniards are lazy siesta lovers who do too much fiesta. Britons are unsophisticated cheap tourists who drink inordinately. Stereotypes are the best reflection of one’s fears and complexes.

These are the most grotesque stereotypes or stupid stereotypes about Spain that I’ve read:

  • ..For quite a time, Spain was one of the few countries where an actor of note would have sooner faced a bull than a play a gay. Almodovar (sic) at least changed all that […] Gerardo Vera’s film looks at the Spanish psyche under stress in the new morality
    Alexander Walker, about “Second Skin”, Evening Standard—Hot Tickets, 2 February 2001
  • …According to a survey carried out by Water UK, [...] tourists from Malaysia, Burma, Mexico and Spain said that they never drink tap water at all [at home. Water UK (the representative body for the UK water industry) in “British Tap Water Top with Tourists”, www.water.org.uk, 5 April 1999
  • ...In 1649, with the king [Charles I] dead, the time had come for parliament [during the Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell] to draw a line under the civil war and liquidate the assets of the monarchy. With the help of his ambassador in London, the Spanish king secured some of the best works on offer. A sizeable portion of Charles I’s collection became the basis for the Prado museum, including such gems as The Virgin and St Elizabeth with Jesus and the Infant St John the Baptist by Raphael, and Titian’s Emperor Charles V with a Hound. Muriel Zagha’s “The puritan paradox”, The Guardian—Saturday Review, 19 February 2002
  • …Tourists walking along the beaches of Spain this summer should watch where they step, especially between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. They might disturb the world’s oldest activity. Local police have deemed this time slot a happy hour in the truest sense — the time set aside for young people to have sex on the beach. Traditional Spanish families will see the new happy hour in one of two ways: a blasphemous slap in the face to a devoutly religious population, or a chance for their hormone-crazed family members to get out of the house and sow some wild oats. Jack Boulware, in “Spain’s happy hour for sex. Local beaches to test a lights-out period every night”, www.salon.com, 1 May 2000
  • …A trip to the king’s Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid turns up many surprises. It is a modest modern hunting lodge with a modern extension. The royal family’s living area is smaller than that enjoyed by some second-ranking WindsorsGiles Tremlett, in “Common touch and lack of flummery keep sleaze and scandal at bay”, The Guardian, 14 April 2001 Siesta is one of the major contributions of Spanish culture to the world. […] The real siesta takes place in bed and in pyjamas [..] Siesta is quite a serious activity. Anonymous, in “Spanish culture”, spanishculture.about.com, 19 April 2001
  • North America (sic) owes much to the vision of its early settlers, while Spain’s legacy in Latin America is too many bureaucrats and not enough love. Miranda Fance in Spanish ties, about Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire by Hugh Thomas, The Guardian, 7 February 2004
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