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13 Things Spaniards Are Proud of (and One That Embarrasses Us)

by Ana Bulnes May 8, 2015

1. Siesta.

Is it a stereotype? Yes. Have we tried it and loved it? No one can say we haven’t… And now that power-naps are a thing, we can even raise our hand and proudly declare that we already knew about them.

2. Our great inventions: everything is better if you attach a stick to it!

Chupa-chups, mops, foosball… are wheels really the best thing Humanity has ever made? The greatest advances involved sticks!

3. Rafa Nadal (and every athlete who is suddenly number one).

Pau Gasol! Fernando Alonso! Our Golden Girls! Miguel Indurain! Our national soccer team when they started winning!

4. The twelve grapes on New Year’s Eve.

Because beginning new year without choking, spitting out grapes to your relatives during a laugh attack, or discussing the bell strike’s speed, is not an acceptable way of starting the year.

5. Cervantes.

Does it matter that most Spaniards have never read El Quijote? Of course not! The one-handed man of Lepanto managed to place La Mancha on the map of World Literature. The best part? Now that we seem to have found his bones, we could build a grave and have a new place to pilgrim to!

6. Spanish!

It’s the world’s second language in terms of its number of native speakers. Dear Chinese, we’re coming after you.

7. Our other languages!

Yeah, we have Spanish, but it’s not enough. We have more. We even have language no one knows where it came from. Aren’t we cool?

8. Chocolate con churros.

If the spoon sinks into the hot chocolate it means it’s too liquid. And what would we have for breakfast on New Year’s Day to overcome our hangover? Tea?

9. Being able to dunk our cookie/cake/churro in our milk/coffee/hot chocolate in public without being judged by it.

Some pleasures shouldn’t be clandestine.

10. Every landscape in just 500,000 square km.

Beaches, mountains, desert landscapes, green landscapes, a warm sea, a cold ocean, wetlands, woods… do you need more?

11. The fact that it’s normal to go out to drink a few beers in the middle of the week.

We created afterworks.

12. Family comes first.

We don’t understand why people in other countries are in such a hurry to leave their parents’ place (before 30? they’re crazy!), and find boring any family meeting with less than 20 people.

13. Tortilla de patatas.

Nothing makes us prouder than cooking tortilla for foreign friends and see their expression change with pleasure and surprise when they taste it. With or without onion, let’s not start that discussion.

And one that embarrasses us: the real estate bubble

The Imperial Spanish conquerors great “deeds”? Having kicked all the Jews and Muslims out of the country? The Inquisition? Our level of English? Our lack of productiveness? Nonsense. What we are really ashamed of is the real state bubble and looking ridiculous in front of the world. And our politicians, sure. But that goes without saying.

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