CULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS OF SPAIN


General Characteristics of Agriculture, Industrial, and Information Age Culture

Local cultures (organized around rural communities or city-states)

  • Industrial Age:
  • National cultures (organized around the nation-state)

  • Information Age:
  • Globalization of cultures (organized around an increasingly interdependent world), creating surface level global unity along with deeper level local diversity of the world's cultures. Increased danger of localized cultural conflicts in post Cold War era--as people seek new identities and often return to old identities without sufficient recognition of global interdependence needs and dangers of war in a technological age. New non-localized virtual communities also emerging in cyberspace.

    Information/Data on Culture in Spain

    RELIGION

    Spain has historically been a Roman Catholic nation and 99 percent of the people are baptized members. All aspects of Spanish life are influenced by deep-rooted Catholic traditions. Freedom of religion was granted in the 1970s, opening the way for many Spaniards to begin joining other churches.

    FIESTAS AND TRADITIONS

    Fiestas play a major role in Spanish life. They are eagerly awaited and planned well in advance. Each city and region has its own special fiesta, often in honor of a patron saint. Activities associated with fiestas include processions, fireworks, dancing, bullfights, amusement attractions, and wearing regional costumes. The official national holidays include New Year's Day, Feast of San Jose (19 March), Holy Week and Easter, Labor Day (1 May), Corpus Christi, The King's Birthday (24 June), Santiago Day (25 June), National Day (6 December), Immaculate Conception (8 December), and Christmas. Christmas gifts are not opened until the Day of the Three Kings or Wise Men on 6 January.

    COMPETITIVE SPORTS AND THE 1992 OLYMPICS

    The development of sports at a primary level of education, with the help of the State and the Autonomous Communities, has resulted in a spectacular advance in competitive sports in Spain. Even the fact that the 1992 Olympics were held in Spain and the medals were won by Spaniards demonstrate the recognition of this new sports' potential and the support it has been given. In October 1990, the Sports Law was pased which defined the characteristics of professional and amateur sports and established a legal framework for professional clubs. The Olympic games in Barcelona have been the best games in history.

    Conclusions

    Spain has joined the Information Age as the Spanish culture has branched out and become increasingly interdependent with the world. A good example is how Spain has joined the European Union in 1986 to improve economic conditions and good will throughout the world.
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