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Curiosidades culturales

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by natasha2000, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Hola,

    A ver si me explico bien...
    Muchas veces, las costumbres y la manera de expresar algun sentimiento, así como el comportamiento de personas en unas situaciones específicas no son iguales dependiendo de país donde estés. A veces, estas diferencias llevan a malendendidos, malintrepretación del comportamiento de otro, incluso a veces, a enfrentamientos, si las partes no son tolerantes.

    Daré unos ejemplos, para hacerlo más claro.

    1. En España, es muy normal dar dos besos a la persona que acabas de conocer en el ambito privado. En el trabajo menos, pero también. Los españoles dan besos a sus amigos o familiares cada vez que los vean, como bienvenida y como despedida, aunque vean a este amigo/familiar todos los días. En mi país, Serbia, eso no es usual, y en especal, si acabas de conocer a alguien, o te acaban de presentar a alguien. Nos damos los besos (tres, no dos!) sólo a amigos y familiares, pero cuando ya ha pasado mucho tiempo sin verlos, o cuando nos despedimos pque alguien se va, o sea, en unas situaciones muy especiales y con cierto peso emocional. En ocasiones cuando acabamos de conocer a alguien, o nos presentan a alguien, damos la mano, con la frase típica: Mucho gusto.... Y cuando nos despedimos, o con amigos y familiares que vemos cada día, decimos sólo: Adiós, Hasta luego, Buenos días...o lo que sea, pero sin ningún tipo de contacto físico. Cuando llegué a España, me sientía un poco incómoda con tener que dar tantos besos, además, como no tenía la costumbre, supongo que alguna gente me consideraba mal educada, o demasiado fría.... Ahora, depués de llevar 5 años aquí, cuando me voy a Serbia, me resulta muy raro que la gente no se de besos al conocerse....

    2. En Bulgaria, la gente, cuando dice SI, o sea cuando está de acuerdo con algo, hace un gesto con la cabeza como si dijera NO, o sea mueve l cabeza de un lado a otro. En Serbia (como en la mayoría de los países, supongo) cuando se dice SI, se hace un gesto con la cabeza moviendola de arriba para abajo. Podéis imaginar la confusión que se puede producir.....:D

    Si alguien sabe algun ejemplo más, me gustaría saberlo, ya que encuentro ese tipo de diferencias culturales fascinantes...

    Podéis contestar en inglés también...
    Saludos a todos
    Natasha
     
  2. Nenita84

    Nenita84 Senior Member

    España / español
    Hola!!

    Pues sí, la verdad es que hay muchísimas cosas que "chocan" cuando estás en un país extranjero o cuando convives con gente de otro país, sin necesidad de que sea muy lejano.

    Tienes razón que en España somos muy besucones, enseguida, nos presentan a alguien y le plantamos dos besos en las mejillas. Entiendo que al principio te sintieras incómoda... Yo, siendo española, cuando comencé a tratar con frecuencia con gente extranjera, se me hacía raro que no me dieran ni dos besos...

    En Francia y en Suiza (o al menos entre los francosuizos) también es normal dar tres besos como en tu Serbia natal y en Bélgica, es típico dar cuatro besos, aunque bueno, creo que sólo cuando hay mucha mucha confianza.

    Desconocía el hecho de que los búlgaros asintieran con el movimiento de cabeza que nosotros usamos para asentir,¡¡nunca te acostarás sin saber una cosa más :D!!

    Otra cosa que también me ha llamado la atención de mis estancias en el extranjero, es lo ruidosísimos que somos los españoles y lo bajito que me parecía a mi que hablaban todos los que no eran de España ;)

    Bueno, continuaré leyendo este "thread" para enterarme de más cosillas y no meter la pata ;)

    Saludos (mejor me abstengo de mandar besos)
     
  3. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Gracias por responder... Y me puedes mandar besos:D , ya estoy acostumbradísima, jajajaj como ya he dicho, ahora la gente de mi país me parece rara...
    Lo de franceses, lo sé, cuatro... Y nosotros tres...
    Efectivamente, los búlgaros hacen eso... En Serbia, tenía una vecina búlgara que se casó con un serbio, y en principio, nos volvía locos a todos... Te escuchaba, decía "si, si, entiendo..." y moviendo la cabeza como diciendo "NO".... Luego se acostumbró ella, nos acostumbramos nosotros... En fin... A ver si alguien más conteste, que me intriga muchisimo este tema...
    Un beso. (jejejej)
     
  4. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    Natasha, con tu permiso y con todo respeto, ofrezco una traducción de tu primer post al inglés.
    Tal vez encontrarán problemas o harán mejoras a mi traducción (la palabra "familiares" me costó trabajo)... les doy un beso de bienvenido. :)

    Kissing has been discussed previously in this forum: in Arabic, on the lips

    Body language has also been discussed: body language, British demonstrations of affection

    In Mexico, it's not two or three kisses, but one kiss.... on the cheek. Acceptable for women to give and receive, for men to give to and receive from women (but not so acceptable for 2 men to kiss hello or goodbye on the cheek).

    In the U.S., typically, people don't kiss their freinds or acquaintances just for hello or goodbye. We must be very cold. ;)
     
  5. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Gracias por traducir mi post al inglés, me daba pereza escribirlo dos veces:eek: .... familiares son family, family members.... No es acquaintance. Acquaintance es un conocido, la persona que no conoces mucho, que no es tu amigo.
    Por otro lado, creo que no me has entendido bien, es que lo de besos es sólo un ejemplo de diferencias culturales que existen. También doy otro ejemplo con búlgaros y su forma gesticular de decir SI. A eso me refiero. Así que, los besos en particular, no me interesan, al menos si no haya alguna costumbre especial que pueda provocar malentendidos entre dos personas pertenecientes a dos culturas diferentes...
    And Americans do kiss each other... I see it all the time in movies... I think they kiss each other in a pretty simmilar way as Serbians... When they want to express some strong emotion, when they want to say I love you to a family member or to a friend, but not all the time, like Spanish people...
     
  6. kiro Senior Member

    UK / English
    Viéndolo desde la otra cara de la moneda, aquí van tres "curiosidades culturales" que una amiga de España me había comentado después de su estancia aquí en el Reino Unido. ;)

    1. La gente nunca se besa ni se abraza, :arrow: a menos que esté borracha.

    2. Parece existir una fijación rara con las palabras "please", "thank you" y "sorry" ...algo tan simple como comprar un periódico en la tienda de la esquina va a requerir al menos 3 o 4 "thank you". Por otro lado, si alguien se choca contigo en la calle, al levantarte del suelo no dices palabrotas, más bien un humilde "sorry", como si fuera toda culpa tuya.

    3. En los pubs y bares, los hombres ingleses vigilan sus pintas de cerveza como si fueran bombas a punto de estallar ...nunca intentes separar a un inglés de su cerveza: ¡puede resultar muy peligroso!

    Tengo que admitir que estoy más o menos de acuerdo con las tres observaciones. :p
     
  7. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Si, eso también creo yo...
    Hay algo en la cerveza que hace a los ingleses volverse locos...
    Otra curiosidad que presencié yo, y que se refiere a los ingleses, es cuando trabajaba en la recepción de un hotel... Vino un grupo de ingleses jovenes, no más de 22 años, unos 15-20 chicos, deportistas. Estuvieron en Barcelona 3 días, y los primeros dos días enteros pasaron en el bar del hotel, hasta que bebieron toda la cerveza, y por lo tanto tuve que echarles del bar. La tercera noche pasaron al english pub más cercano, y siguieron igual... A mi me extrañó muchisimo este comportamiento, siendo unos chicos jovenes, uno diría que unos chicos de su edad comerían una ciudad como Barcelona, irían a las discotecas, bares, no estarían ni un minuto más de lo necesario en el hotel.. Pero no era así... Pero aunque borrachos como una cuba, no dejaron de ser muy polite, diciendo muchas veces sorry, please etc. cuando les decía que no griten tanto a las 12 de la noche ya que hay gente que quiere dormir...
     
  8. asm Senior Member

    New England, USA
    Mexico, Spanish
    I have been in the USA for more than 4 years; never seen two Americans kissing to each other (when greeting). My students say that is a tradition they do not use at all (I live in "the south"). I certantly see people doing so in movies, but never in real life.

    An obvious difference is the manage of time. We have arrieved one or two minutes late to some events just to know that the "performance" was 10 minutes ago. When I go to church to the American service they start a couple of minutes before the "official" time; when I go to the Hispanic service, they start 10-15-12-8-5 (????) minutes late.

    Other difference, in Mexico, when someone in the audience sneezes, EVERYBODY says (as a choir) SALUD; everything is stopped until the last person says SALUD. Here, when that happens, nobody says anything (not even the BLESS YOU that you see in the dictionary.


    Salud(os)
     
  9. el alabamiano Senior Member

    Alabama
    Around here for relatives and close acquaintances, it's usually hello/goodbye hugging for female<->female and male<->female, but men almost always shake hands -- exceptions being "Long time, no see!" or at a funeral or something.

    As for sneezing, women usually say, "Bless you!" or "My goodness!" Men either say, "Yeah, okay." or "Alright." or nothing at all while looking elsewhere.
     
  10. irisheyes0583 Senior Member

    San José, Costa Rica
    English (USA)
    Well first I'd like to say that I always say "Bless you!" when someone sneezes: at the grocery store, at the office, etc. Second, I do in fact kiss my friends in greeting. More often when I haven't seen someone in awhile, but I kiss friends on the cheek (one time) relatively often when I see them. Also, I am fortunate enough to see my parents everyday & we kiss hello & goodbye daily.

    Now, another cultural curiosity is the "personal space" issue. I guess this is related to the "American coldness" ;) mentioned eariler, but we like our "bubble" of personal space! I distinctly remember one day when I was studying in Brazil: I was having an animated conversation with my professor and our conversation started out on one side of the school and ended about 50 feet down the hall! My friend later told me how striking our interaction had been: in Brazilian (and, in my experience, Latino) culture, people have much less personal space than in the USA. Therefore, my professor was unconsciously stepping closer to me to a point where he was comfortable, at which point I would back up to my comfort level. Eventually, he had gotten me to back up all the way down the hallway! :) From then on, I've always been conscious of not only what I say, but how I say it and how I'm interacting with the other speaker... it's very interesting!
     
  11. nanel Senior Member

    Madrid (Spain)
    Spain (Spanish)
    It isn't just about culture, it also happened to me with my fencing teacher once! Some people need a bigger space than others, but it's true that latinos always get closer than non-latinos.
     
  12. chula Junior Member

    Guatemala
    Aqui les cuento algo que me ha pasado desde mi estadía en Austria.
    En Guatemala, como en algunos países de Latinoamerica, si llegas a una casa de visita y te ofrecen algo de comer o beber y quieres ser educado, debes decir que no. La anfitriona o anfitrión te seguirá ofreciendo cosas hasta que digas que si, por educación y eso tú lo sabes.
    Aqui en Austria, un no, es un no. Imagínense con el hambre o la sed que yo me quedaba cuando por educada decía que no y me esperaba entonces toda la noche a que me volvieran a ofrecer!! :)))
    Lo curioso es que ahora que regreso a mi país me han dicho que suy muy directa y aveces hasta pesada, pero díganme, qué puedo hacer? :))))
     
  13. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    What about the bidet? What do you use it for, if you use it? In Spain we have them in every bathroom, but we hardly ever use it (well, I only use it to cut my nails). When I shared a flat, I learned from an Italian the primary use of it, which before I would have never guessed.
     
  14. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Chula, lo mismo pasaría a un Serbio! En mi país, también es de buena educación si el invitado se deja invitar a comer varias veces por el anfitrión... Eso sí que es una diferencia cultural que, si no la conoces, puede dejar consecuencias muy graves - pasar hambre toda la noche... jajaja.
    Saludos
     
  15. Fernando Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain, Spanish
    Spanish traditional lunch

    In a Spanish traditional house the housewife will offer you a lunch with twice the dishes you would expect.

    When you eat it is unpolite not to "repetir"(to ask for more). Otherwise you are showing you do not like the meal.

    When you are on the verge of blowing up, you discover that the MAIN course (let us say, a half-kilo steak) was not on the table, but has appeared now. And yes, you have to "repetir".

    After the desserts you HAVE TO taste a very special local one-meter-diameter cake. Of course it is an insult not to "repetir".

    The best thing is that after every repetition you are offered one more repetititon (let us call it threepitition). You have to say no several times, but your dish is filled again anyway.

    Meanwhile, the housewife is suffering because:

    1) She has cooked much less meal that she ought to.

    2) You have only eaten half the meal on the table, dishonouring her, her children and her children's children.

    Luckily, after the meal you can sit and have a liter coffee. But do not relax too much. It is 9 o'clock. Dinner time!
     
  16. gian_eagle

    gian_eagle Senior Member

    Peru - Castellano
    Hace poco estuve en Inglaterra y ya sabía que los ingleses son tan o más fríos (al menos en cuestión de besos y abrazos) como los estadounidenses. Si me acostumbré a no dar tanto beso y tratar más friamente a la gente, aunque me daba pena cuando iba a la iglesia (católica) y sólo estrechaba la mano, porque generalmente iba con alguien conocido y ya no hacía eso más. En Suiza, es cierto, se dan 3 besos, también estuve ahi y me pareció algo raro también.

    Cuando regresé a mi país, Perú, al comienzo era frío y después me readapte a la calidez que hay en latinoamérica. Realmente lo prefiero así, porque a veces uno quiere demostrar lo que siente a las personas que le importan. :)
     
  17. tigger_uhuhu

    tigger_uhuhu Senior Member

    mexico city
    spanish-mx ct
    En México, como han citado que pasa en Inglaterra, no usar las palabras de cortesía (por favor, gracias, lo siento, etc) te hacen acreedor a un lugar en el círculo de los mal educados y groseros (entiendo que no es lo mismo en otros lugares), el uso abundante de ellas te hacen acreedor a un lugar en el círculo de los inseguros. ¡Vaya lío!
    Puedes dar beso a todas las mujeres que conozcas, pero nunca de hombre a hombre... a menos de que sean familia cercana.
    Como hombre no puedes salir a tomar un café con un amigo... eso es "raro", pero sí con una amiga. Con un amigo puedes salir a tomar una cerveza... pero no con una amiga, ella sería una cualquiera (entre mujeres si pueden hacerlo)...
    En la cd. de México usar las luces direccionales (cuando conduces) para dar vuelta o para cambiar de carril es casi como decir a los otros conductores: ¡¡¡hey, no me dejen pasar!!!. Poner las luces intermitentes (preventivas) es como decirles: ¡¡¡hey, soy un tonto manejando!!! (Esto es así, pero yo prefiero decirles no me dejen pasar o soy un tonto:eek:
    :)
     
  18. gian_eagle

    gian_eagle Senior Member

    Peru - Castellano
    Que curioso, Tigger. Al menos aquí en Perú, en la capital, normal puedo salir con un amigo o amigos (hombres) a tomar un cafe y no necesariamente chela/cerveza.

    Jeje, si me han dicho que es caótico manejar en México. Me imagino que te debe sacar canas de tanto estresarte.
     
  19. valerie Senior Member

    France, French & Spanish
    Me contó un amigo que trabaja aqui en España en una empresa francesa que se rien siempre mucho con los franceses que vienen a trabajar un tiempo, y se empeñan cada mañana a saludar a toda la gente de la oficina dandoles la mano, cuando aquí se suele hacer unicamente cuando conoces a una persona nueva. Por la mañana un saludo es suficiente, o un golpecito en la espalda si estais tomando cafe.

    Por otra parte estoy de acuerdo con Nenita sobre las diferencias en el nivel de ruido aceptable en España y en el resto del mundo. Son varios años que estoy en España y no me acostumbro a los comedores donde no puedes charlar con el que se sienta en frente de tí. Para mi es un misterio:confused:
     
  20. BCN New Member

    SPAIN
    Fernando, That's not exactly this way, if you don't "repetir!" nothing happens, at least in my house
     
  21. nanel Senior Member

    Madrid (Spain)
    Spain (Spanish)
    Same happens in my house. Nobody has to "repetir" if they don't want to.
     
  22. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    Valerie
    .

    You certainly haven't come to Brasil yet, otherwise you'd believe people can be even louder.Add to all that noise, songs playing louder than all the voices together in a bar, you'll get a pretty idea. :D Actually, the more I read here about latinos in Spain, in Argentina, in Mexico, in all other 'latinos' countries I conclude we are so alike!
     
  23. Fernando Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain, Spanish
    Nanel & BCN: As I said, I was talking about my personal experience in several traditional houses (including my mother's). Of course I was exaggerating, but not too much.

    And please, invite me for lunch!;)
     
  24. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Warwick
    UK English
    A big thing here is tea / coffee which on a functional level seem to have taken the place that besos en la mejlla or hugs have in other places. If you go to someone's house, somebody will say to be polite, would you like a cup of tea or coffee? The expected answer is yes. If you say no, people will feel slightly put out as though you are rejecting their hospitality. If you conform with the ritual, nobody will mind if you don't actually drink what you have been offered but will feel more comfortable if you have gone along with the script.

    Another thing you will find is that the English are often hopeless at saying goodbye. If you go to someone's house they will stand around on the doorstep and not really know how to end the transaction. Again I wonder whether it is to do with kisses and hugs still being a bit too scary for many people. Occasionally this drives me up the wall. If only people could get their heads round doing a proper despedida!!
     
  25. tigger_uhuhu

    tigger_uhuhu Senior Member

    mexico city
    spanish-mx ct
    Pues como en México el "macho" no toma café con los amigos sino algúna bebida alcohólica, decir "voy a tomar un café con un amigo" suena un tanto cuanto gay :D Es común, más no es ley que nadie lo haga...
    Y en verdad, si quieres vivir una experiencia que te ponga la adrenalina a 1000 (más que la montaña rusa) puedes tratar de manejar en la ciudad de México :eek:
     
  26. gian_eagle

    gian_eagle Senior Member

    Peru - Castellano
    Mmm... en ese sentido creo que depende del lugar donde se venga. Quizás hay otras expresiones para decir "tomar un café con un amigo (hombre)" pero no se como lo dirán en otros países. Decir: "¿Vamos a tomar(nos) algo?" significa necesariamente tomar/beber alcohol?

    Por otro lado, sé que en inglés si dices "Do you want to have a drink?" implica necesariamente "tomar una chela/cerveza". Ahí si hay que decir "Do you want to have a coffee"... o sino (al menos en UK) se dice, Let's go to the Pub (ahí sirven tanto cafés como chelas). :)

    Saludos!
     
  27. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    Actually, I find that here (US, specifically New York) people do hug and kiss quite often when greeting each other. It would seem very forward upon meeting someone for the first time, but when running into a friend for the first time in a few days, women often hug and kiss each other, and women and men do the same. (Men tend to hug only family and close friends, and kiss only family.)

    'Tis the season for holiday parties at work, and there are at least a million of them in the same week at my university. When I go, I end up kissing (cheek or air next to the cheek) women whom I know well or with whom I've worked. Women whom I just see in the halls now and then just smile and say hello, or wave from across the room. The vice-president (female) greeted me at the last party with a kiss on the cheek -- now THAT was unexpected, but we have gone out after work together (with a large group of people).

    I'm not always comfortable with so much kissing -- after all, it seems to lose its warmth if you do it with everyone -- but it's often expected, it seems.
     
  28. swift_precision Senior Member

    US/English

    Ehhh...yea when I went to New York I didn't see any of my friends kissing their family members. I would say that for the typical New York male that would seem a bit strange and also where I'm from that would seem strange too. Although I don't mind kissing my mom and my baby sis! :D :)
     
  29. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    :) Tenemos la misma cosa aqui en Egipto. Debemos ofrecer muchas veces y repetir y insistir... Pero yo prefiero el stilo europeo o americano : un si es un si, y un no es no. Es mas facil :)
     
  30. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Well, Vanda and Valerie maybe you should come to visit Egypt some day :D Just to find who's louder :)) We had some French friends to a restaurant here, in Alexandria, the poor girls had a terrible headache while we didn't feel there's anything strange :) It's from that day that I started noticing how loud we can be.
    It's curious how we, Egyptians, have so much in common with Latinos. Mediterranean ties maybe ?
     
  31. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    Well, there was a time when we all took part in the same Mediterranean culture, under the Roman rule, and during the Middle Ages we had much trade between our countries. I'm sure that french people from Marsaille will be quite noisy as well.
     
  32. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    You must be right. You also reminded me of our "neighbors" : the Italians and the Greeks (they're no less noisy than us :) and they, too, use their hands a lot while talking)
     
  33. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    That is exactly ehat I felt when I came to live in Spain... At first I had the feeling that everybody liked me so much, and then I realized that they do because of politeness... And then I was confused, because kissing and hugging in my country means that someone really likes you...

    But customs are customs...:)
     
  34. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    Well, there are some people in Spain that do not feel comfortable with all this kissing (I think that in France it is worse, though), because at the end, it means nothing; but I think that it is just the same as hand giving. The point is how much comfortable you feel when other people get close to you and which is your privacy distance.
     
  35. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Maybe it has something to do with the general opinion that I heard here, and that is that Catalans are more cold than Spaniards from other parts of Spain... I also heard that this coldness is compensated with a true firendship that Catalans can offer once they know you better... For example, people from Andaluzia are more friendly than Catalans at the first sight, but they are very superficial, and whan you really need them, they just dissapear... With NO INTENTION TO OFFEND ANYONE, this is what I heard from Spaniards...
    So maybe Catalans do not like to kiss each other so much as other Spanyards...??? (Although, according to my experience, I did not notice that:))
    Since you are Spaniard AND Catalan, what do you think about tihis? Is it true or it's another "urban story"?
     
  36. Laia

    Laia Senior Member

    Catalan, Spanish
    Well Natasha, I don't know... but I think it's more an individual, personal thing.
    I kiss everyone I meet or know because it's the thing I must do, but I don't like people to touch me too much while speaking, or to get too close to my face when speaking (mmm... except if he is handsome ;) :D )
     
  37. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    Well, I think Catalans are as cold as any other Spaniard from the same latitude: Aragoneses, Castillians, Leoneses, Basques, Galicians, people from Navarra, La Rioja, Cantabria, Asturias. Maybe some of them are much colder than Catalans. After all, Catalonia is open to the Mediterranean sea and many people from Andalusia came to live here in the late 50s, the 60s and the 70s.
    Of course, I think that everywhere you can find people to get on with. In places where everybody seems to be more nice at first, more amusing also, you'll have the work to tell the really nice ones apart (sometimes you don't realize who they are until it's too late).
    Theoretically, one should have the same problem with colder people, only that the process should be slowed down, so you would need more time to know how someone is... But, maybe, when it is more difficult to come to know a person, one devotes their efforts to the people that previously has inconsciously decided that they worth it.
    This makes me remember a book I read where the Spanish author complained that US Americans in a social gathering such as a party, made questions and answered with an exagerated enthusiasm, as if they were very interested in what was been said to them, but they were just being polite. This can lead to some misunderstandings too.
     
  38. Nenita84

    Nenita84 Senior Member

    España / español
    Well, really I think that I prefer cold people to too enthusiastical ones :-S.

    Coldness has lead me to remember the strange way of flirting of the German guys. This summer I was in the south of Germany in order to improve my awful German (even worse than my English, so imagineee!!!!). In the first lesson of German that I had there, oue teacher warn to the Spanish girls, that it would be really difficult that a German guy flirted with us unless he´s absolutely drunk. Imagine our disappointment!! The teacher explained us that the way of flirting with German boys was the "Blickkontakt" (visual contact) because they were really shy... Needless to say that I only achieved to flirt with the German drunkard :-S.

    However, here in Spain these things are completely different. Spanish girls are used to hear flattering compliments every five minutes, to be whistled in the street and to hear promises of eternal love nearly every day. (We know that Spanish men say these romantic sentences to every women ;-)).

    Why are there difference? Maybe because of a different education? Perhaps due to a different character? No idea!!!

    There is another thing that was suprising for me. here when you drink a toast, what you do is to avoid to drop the liquid over your clothes and because of that I had some misunderstandings. It seems that in countries like Belgium and Switzerland when you drink a toast with someone, you have to look at his eyes directly instead of paying attention to the liquid in your glass!! They get so angry if you don´t look their eyes!! What happens in your country?? Is it that so important?

    Greetings!!

    P.S. I´ve to recognise that Spanish people are speciall noisy.. but in my case everybody think that I´m Italian.. so maybe i´m not so noisy :p
     
  39. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Well, Nenita, this is true... In Serbia, it is obligatory when you make chin chin with glasses, to look straigh to the eye the person whom you make a toast with. If not, you can be considered unpolite, at least, if not clumsy and stupid, on not a "real person" enough... A little bit exagerated, I admit, but imagine my surprise when I came to Spain and when there was a toast, NOBODY LOOKED INTO MY EYES!!! I was amaized, and I asked people why, and they told me exaclty what you are saying.. They were taking care not to drop liquid from their glasses... I sincerely find it a little bit odd, since I cannot imagine that one must to look into his glass in order not to spill anything... (Except if he is too drunk, of course...)...
    Well, resuming - looking into the eyes of the person you are toasting with means showing the respect towards that person...

    Felices fiestas a todos!!
     
  40. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    :) This reminds me of a German girl who came to stay with me in New York for a month one summer. She couldn't believe the number of men who were hitting on her (flirting with her... and trying to get her phone number). Frankly, I couldn't believe it either -- I NEVER get that much attention just walking down the street, and my pride was wounded, lol. But finally I figured out what was going on.

    In New York, we have perfected the art of looking at someone without looking at him. ;) Eye contact between men can be considered aggressive or indicative of homosexual attraction, and between men and women usually indicates attraction/interest. So if a man looks at a woman, and she isn't interested, she doesn't look back at him, or at least not for more than a second or two. The German girl was looking all these men in the eye and holding the gaze more than the New York millisecond, so they all thought she was interested in them and would come up to talk to her. When I told her this, she was quite put out (annoyed) that she couldn't look at anyone she wanted however she wanted without getting unwanted attention. But at least she stopped giving out my phone number... :D
     
  41. luis masci

    luis masci Senior Member

    Córdoba
    Argentina-español
    Several years ago, I was in Asunción (capital city of Paraguay). Something that calls my attention so much was to see many men urinating in any side of the street. Even those who were accompanied by some lady. She remained discretely apart while he made his things.
     
  42. stop Junior Member

    England - English
    It's also very common here to see men pissing urinating (at least on any weekend night) at the side of the street, after having spent various hours in pubs/clubs drowning their bodies in alcohol.
    Although, if accompanied by a lady friend, it definitely wouldn't be a good idea to do it if you had any intention of romantic pursuits that night...
     
  43. gato2

    gato2 Senior Member

    España, español
    Una cosa que me sorprendio de Inglaterra son los funerales ya que despues del servicio religioso hacen una especie de "fiesta" con pasteles, te y refrescos.
     
  44. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    Well then you would be astonished then if you were present at a fuenral in Serbia. The normal thing is that the family od the desceased (did I spell it right?) makes lunch for friends after funeral, where usually is talked about him/her, and sometimes it finishes with a good laugh... At least it was like that when my grandfather died, since he was a very funny guy while he lived, people were remembering jokes he had done in his life and at the end, we finished all laughing... Maybe it looks very wierd, but I think it helps to the closest one not to go down completely in their pain... You have your mind occupied with organizing the funeral and after that lunch, so in reality, you don't have time for sorrow...
     
  45. Pivra Senior Member

    ...
    I think North American culture is too direct and straight forword. I think that they should find someways to express things in a less direct method. It may seems harder for them to say things in a more inplicit way but for me it is much harder to say things directly at someone's face about what I really think. I have been living in Canada for almost a year now and I'm not use to how [some] people over here just say whatever they want to say to other people, it's just far too direct.

    When I say things and want it to be offensive I would say something like:

    " I like how you treat you child "but" I don't really think that you should be too harsh on him"

    Personally, whatever I've said before the "but" is a lie and what I really mean is after the "but".
     
  46. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    Cell phones parking!? Only in Rio, I guess! :)
    To enter the USA´s embassy in Rio a person mustn´t take his/her cell phone inside it. As this is a quite new rule (because of Sep 11,2001) many people ignore it and aren´t allowed to enter to get their visas. So, with the famous Brazilian jeitinho -a special way of doing things - a carioca created the newest type of parking in the country, I dare say, the cell phones keeper! For +- 2,5 dollars he watches the person´s cell phone while the owner enters the embassy and for +- 5 dollars he keeps the person´s notebook. Ah, and he has signs hanging from a tree branch on the street in both language: Pt and English. :D
     
  47. oxazol Senior Member

    Natasha2000
    In Spain sometimes it is like you said. Once in a funeral (which is normally in the morgue) lot of the people of the funeral met together in the bar of the morgue and they started to drink cocktail like in a pub.....finally the owner of the bar had to remind that they were in a funeral...

    retomando el tema de los besos en Francia.... eso es "la folie" (la locura)!!!
    Vivo en Paris desde hace unos meses y cuando conoces a un frances, si es joven, porque si no ni de coña eso de besar... nunca sabes cuantos hay que dar:
    Segun la zona de Francia son 2, 3 o 4 y la mayoría no saben cuantos son fuera de su región. Como en Paris hay gente de toda Francia es una lotería y más de una vez he dejado a la gente con la cara puesta esperando el 3er beso o el 4º
     
  48. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    This sounds wonderfully like an Irish wake!
    But tell me, why does a morgue have a bar?
     
  49. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    This is called a wake. It's a celebration of the joy that the dead person brought to the world, and a tribute to the person. Not only is it practiced in England and Ireland, but variations are practiced in New Orleans, Africa and elsewhere.

    I can only hope that my passing would inspire those who survive me to have a wild party in my honor. ;)
     
  50. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    But this part of your sentence says that although it might happen, it is not "bien visto", isn't it?:)

    On the other hand, in Serbia, it is quite normal and it is expected from a deceased's family to make lunch after the funeral... We even take food to the grave yard for special occasions (eg. Dia de los muertos, or aniversaries), eat there and also leave food "for the deseased's soul". It is a very common custom to drink schnaps (aguradiente), and before you drink it, you spill a little bit of it on the ground, also for the "deceased's soul"....

    PS: I have troubles with this word "difunto" - I am 100% sure I did not write it well in English...:(
     

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