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Self-perception: “En España se vive muy bien” March 20, 2010

Posted by espainisdifferent in Culture, Society and Media, Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,

A found a few quotes on the internet that would well define how we, Spanish people think about our own country. If you have read this blog you can see I have shown many downsides of the country. But this time I want you to see something that in my opinion is very precious in our society despite any problem: the joy of living.

Warming up the conversation with some beers and tapas

I found some interesting quotations which I would like to highlight:

“Spain is the place where, in my experience, the art of savoir vivre has attained the highest peak of refinement. Or, as the Spaniards themselves never tire of saying: “En España, se vive muy bien” – In Spain, one lives very well. Truly, it is remarkable how often I hear people say this. It is a cliché embedded in the national consciousness. Typically, once they have delivered themselves of what I have discovered to be their chief article of secular faith, the Spaniards will explain that they have travelled in other countries and that, enchanting as these might be, they lack Spain’s sheer quality of life. They will tell you this even if they have never set foot outside Spain.”

I entirely agree with it. We Spaniards blame and flagellate ourselves and regard our country as one far away from the level development of the most advanced countries. It is somehow a complex of inferiority. It is a contradiction that within Spain being nationalist -which is perfectly normal in countries like Britain or U.S.- is a reason to be ashamed for many in our society. However, when it comes to our lifestyle, everybody, if not most of the people, has the same perception: despite all our problems and regardless any negative circumstance something is crystal clear… there is no country on Earth where people live as well as in Spain. Right or wrong this is a self-perception.

A good example of this is my own mother. Sometimes when having a meal cooked by my mum this issue comes into conversation. She uses to tell that there is not better country to live than Spain and that is why swarms of foreigners -thinking of them in this context not as foreigners coming from poorer countries but the other way round- come to our country to stay. She mentions how often these foreigners confirm this perception saying that in Spain one lives very well. My dad and me ironically counter-argue saying that it she seems the only person who has a country and that there are many people happily living in their countries. But she is stubborn and sheer sticks to that belief.

It is true that these statements are arguable but I believe they reflect an element of truth. Most of the 45 M people living in the country thinking the same way cannot be very wrong.


1. swang1225 - April 8, 2010

Hello! You visited my blog a few months ago. (wordpress/swang1225) I’m sorry I’m just getting back to you now, but I just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog. Your English is quite amazing, and it’s refreshing to get a real Spanish perspective on things. Anda ya!

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