Cultural Differences – Joanna

Cultural differences:

provincetown sunset

Sunset in Provincetown, MA

The other day I was talking to some friends of my host family about the differences between Spain and the United States. When I first got to Spain I didn’t think I’d find a lot of differences. But now that I’ve been here for almost 5 months, I have actually noticed some really big disparities. For example, eating schedules and meal sizes are very different. Here breakfast is small, lunch is large and around 3 PM, and dinner is moderate and can be as late as 11 PM. But back in the States people are encouraged to eat a hardy breakfast, then lunch can be as early as 11:30, and dinner is substantial and around 6 PM. At first I didn’t understand this difference at all, but that is because I arrived in winter when the temperatures were still pretty low and the sun set at a relatively normal time. But now that it’s summer and the heat can be unbearable at times, I completely understand this eating schedule. In the U.S. it is usually dark by 9 PM but here there is still light in the sky as late as 10:30 PM, and it’s not until then that it really starts to cool off. At first I thought this was very strange considering geographically Spain is almost directly south of the United Kingdom. But then this past semester I learned in my geography class that Spain is actually on the same time schedule as Germany due to World War 2. Which just goes to show so many seemingly arbitrary things in our lives are direct results of past conflicts and wars.
cordoba sunset

Sunset in Córdoba

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