After almost five months here, I think I am starting to know more and more about Czech culture. I am Spanish and I would like to tell you, from my own experience, what are the most relevant differences I found since I am here, between my culture and Czech culture. However, I am aware that always it depends on people, of course! ;)
Czech people, as Germans, are always on time, unlike the famous lateness of Spanish people. They respect the times of dates, meetings, lessons, parties, everything. For Spanish people, usually, to arrive on time means 5, 10 or even 15 minutes later of the arranged date.
Czech people use to start the day very early, around 7:00 more or less. They have big lunch around 12:00 and dinner at 18:00 more or less. They don´t go to bed very late because in the morning they wake up early. In weekends, people go to pubs from 18:00 and they usually close around 4:00 or 5:00.
Spanish people have very different timetables. The big lunch of the day is around 14:00-15:00, and the dinner at 20:00 or 21:00. The reason is because in many jobs there is a break for more hours, so as a consequence, they have time for a relaxing lunch and siesta, but there is not free evening because they finish work around 21:00.
People and personality
By my experience, Czech people are usually very nice. One important characteristic I would say about them is the humility. For example, lot of people know English, but if you ask them if they know English, they would say: „just a little“, even if you are hearing that their pronunciation is perfect. And they are very kind so they will help you if you are lost or you have any problem.
They are very reserved and don´t express their feelings to everybody. The first time they met you, they are not going to speak a lot about their lives. But once you really know them, they can be your friends forever, they will tell you jokes every time and they will be warm.
They usually are relaxed and don´t scream or mess up in the street.
Spanish people are almost the opposite of what I explained about Czech. They consider they know English even when they never tried to speak with a foreigner, and the CVs are full of lies related to languages. However, now the situation is better and currently Spain is improving the education of languages because we all know that it is basic.
About how Spanish people are, I can say they are really funny, nice, warm, familiar and sociable.
They always express their feelings even they don´t know you. They can speak with everybody, tell their lives without problem and hug you easily. Personally, I consider the good weather has something to do with this kind of personality. When you are always in the street you learn to socialize and you develop a need to be always with people around you.
We, Spanish people, spend long hours in terraces having coffee, drinking beers or eating with family and friends. We speak without stopping, we make jokes and laugh a lot. I consider that, indeed, Czech and Spanish people are very similar, the only difference is that Czechs need more time than Spanish people to trust you and express their feelings.
To greet somebody or introduce yourself, Czech people give the hand. Spanish people give two kisses in the cheek. Only when it is man and man, they give the hand.
For me it was a bit strange to give the hand when I came here, but after a while, I got used to it. As a result, when I went to Spain for Christmas, it was very strange for me to give two kisses to people!
So this is what I can tell you until now. I am very happy to discover a new culture and also learning about mine, because I realized here that they were lot of things I did not know or valued about my culture until I arrived here. Every culture has something special to offer, something new, and I think we all should learn from every people of the world :)
If you want to read more about my experience, you can read my blog Young Europeans in Prostejov.
Autor: Elena Martínez Latorre
Fotografie: archiv ICM Prostějov, Pixabay.com
Kateřina Opatrná, regionální redaktor, ICM Prostějov