Kissing and sharing in noisy Spain

    Kissing and sharing in noisy Spain after Covid 19 – how will things go back to normal and what is the new normal? Here is a post about noise awarness and other possible social outcomes of the current events. Is kissing and the generous sharing culture in noisy Spain endangered? Here are some questions to focus on! Nothing important it may seem, but cultural identity, yes indeed.

    Sharing a Kalimotxo!

    One of the most relevant society changes due to our confiment in Spain, has been the noise reduction, especially at night time. Spain is one of the noisiest countries in Europe and have a lot to improve in environmental issues such as noise reduction. The lasts weeks have been just extraordinary. As we are living not far from one of the highways exiting Santander (a city with some 190.000 people) we normally have some traffic 24/7. But these days, we actually hear animals and cattle at night… The peace and quite is actually very comforting and help to deal with anxiety and worries about the future, family and friends. Maybe this aspect is something to remember during the future… The countryside is right around the corner – let us enjoy it! And let us please reduce the noise in Spain! Or maybe it is a part of the package?

    Who would have predicted just 2 months ago, that the terms social distancing and herd immunity would be terms we all would be familiar with, and that we would be using them on a daily bases?

    What we all wonder now is… what´s next? What about cheak kissing, sharing drinks between youngsters, and the generosity of giving away pintxos or tapas in noisy Spain? These small details may seem insignificant, but they are actually part of cultural pillars such as generosity and hospitality.

    In socially and physically close, kissing and hugging Spain, will the last current events change the habits on a longer term? Or is cheak kissing (just air kissing)  maybe safer that hand shaking? Think about it…

    It is awkward to run into a friend in a supermarket these days, and not be able to hug or cheak kiss like we usually do in Spain. For someone from northern Europe, the closeness of the Spaniards (the more to the south you get the closer up they come) while talking can somehow make you nervous. With a northern Europe 1-1,5m conversation distance this can shrink to 30cm in Spain… How will this social relating adapt to the new situation?

    Sharing is living (compartir er vivir) is a spanish saying…Will the youngsters not be able to share their Kalimotxo (Coca-Cola & red wine) in big plastic glasses anymore? Will the asturianos not be able to share their glass of sidrina? (dry apple cider)

    What about the life in the bar? Everybody go there, stick close and talk about everything from football to the latest political corruption scandals. It is almost a public place and one can go to small bars in the “barrios” (quarters) and really enjoy a piece of real life “theatre” or reality show. Will the spirit and the way the Spaniards relate to their bar culture change? Bar and restaurant owners are now anxiously awaiting the new “game table” with possible restricitions in crowd, distance and hygiene requirements. Will the noise dissapear? Listen to how a noisy night behind the bar counter can be!

    Will the pintxos hopping with the beautiful colored pintxos counters in for example, San Sebastián have to cover their pintxos with plastic?

    In Spain in the summer it is very common to find huge popular lunches during the local fiestas. Gigantic Paellas in Mediterranean Spain, and huge stew pots in northern Spain. Will this be something we look back to as something we did but can not do anymore?

    Especially in southern Spain the life on the street (“en la calle”) is a social phenomena. In the summertime entire families take out their garden chairs and sit on the street! They gossip, have a drink, do deep talk conversation…the essence of life in Spain summed up! How will this find its way back?

    Kissing and sharing in noisy Spain will prevail, that is our prediction! Whether you like it or not… Spain is never in the middle, it is always friendly but never conventional – close, loud, hugging and kissing!