Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.
What Are Cultural Practices?
Think about your community. Do people usually go to art galleries? What festivals do they celebrate? What food do most people prefer? Cultural practices are very broad as they include daily life customs regarding food, music, and ways to communicate. Also, events that people in a community celebrate at specific times of the year are also part of cultural practices. In Spanish, the term 'cultural practices' simply translates as la cultura (lah kool-TOO-rah) to refer to the wide range of aspects that characterize the Spanish-speaking world. While each country is different and even each city and neighborhood has its own cultura, this lesson explores the common cultural practices in the Spanish-speaking countries. Let's get started.
Common Cultural Practices
So that you can easily learn some vocabulary related to common cultural practices in Spain and Latin America, we look at different topics. Within each topic, we learn from a native speaker to see how Spanish speakers express their cultural customs. Also, since we learn about 'practices,' the vocabulary in this lesson includes verbs.
Family, Friends, and Religion
Here are some common cultural practices that have to do with family and religion, which is la familia y la religión (lah fah-MEE-leeah ee lah reh-lee-hee-OHN). Of course, keep in mind that the Spanish-speaking world is changing rapidly because new generations have different interests. In addition, not everyone in the Spanish-speaking world takes part into the following cultural practices.
- reunirse con la familia (reh-oo-NEER-seh kohn lah fah-MEE-leeah): get together with family
- almorzar en familia (ahl-mohr-SAHR ehn fah-MEE-leeah): have a family lunch (this is still a daily common practice in Latin American countries, particularly in cities that are not so big and where work allows people a two-hour break at noon for lunch)
- salir con los amigos a comer o a tomar algo (sah-LEER kohn lohs ah-MEE-gohs ah koh-MEHR oh ah toh-MAHR- AHL-goh): to go out with friends to eat or to drink something
- ir a misa los domingos (eer ah MEE-sah lohs doh-MEEN-gohs): go to mass on Sundays
Let's see what Daniela, from Ecuador, says about these cultural practices.
- En mi país, es muy importante reunirse con la familia al menos una vez por semana. (In my country, it is very important to get together with family at least once a week.) También, es importante almorzar en familia porque así podemos hablar sobre cómo nos va en nuestras actividades. (Also, it is important to have a family lunch because, this way, we can talk about how we are doing with our activities.) Personalmente, me gusta mucho salir con amigos a comer. (Personally, I really like to go out with friends to eat). En mi caso, no tengo la costumbre de ir a misa los domingos pero el resto de mi familia sí va. (In my case, I don't have the habit of going to mass on Sundays, but the rest of family does go.)
Keep in mind these expressions:
- es muy importante... (it is very important...)
- no tengo la costumbre de... (I don't have the habit of…)
In the Spanish-speaking world, many people have deep interests in a variety of arts, which is las artes (lahs AHR-tehs). Some common cultural practices are:
- asistir a un concierto de música clásica (ah-sees-TEER ah oon kohn-see-EHR-toh deh MOO-see-kah KLAH-see-kah): to attend a classical music concert
- ir a un museo (eer ah oon moo-SEH-oh): to go to a museum
- ver una exposición de pinturas (vehr OO-nah ehks-poh-see-see-OHN deh PEEN-too-rahs): to see a painting exhibition
Now, let's talk to Eduardo and his wife, who love the arts. They are from Mexico.
- Siempre que hay un evento cultural en la ciudad, mi esposa y yo vamos. (Whenever there is a cultural event in the city, my wife and I go.) Nos encanta asistir a los conciertos de la Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. (We love attending the concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra.) Además, nos interesa mucho ir a un museo o ver una exposición de pinturas. (In addition, we are very interested in going to a museum or seeing a painting exhibition.)
Keep in mind these expressions:
- nos encanta... (we love...)
- nos interesa... (we are interested in...)
Different people in the Spanish-speaking world choose different sources of entertainment, which is el entretenimiento (ehl ehn-treh-teh-nee-mee-EHN-toh). The most common practices are:
- ir a un partido de fútbol (eer ah oon pahr-TEE-doh deh FOOT-bohl): to go to a soccer game
- salir a bailar (sah-LEER ah bah-ee-LAHR): to go out to dance
- pasear en el parque (pah-seh-AHR ehn ehl PAHR-keh): to stroll in the park
- ir de marcha nocturna (eer deh MAHR-chah nohk-TOOR-nah): to go out at night (to restaurants, bars, etc.)
- salir de tapas (sah-LEER deh TAH-pahs): to go out to eat tapas
The last two cultural practices (ir de marcha nocturna and salir de tapas) are typical from Spain and no one else in the Spanish speaking world uses these expressions. Also, tapas, which are diverse small savory dishes (e.g. cheese, olives, shrimp, etc.) are typical from Spain.
Finally, let's see what Nuria, a Spanish young professional does on weekends.
- Por lo general, dedico tiempo a pasear en el parque pero también para ir de marcha nocturna. (In general, I use some of my time to stroll in the park but also to go out at night.) Es muy típico en España salir de tapas con los amigos. (It is very typical in Spain to go out to eat tapas.)
You can always use these expressions:
- dedico tiempo a... ( I use some of my time to...)
- es muy típico en... (it is very typical in...)
The term 'cultural practices' translates as la cultura to refer to the wide range of aspects that characterize the Spanish-speaking world. While each country is different, there are common cultural practices in the Spanish-speaking countries in many aspects. For example, regarding family, friends, and religion, people like reunirse con la familia (get together with family), almorzar en familia (have a family lunch), salir con los amigos a comer o a tomar algo (to go out with friends to eat or to drink something), and ir a misa los domingos (go to mass on Sundays).
As for the arts, people like to asistir a un concierto de música clásica (attend a classical music concert), ir a un museo (go to a museum), and ver una exposición de pinturas (see a painting exhibition). For entertainment, it is common to ir a un partido de fútbol (go to a soccer game), salir a bailar (go out to dance), pasear en el parque (stroll in the park), and, typically in Spain, ir de marcha nocturna y salir de tapas (go out at night and go out to eat tapas).
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack