Culture by Taylor Henry

In Spain, I’ve struggled to articulate a cultural difference that distinguishes the nature of animated conversations here from those in the United States—it’s not only about the volume; it’s about the inclusivity of these interactions. Unlike the U.S., where relationships are often restricted or limited by extremely exhausting standards, Spain holds a more communal attitude, more like, “If you’re a Spaniard or here, you’re like family.” This cultural spirit extends beyond words; it’s shown in warm embraces, kisses, and a natural integration into conversations with everyone present. The great contrast between this open-armed embrace and the more selective approach in the U.S. prompts introspection. Unlike the broader familial and social inclusivity in Spain, Americans tend to compartmentalize, establishing exclusive circles with seemingly impractical entry criteria. This difference forces me to wonder whether our deeply ingrained natural tendency toward exclusivity in the U.S., driven by a pursuit of status, attention, or networking opportunities, has led us to view relationships as instruments for personal gain rather than genuine connections. It challenges the societal constructs shaping American interpersonal dynamics and prompts a reevaluation of how we define and form connections.

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