Spain is one culture where it is easy to identify that family is a central part of how society functions. From our walks around cities we visit, one thing is clear: kids go everywhere with their parents. Whether it is a local bar during the evening or the grocery store, children are seen alongside parents and grandparents throughout the city.
Something noticeable in every main square we near, is the vitality and energy of the children running around the plaza. They are down to earth and happy, playing tag with one another, roller-skating, and socializing. In Spain, it is an important value to know how to socialize and children begin learning these lessons at a young age.
Toddlers chase each other on their tricycles, while their grandparents sit nearby keeping a watchful eye. By the time children are ten or older, they are usually given the freedom to play under less supervised conditions. Although the dominant generation in Spain is getting older and the birth rate is low, the presence of “golosinas” candy shops, fill every corner. No matter what part of Spain you visit, after school, it is common to see groups of children standing around with transparent bags, filled with treats.
In towns with small populations, it is almost guaranteed that these kids have been friends since their diaper days. Talking to a few locals in their late sixties and seventies, it became obvious that this is not a temporary situation.
In many Spanish towns, people continue friendships indefinitely. One thing for sure is that there are many happy people in Spain who value relationships with family and friends. There is much to admire and learn from the Spaniards way of life.