What do you think there is something typically Spanish? What do you think of Spain? Perhaps you have already been to Spain on vacation? Especially popular with Germans as holiday destinations are Mallorca, the Canary Islands (for example Tenerife), Barcelona and Andalusia in the far south.
Many would see flamenco and bullfighting as typically Spanish. Flamenco actually comes from Andalusia. But it is considered traditional Spanish music. One or more women dance to typical guitar music. To do this, they rattle with castanets. Sometimes there is singing. Here you can listen to flamenco.
Bullfighting has a long tradition in Spain, but it is still controversial. The bullfight takes place in an arena. The torero (bullfighter) teases the bull with a red cloth. Two lancers injure the bull in the neck and irritate him even more. In the end, the bull is killed by the matador (the main bullfighter) with a sword.
The audience cheer on successful bullfighters’ actions with ole shouts, a typical Spanish exclamation. Paso Doble music is played several times during the bullfight. Around 2000 bullfights take place in Spain every year. The opponents of bullfighting see it as cruelty to animals that is unnecessary and cruel. Sometimes bullfights also injure spectators.
Bull racing in Pamplona
There are other events that seem risky to us. This includes the bull runs in Pamplona. Every year in July, the Sanfermines take place, a festival in honor of the patron saint of Pamplona.
In addition to several bullfights, it is above all the bull runs that are known far beyond Spain – mainly because there are always injuries or even deaths. Several bulls are being herded through the streets and men are running away from them.
Castell: human towers
And another strange tradition: towers made of people. They have a long tradition in Catalonia and are called castells. That means “castles” in German. The people who “stack” on top of each other are called castellers.
Up to nine or even ten floors are built. Children are often at the top because they are light. The uppermost casteller is called Enxeneta (squirrel) and after it is set up, it stretches its arm in the air. That is the sign of complete construction. Then the “castle” is quickly dismantled, because the bottom girders have to endure a great load.
Castells are usually set up for large celebrations, and there are also competitions.
Everyday life in Spain
What is life like in a Spanish family? What are the differences to German families? What is everyday life like in Spain?
According to globalsciencellc.com, Spanish families like to spend a lot of time together, solidarity is very important to them. This is also the way to enjoy lunch and dinner together. There is plenty of time, especially for dinner. It often happens late, after 9 p.m., but children are allowed to stay up in Spain that long. Spanish children like to be spruced up on Sundays and given pretty dresses or small suits. Girls often have their ears pierced as newborns.
In their free time, Spaniards like to go outside. Because it is warmer than here, people are more likely to meet on the street or in the park than in the house. Spaniards also like to play sports, go to the cinema or meet up with friends.
Football is particularly popular – both as a player and as a spectator. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have a lot of fans. Spaniards are generally sociable and enjoy going out. Spaniards are lively and often loud.
What Spaniards also love is the lottery! Winning numbers for the National Lottery are drawn twice a week and many are eagerly awaiting the draw. But the Christmas lottery is even more important. The drawing will take place on December 22nd. The first prize is several million euros, this win is called “El Gordo”, the fat one.
A typical Spanish habit is the siesta. At lunchtime it is so hot that all you can actually do is lie down and rest. Shops often close at noon for several hours and do not reopen until 4 or 5 p.m. For this they are open longer in the evening. During this time, a siesta is held, an afternoon nap. However, this does not apply to larger companies, as there is only a short lunch break, as is the case with us.
If you meet someone or come into a shop, you say Hola! That means hello and is pronounced “Olla”! Qué tal? means “How are you?”, you can answer: Bueno! (Well). Does anyone want to know Como te llamas? he asks for your name. You then say Mi llamo… (and your name).
Solving the riddle of “names in Spain”
Juan would be Hans with us, Enrique Heinrich and Miguel Michael!