• Language and Culture in the Spanish-Speaking World

An Encounter with Bullfighting

Weather

The weather so far has been pretty consistent every day, overcast with temperatures ranging from the 40’s to upper 50’s. It is not quite warm enough to leave without a jacket, but nothing like the snowstorm and “polar vortex” occurring back in the U.S. 

 Classes

After our third day of classes, we are getting used to the pace of schoolwork and expectations of the professors. I can already notice a difference in how much easier it is to speak Spanish than when I arrived in Spain. We have students from other countries, such as Germany and China, in our classes too, which makes it interesting to learn about their cultures through class discussions. Even those students struggle with grammar and forget how to say certain words in Spanish.

 Museum Visit

Yesterday we visited the Bullfight Museum in Salamanca. We learned that Salamanca originally hosted bullfighting in the Plaza Mayor, right down the street from Mester. One thing that especially caught my attention was a trophy room, which included mounted ears or tails from bulls that “fought a good fight”. If the bull was a good fighter, then the torero is awarded an ear, but if it was an especially great fighter, then both ears and the tail were awarded. Other rooms displayed different types of suits the bullfighters wore throughout history, a collection dedicated to a famous bullfighter of Salamanca, and works of art related to bullfighting. Even though bullfighting is a dying sport, it is still a major part of the history of Salamanca. For more information about the museum click here.

 

¡Hasta luego!

Andrea Carpenter

One of the many mounted bull heads.
The famous torero of Salamanca, “El Viti".
Traje Goyesco, bullfighting suit worn in the 18th-19th centuries.
Trophies of the ears and a tail from bulls that fought well.