• Language and Culture in the Spanish-Speaking World

Experiencing a New Culture

Yesterday we had a fairly normal day, if you can call any day we spend in Spain normal. Much like the other days that we’ve had here, we learned a lot of information in our grammar class and had fun discussions in our conversation class.  Since we did not go on any excursions today, I get to talk about many of the cool things I have learned about the culture in Spain.

History and Culture in Spain 

In Spain there is a very rich history and culture that can be seen in many of the buildings within the city. The old and new Cathedrals are one example of this because they were built a long time ago and are an important part of the Catholic tradition within Salamanca. The Old Cathedral was built in the 12th century and the New Cathedral was built in the 16th century. These buildings, as well as many others that we have toured, have given us a better glimpse of the history that formed this fantastic city.

La comida

The food in Spain is very different from the food in the United States. The people here eat a lot of meat, of which the most popular is ham. We talked in class the other day about how ham is prepared in Spain. Instead of eating smoked or fresh ham like we do in the United States, the Spaniards prepare their ham quite differently. To prepare the meat, it has to sit in salt for about three days. After that, they will hang it to dry for 3 or 4 years before it is ready to eat. ¿Qué interesante, no? Tapas are also a popular type of food in Spain. They are kind of like appetizers in the United States.  Going out for Tapas is a way that many Spaniards spend time with their friends.

Glimpses of America

Even though we are in a completely different country with a different culture, it is interesting to see the influence that the United States has had here. As we walk down the streets we are often able to hear American pop music playing in the stores and will see many words written in English within the stores. They even show many of the same movies that are found in the United States in the theaters here. There was a group of us that went to the movie Frozen last night so that we could experience going to a theater in Spain.  For me it was really fun to see the movie in Spanish after seeing it English.

¡Hasta luego!

Melanie Jacobson

The two cathedrals in Salamanca.
A store that sells the typical types of meat eaten in Salamanca.
The poster for the movie Frozen written in Spanish.