I was surprised to read the article by Aleix Sarri Camargo in your “View” section, titled “The trial of Catalan referendum leaders casts a long shadow over the EU’s credibility”. This article reflects, yet again, the shameless use of falsehoods by Catalan secessionist politicians for the sole purpose of justifying independence for Catalonia. I respect the fact that he is a seccesionist; however, given that in Spain and in the EU we are living in democracies, I would like to clarify those points that are clear misrepresentations of the truth. In a democracy, we seek to debate real information, not fictions invented to further a cause. I agree with Mr Sarri that the EU’s democratic credibility is crucial. Precisely because of that, neither the EU nor any other State in the world (the United Nations has 193 members) recognised the unilateral declaration of independence made by the Catalan secessionists on 27 October 2017, because it was illegal, and … [Read more...] about No one is in prison in Spain for their opinions, only their acts
Catalan in spain
So Christmas, the New Year and Three Kings Day (Epiphany) in Spain again. Lots of presents for the kids, delicious cakes and chocolates, festive feasts, colourful parades and the annual debate about blackface for the people playing Balthasar in the Wise Men (Three Kings) processions that delight youngsters across the country after they have written their letters asking for lots of toys and put some carrots out for the camels. This year, football star Andrés Iniesta is in hot water after posting a photo of himself on Twitter smiling away next to two friends with blacked-up Wise Men faces. In Alcoy (Alicante), there’s a local group of 200 “black boys” who dress up and run round giving kids presents. Blackface even made it onto the popular kids cooking programme MasterChef Junior this week, on TVE, Spain’s equivalent of the BBC. It’s just tradition, most Spaniards will tell you, Spain isn’t racist, it’s the Three Kings, that’s just … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS: Innocent Christmas blackface or a slippery xenophobic slope for the right in Spain?
1. Improve your Spanish (or Catalan or Basque etc) Photo: The LEAF project/Flickr If you've decided your Spanish is already good enough, or that the language is just too hard, now is the time to get out of your comfort zone. Buy a book, get an intercambio (language exchange partner), takes classes, or just watch more Spanish television: whatever you do, stop putting it off and take the next step . If you're looking to learn some offbeat vocabulary a class might not teach you, perhaps start with our list of 'false friends' you need to watch out for when speaking Spanish. And if you want to work on sounding a bit more local when you speak, try these outrageous, rude expressions. Most importantly, check in to The Local regularly for the Word of the Day series. 2. Take up the sport of padel: You've probably spotted them around Spain — strange half-sized tennis courts with wire mesh fences. Welcome to the wonderful world of padel. Part-tennis, … [Read more...] about Ten resolutions to make the most of life in Spain in 2019
Go for a run Running a race may not be the first thing that comes to mind on New Year's Eve but taking part in a 'San Silvestre' fun run is part of a growing tradition in Spain. Around 200 such 'San Silvestre' runs take place across Spain on December 31st with the biggest in Madrid (San Silvestre Vallecana) and Barcelona (Cursa del Nassos). Don't forget your grapes! In Spain it is traditional to eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of midnight, which will bring you prosperity and good luck for the year ahead. READ MORE: Five Spanish New Year traditions to bring you luck for 2019 So whatever plans you have for the night, make sure you carry 12 grapes (the smaller the better) to gobble down at midnight. Eat at home Spaniards tend to start off their New Year celebrations at home with family before heading out to bars and clubs after midnight so don’t be alarmed if places are a little bit quiet in the run up to the magic moment. You may struggle to … [Read more...] about How to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain
Carol concerts, glittering lights and a healthy dose of consumerism: in many respects Christmas in Spain is a thoroughly familiar experience. The Christmas season gets fully underway with the December puente, when the nation enjoys two bank holidays - on December 6th and December 8th – and continues right up until Epihany on January 6th. But alongside the cute craft markets and the ice skating rinks, there are some traditions that mark this time of year in Spain as unique. SHOP AT A CHRISTMAS MARKET: While Spain's Christmas markets might not have the prestige of their Central European counterparts, they are becoming more and more popular. The biggest Christmas market in Spain is on Madrid's Plaza Mayor (pictured) and there are also impressive ones in Barcelona, Seville and Granada. Be sure to check out some traditional handmade Spanish Christmas decorations or maybe get a new baby Jesus for your crib. MARVEL AT A CHRISTMAS CRIB: "La familia al Completo" … [Read more...] about Twelve ways to get into the Christmas spirit in Spain