Whenever I visit a foreign country, I adore experiencing the culture, embracing all the traditions and comparing it to home. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Although so far during my time living in Spain, I have been lucky enough to do this first hand, I can’t help but also notice how much Spain has adopted strong characteristics from other cultures, especially Britain, which is consequently making me feel a little too much at home!
At the Spanish school where I work, last week I spent the whole day on Thursday talking about Halloween, I gave group presentations to a never-ending supply of excited children who screamed with glee at the mere thought of Halloween! At the end, each child gave me a detailed description of their costume of choice for the night, clearly showing that a lot of thought and effort goes into this event. The teachers explained that the celebration of Halloween in Spain is a very recent revelation as it never used to be celebrated at all. This is a prime example of how Spain has adopted American/British traditions into their own.
Secondly, it is traditional in Spain that the Three Kings bring presents on the 5th January for children but it’s becoming a lot more common for Santa Claus to bring gifts in Spain on the 25th December, just like in Britain. Unfortunately some Spanish believe that Santa Claus is beginning to replace the traditional Three Kings, on the other hand a lot of families celebrate both days and therefore get twice as many gifts. It sounds good to me!
Finally, at the weekend, I visited the coast and was shocked by the amount of advertisements for “FULL ENGLISH BREAKFASTS” which I saw. Even when I tried to speak in Spanish (as we were in Spain after all) I was greeted by the thickest British accents in response! The beach was filled with so many British people that I’m surprised there were actually any left in Britain itself! It felt like I was back at home in Britain!
This shows how Spain has adopted many other foreign characteristics into its own culture but is this a good thing or not? Should the traditions of countries remain untouched and pure, with no interference or influences from other cultures? Or is it a good thing to embrace foreign traditions so abundantly? It allows change and incorporation which grows and evolves with time, it reflects the development of the world that we’re living in. Does this bring more positives or negatives?