EPISODE 3: Our Holy Water… the beer!

We meet in the afternoon to do one of the things we like the most: sit and drink beers while talking about some interesting topic. In this case, though, the topic is the beer itself. In Spain every region has its own beer and it is usually very important to define the culture and the character of the people of the region. It was hard to find Spanish beers in Tampere but we finally did it!

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On one hand, Fernando offered me a Mahou. This is supposed to be the most popular and important brand in Madrid. Fernando told me that, for madrilians, this is like the legacy of the older people. It is the beer that your father drinks and the beer that real madrilians drink. He used his laptop to show me some ads and videos about Mahou’s beer and I realized that this brand represents the tradition, the ritual that every real Madrilian has been doing since the beginning of time. Here is an example of these cultural values.

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On the other hand, I tried to taught Fernando the importance of Estrella Damm in the process of defining the Catalan identity. Basically, I explain him how this brand has become a cultural symbol for our generation. I also taught him how to ask a beer in a Catalan and some other sentences even though it was not planned.

After this session, I feel that now I am capable of going to a bar in Madrid without looking like a stranger. I know what to ask and how to do it. Bars are the most important thing in Madrid, so it was essential to learn what do people drink there and how do they do it. Thanks to Mahou’s ads and Fernando’s tips I am know capable of doing it.

I could have read thousands of articles about the importance of Mahou’s beer for Madrilians but I would had never understood it as well as with Fernando and the ads he showed me. Due to this teaching method, we realized how important is the local beer to define the character and the culture itself. It was incredible to see how these two beers reflected the values and philosophy of life of the respective cultures. I didn’t expect that. I also discovered that Madrilians use particular movements and words to order drinks and food in bars. And they can actually know if a person is from Madrid or not depending on the use or not of these movements and words.

Finally, I proved again that the Spanish culture is more based on the past and the traditional elements rather than the Catalan culture, which is always redefining its identity. While Estrella Damm uses young and energetic people that goes to cultural events, study/work in fancy jobs and aim to start some new adventure, Mahou uses memories, the legacy and the past.

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