9th session, Fernando came to my place. Before finishing this learning/teaching experience, we wanted to dedicate one meeting to pick up one celebration or one national party that summed up the essence of our respective cultures. Spain (and Catalonia) are known for the parties and the celebrations. This is probably the most important part of our cultures. So, we decided to select one and explain it in order to understand better and have an overview of the Madrilian and the Catalan character.
Using Internet and our own material, Fernando showed me the party of “Sant Isidro”. This one is probably the most famous and most traditional party in Madrid. During this days, as I could see in some videos, people go outside dressed with traditional Madrilian clothes and have lunch in the hill of “Sant Isidro”. There they prepare “cocido” (see session 2). After that, people walk around the city, sit in bars or cafes (eat “churros”) and enjoy de music and the ambience. At night, there are many free concerts around the city where young people go to have fun and drink beer (Mahou). It is very similar to the way the parties in Catalonia work but with more traditional elements and activities (such as the dresses and the lunch with the family).
On the other hand, I thought Fernando about the 11 of September, the national day of Catalonia. Usually everybody goes to Barcelona where a lot of activities and concerts are happening. At the beginning it was difficult for me to make Fernando understand the meaning of this celebration (because we use an historical defeat to celebrate the Catalan culture). It was an easy topic because, even if the reasons of our parties are different, most of the celebrations are the same. That was something I didn’t expect and was good to discover. Now I am capable of going to Madrid during the parties’ period without looking like a totally stranger. I also understood better my own national party and I would be able to explain it again in a better way to make Spanish people understand it better. At the end of the meeting we promised that we would visit the cities during the respective parties. We followed the plan successfully but we are sad because this experience is going to its end.