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Culture of Asturias, Spain Anne-Rixt Cnossen Annerigt Terpstra Marrit van de Witte Lysbeth van der Zee

Spain The country of bull fights Tapas as tasty bites Women in beautiful dresses Those are all guesses

These are views of outsiders That’s seen different by insiders We didn’t came far with speculating Because of this we are investigating

We’re doing the best we can And came up with a plan Together with your support We’re creating this report

The poem above says a lot for itself already. We, as a group, only know a few things about the cultural parts of Spain. For lots of people here in the Netherlands these are the main cultural features of Spain. But of course we knew that there are way more to be found. We started the research and now we’re hoping you’re recognizing lots of these features. Hopefully we have put your culture into words right. Enjoy!

The Spanish culture differs from our culture in the Netherlands. But you see the Spanish culture throughout the whole world. Popular of the Spanish culture are especially: -

The Spanish Cuisine


The Spanish Sports


The Spanish Traditions


The Spanish Music

1 SPANISH CUISINE The Spanish cuisine is famous all over the world. Especially the Mediterranean meals like paëlla and tapas are huge successes in foreign countries. Something that lots of people don’t know is that the Spanish cuisine also consists, next to the Mediterranean part, of different regional Spanish kitchens. For example the Catalonian and the Basque. All these regional cuisines differ a lot. This causes that the Spanish cuisine is actually varied way more than most people think it is. If we start comparing the features of the Dutch cuisine to the Spanish we’ll come across some differences. The first difference is a small one, it’s the food pyramid. Spanish food pyramid

Dutch food pyramid

Another difference between Spain and many other countries is that the inhabitants use a lot of fresh products for their dishes, while in other European countries lots of people eat frozen foods or pre-packaged vegetables and fruit.


Using a lot of olive-oil. The use of different kinds of onions, garlic and parsley to add more taste to meals. Eating bread combined with dinner Sweet things or fruit function as a dessert or breakfast. Drinking wine with several meals. Lots of fish and other seafood. Different times of having meals.

In Spain there’s no certain eating pattern that everyone uses. There are some times at the day that a lot of people eat. Having breakfast when you get up is quite normal. Most of the time the adults eat a light breakfast and have a break halfway the morning in which they eat a sandwich or tapas. Children do eat more; think of breakfast cereals and something to drink. Lunching happens between 1 and 3 o’clock, which is very late in comparison with the Netherlands. If this meal is eaten at home, it has most of the time an entrée, a main course and a dessert. The entrée often consists of vegetables or pasta. After that the main course follows. This is based on meat, fish or eggs. The dessert very often consists, as we said already, of fruit and/or something sweet. Many also have dinner around 10 o’clock, which has the same type of structure as the lunch.

SEVERAL SPANISH/ASTURIAN MEALS: Tapas are a wide in variety appetizers. It can be served cold or warm, that depends on the ingredients. Common tapas dishes are for example Aceitunas (olives with/without filling), Setas al Ajillo (mushrooms, olive-oil and garlic) and Calamares (rings of battered squid).

Patatas bravas is an appetizer which consists of fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce.

Bollos prenaos is an appetizer. It is white bread filled with chorizo sausage. Chorizo is a famous Spanish sausage made out of pork. There’s also garlic, sugar and paprika in it.

Paella is rice with seafood/meat and different kind vegetables.

A very famous Asturian main course is fabada. It is a stew with large white beans and chorizo in it.

There’s a dessert called torrijas, this is bread that has been soaked in sugar water.

Casadiellas is also a dessert. It is bread with a puree of nuts in it.

2 THE SPANISH SPORTS In Spain there are a lot of different sports. So also well-known athletes. Let's look at the most popular sports and athletes in Spain. Soccer, Basketball, Tennis, Skiing, Handball. These sports sound quite familiar I think but do you also know that much about their traditional sports, Basque pelota and Bullfighting?

THE MOST POPULAR SPORT IS SOCCER: The Spanish team is doing quite well on the world championship. Within the country FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and La Liga are the best clubs. These matches are really nice to see. I think one of the best Spanish players known in the World is Fernando Torres.

BASKETBALL: ACB isn't the best league in Spain, but it is considered to be one of the best in the world behind NBA. ACB has 18 different teams. One season of basketball has 34 games in total. Spain won 3 times silver at the Olympic games and they also won a golden medal in the FIBA world cup. two very good basketball players from Spain are the brothers Marc and Pau Gasol.

TENNIS: The Spanish tennis became really popular when Rafael Nadal did so well. Rafael started already at a very young age. At the age of 8 he won an under -12 regional tennis championship. He became better and better. Nowadays he's ranked number 1 of the world. He won a lot of important championships including Wimbledon and Australian open and a lot more.

SKIING: Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe. There are a lot of different topnotch ski resorts. So the athletes have enough place to practice. And the temperature is Spain is just perfect for skiing. A very good Spanish skier is Diego Ruiz AsĂ­n.

BASQUE PELOTA: Basque pelota is a variation of one wall handball. The only difference we could think of is that the people in Spain play the sport using one’s hand, a racket, a wooden bat or a basket. In the Netherlands we only use our hands to play the ball against the wall. Spain is also participating in one wall handball games against other countries.

BULLFIGHTING: You here all kind of thing about bullfighting but what is it exactly? The tradition involves three matadors who each fight two bulls, which are at least four years old and weigh between 460 and 600 kg. Each matador has six assistants: two lancers mounted on horseback, tree flagmen and a sword page. And then they fight. Bull fighting was very popular in the past but nowadays it’s becoming less popular. It is already banned in some parts of Spain and in most of the other areas there is almost nonexistent.

3 THE SPANISH TRADITIONS In Spain they have many traditions. The traditions are very important in the Spanish live. They have the most national holidays from Europe. Most of the traditions underneath are in the whole of Spain. Some only in parts of Spain and of course also a tradition in Asturias.

VILLAGE FESTIVALS: They celebrate this in almost every village or city. It is in honour of the patron saint. They mostly celebrate it in the summer, so it can be celebrated outside on the street or on squares. It is a very nice tradition because people are celebrating and having fun with each other.

CARNIVAL: The inhabitants of Spain are busy for months preparing this festival, everything has to look fantastic. When carnival is celebrated there are many performances. And all the people spend much time on picking and designing their clothes.

TOMATO FIGHTS: This tradition is celebrated every year, its celebrated on the last Wednesday of August. It is one of the funniest traditions. Around 40000 people are participating and there is 132 tons of tomatoes used. It belongs to together with the bull fighting to the most well-known traditions of Spain. It’s mostly celebrated in Valencia. Many tourists are coming to the tomato fights and there are many tomatoes distributed to the tourists and inhabitants.

FLAMENCO: Flamenco is a Spanish music genre and dance, that mostly come from the southern provinces of Spain. It originated in the second half of the 19 th century. In Flamenco you have three forms, Cante: the song, Baile: the dance and Guitarra: guitar playing. The rhytm can be made in many different ways. For example by tapping with a stick on the ground. Typical for the Flamenco dance is that every new generation ads something new to the dance.

LA NOCHE DE SAN XUAN: This is a typical tradition in Asturias. It is celebrated in honour of St. John the Baptist and it takes place on the evening of June 23. There are bonfires and fireworks are usually lit. There are also special foods served. To this tradition there also belong rituals. Like jumping over the fire, touching the water that is blessed in the night or making wishes. Many cities and towns have their own unique traditions associated with the festival. In some towns the celebration is supplemented with more festivities and dances.

SIĂ‹STA: In the afternoon siesta is kept, mostly in the summer. It is usually from 14:00 to 17:00, but this can differ. It replaces the lunchbreak that is usual in the rest of Europe.

4 THE SPANISH MUSIC A traditional instrument in Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria is the well-known gaita, this is kind of a bagpipe. Outside Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria this bagpipe is also played, but is known because of those parts in Spain. The gaita is kind of variation of the flutes and clarinets they play throughout the rest of Spain and kind of the bagpipe from Scotland.

ORIGIN: They already played the gaita in the 13th century. But the instrument became popular in the 17th, 18th and 19th century. The gaita looks like the bagpipe you know from the Scotish, but this is because of the Celtic groups which seatled through the north of Spain and as you can see, Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria are the most northern regions. And in fact the most easy regions of Spain to reach if you come from Great Britian or Scotland. And that’s why they culture here, and you can see this still in this instrument.

influenced the

HOW TO PLAY IT: Gaitas usually have only one drone and follow a different fingering pattern. The drone is the wooden part of the gaita, on which you move your fingers to make different sounds. When playing a gaita you can do it solo, of play it together with a tamboril, the bombo and a bass drum. But because they are famous of this instrument, it doesn’t mean they only listen to this kind of Celtic music. It’s already getting a kind of


5 THE CONCLUSION The Spanish cuisine differs a lot in every region. It is popular and famous in many countries. Most foreigners know dishes like paella and tapas. In the Spanish cuisine they use a lot more fresh products then lots of people do in the Netherlands. Another difference is the time that we eat dinner and lunch. The most famous main course in Asturias is the Fabada. Most of the sports that are popular in Spain are sports that we know as well. Like Soccer, Basketball, Tennis, Skiing, Handball and the more traditional sports are Basque Pelota and Bullfighting. There are many famous athletes from Spain, like Fernando Torres and Raphael Nadal. Some of the popular traditions in Spain are familiar to us already. Like the Village Festivals, Carnival and Flamenco. And we think the Tomato fight is the funniest tradition. One of the traditional instruments in Asturias and Cantabria is the Gaita, a kind of Bagpipe. It’s a variation of the flutes and clarinets they play throughout the rest of Spain. You know the bagpipe from the Scottish. Asturias and Cantabria are the most northern parts of Spain, so the easiest parts to reach if you come from Great Britain or Scotland.

Asturias, spain culture