Laura in Spain

Laura is a sophomore majoring in political science and Spanish in Dedman College. In Spring 2009, she will be taking courses toward her Spanish major in Spain at the Fundacion Jose Ortega y Gasset, while being immersed in Spanish culture.

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Bullfights: Not for the faint of heart

L-Bullfight%20pic.jpgIndeed, I was a bit apprehensive before making the decision to go to a bullfight. But I figured I couldn’t leave Spain without going to an authentic bullfight.

The fight was approximately 3 hours with 6 bulls and 3 matadors. Three hours sounds like a long time, but I felt like they flew by so quickly. This might sound a bit cold-hearted, but I enjoyed it more than I had expected.

L-bullfight%208.jpgI went with a friend, and as she cringed at the bull’s last breathing moments, I had my mouth open in awe of the spectacle. It might seem like an evil sport, but there is more to it than the bull’s death. The matadors go through an intense training beforehand so that the bulls may have a decent death.

L-bullfight8.jpg I felt like I was at a soccer game throughout the entire bullfight because the whole crowd was in an uproar at certain times. For example, there was one time when the matador didn’t stab the bull properly and the sword was poking out of the bull’s body and the entire crowd was yelling at him.

We also saw one of the bulls get pardoned, (a rare occurrence) because he was too weak too soon into the fight and it wouldn’t have been a fair fight. I also saw one of the matadors be turned into a rag doll as he made the wrong move. To my surprise, he got up as if nothing had happened and continued the match. According to one of my friends who has been to other bullfights, this was one of the goriest she has ever seen.

Lastly, I have talked to many Spaniards in regards to their feelings about these bullfights. I have gotten a wide range of responses because half say that they don’t consider it part of their culture and that they wish they weren’t know for bullfights, and the other half has told me they enjoy it as much as a good real Madrid soccer game.

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