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2.10.2020 – Spanish-speaking countries: many different cultures to discover


There are about 21 countries in the world whose official language (or one of the many languages spoken) is Spanish! Growing up in Mexico I was completely exposed to the Spanish language and immersed in Mexican culture in a different way than here in Chicago. Over there, we were taught specifically about our traditions and festivities and our own history.

When I came to the United States and started taking Spanish classes in high school I was surprised to see the way in which they teach it. It is not only the language, but also some cultural aspects of various countries where Spanish is spoken, so they focus on teaching a little bit about each country and their history as well as their own and unique traditions different from any other country. It was fascinating to me how easy it could be to discover and learn about different places all connected through the same language.

I was introduced to places like Spain and Argentina that completely fascinated me and have made me want to visit them in the future. Things like the beautiful architecture of Spain, their own festivities, their music, their dances and the different languages that are spoken in different regions have sparked in me some curiosity.

One specific festivity I learned about Spain when I was in high school is a tradition called “La tomatina”. This tradition is original to the city of Bunol in Valencia, Spain. The participants get involved in a tomato fight for pure entertainment. Everyone who participates ends up completely soaked on tomato puree and as one can imagine, the streets of the city end up as a complete mess. I started looking up videos of this festival and saw how much fun people were having. And in reality, not one single country is going to be the same just because they might share a language. There will be many different and unique cultural aspects about a country or countries to learn about and Spain is just one of them.

– Valeria