Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cultura en acción - La corrida de toros

Yesterday, our students got to experience culture in action by attending the corrida de toros. The corrida, held each year in conjunction with the fiestas of San Juan and San Pedro - is a controversial yet traditional event that draws just as many fans as it does protestors. Although students were warned in advance that the odds of any of the bulls making it out of the plaza were slim to none, we had a large number who wanted to see the corrida for themselves. This particular corrida featured three well-known matadores, or bullfighters: Juan José Padilla, David Fandila (known affectionately as "El Fandi"), and Miguel Ángel Perera. Each of the three toreros displayed his skills with two bulls, for a total of six for the afternoon. Each round is divided into tercios, or thirds, with the last tercio of course being that in which the bull meets his end. While for some it was understandably a lot to take in, others enjoyed the event and saw it as an opportunity to learn, chatting with the locals and asking questions so they could better understand all that was going on.
The plaza advertises itself as being the "prettiest and most comfortable" in all of Spain.

 Note the retractable cover, so that the toros might be seen no matter what the weather was like outside.

In the photos below, you can see the crowds cheering. The crowds help to determine the prize to be awarded to the matador for his efforts. If he is good, he will be awarded one oreja, or ear. If he is very good, he will be given both orejas from the fallen bull. If he is excellent, he will be given both orejas from his bull and el rabo, the tail. The best of the best are also awarded a salida en hombros, to be carried out on the shoulders of their admirers. 

A topic of much discussion was Padilla himself, as the students were quick to notice the patch he now must wear as a result of a previous accident in 2011 when he was gored by a bull in Zaragoza. Just five months later, he valiantly (insanely?) decided to return to the ring and earned himself the nickname "the Pirate."

1 comment:

  1. I'd be surprised if Mandy stuck around for that. Lol