I’ve been seeing posters in Granada promoting the first few bullfights of what I imagine is the season. After 16 months in Andalucia, although I have had a mooch around the bullrings in both Granada and Antequera as a curious tourist, I have yet to actually watch a bullfight ‘live’.
The closest I have ever come was watching one on TV while in a bar in Ronda on my first trip to Andalucia in 2009 and truth be told, although I wanted to appreciate the history and culture about which I have been told, I couldn’t help just thinking it was all rather barbaric that an animal suffered for ‘entertainment’.
Since coming to Granada, I’ve met a handful of Spaniards from Granada and other parts of Spain who talk of ‘la corrida’ as an art form and of its cultural significance to Spain’s past, present and future and thus far, like many guiris and increasingly Spaniards here perhaps, I’ve yet to be convinced.
Having said that, I’ve never been to a bullfight and how can I have an opinion on something without having experienced it first-hand? It’s like Mary Whitehouse and Tipper Gore criticising TV and music for being indecent without ever watching or hearing it. I know I don’t like callos because I’ve tried it, whereas I love morcilla piccante and I know because I’ve tried it.
Is watching a bullfight the same though?
Whether you like it or not, it exists and is very much a part of Spanish and Andalucian culture especially and so from this point of view, I really want to go to a bullfight and see for myself as I probably would in any other country to experience part of the local culture of wherever you are.
I’m not a big football fan but I’ve been to both the Bernabeu in Madrid and Camp Nou in Barcelona to experience the atmosphere of the ‘live event’ as opposed to the football itself and part of me would like to do the same with a bullfight, if only to say that I have been, seen it, experienced it for myself and think it’s either terrible or the best thing since pan de molde.
- What do you think?
- Have you been to a bullfight?
- Have you refused to go?
- Is it machismo mixed with violent tragedy?
- Is bullfighting an art?
- Is it unnecessary cruelty?
- Has living in Spain changed how you see bullfighting?