This past summer, I traveled to Seville, Spain, with my family. One of the oldest traditions in Seville and many other parts of Spain is bull fighting. While we were visiting, there happened to be one occurring at the Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla, a local stadium. At first, I was hesitant to go. No one else on our tour group wanted to attend because in the United States, we typically view bull fighting as an act of animal cruelty and do not understand the cultural aspect behind it.

However, once I arrived at the stadium, I saw how the Spanish valued bull fighting. All ages and types of people gathered at the ancient stadium dressed in fancy clothing. My family and I, the only non-locals there, were shocked by the number of people who attended and were slightly underdressed for the occasion. The matadors, dressed in glittering costumes, were like local heroes. During the fight, music was surprisingly incorporated into the three rounds. After the bull dies, the meat was used to feed the poor and less fortunate so it did not go to waste.

Bull fighting is a Spanish tradition and aspect of culture that I could not understand the beauty of before I attended. In the future, I want to experience more traditions in different countries so I can see how the local people interact with them instead of basing my idea of the tradition on preconceived notions.

– Claire Batchelor (Student)