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Spain - Term Paper Example

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This paper will let you know the general facts about Spain (where Spain is situated, about its customs and traditions, daily life, Spanish cuisine, language, official currency, history of Spain, Spanish climate and so on). …
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Extract of sample "Spain"

Spain Introduction Spain, officially known as the Kingdom of Spain is to be found in southwestern Europe in the Iberian Peninsula and forms part of the European Union. Spain borders France, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean, Andorra and Portugal. The official currency of Spain is Euros and the official language of Spain is Spanish. Spain is mix of different people and cultures with native Spaniards forming more than 80 percent of the population and the rest made of Latin Americans, North Africans, Asians and Eastern Europe including French, German and British. Spain is a scenic country with combination of lush green mountains, volcanoes, plateaus, Islands and rivers. The Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean are part of the beautiful country that is Spain. Along with its beautiful geography, Spain is also famous for its archeological sites which include Muslim palaces, baroque cathedrals, Roman relics and Modern constructions. The exports of Spain range from organic food to industrial equipment. Spain is known for its olive exports and organic food exports which include avocadoes, tomatoes, saffron and potatoes. Wine especially red wine, champagne and sherry are also one of the exports of Spain. With the increase in global outsourcing, Spain has become the third biggest exporter of car and car parts. Customs and Traditions in Spain Spain is known for its customs and traditions since it is one of the oldest countries and has been a haven for people belonging to diverse races and religion. Spain is also known for its infamous bull fighting. Bull fighting is one of the most dangerous and yet trilling sport. It may have lost most of it vigor but is still a tourist attraction in Spain and represents Spain around the world. Las Ventas, the biggest bullring in the world is located in Spain. Spanish nightlife, specifically in Madrid, is also one of the most exciting things about the country where people of all age groups enjoy in bars and clubs in the later part of the night till early morning. The Spanish fiesta is also a rich part of the culture. Fiestas are festivals held in every town and village from time to time so that the Spanish could delve in their love for eating, drinking and dancing. Spanish Cuisine Spanish Cuisine, though a mix of different cuisine, still has its distinguishing characteristics. Since Spain in large parts borders the sea, it is not uncommon that seafood is the most familiar item in Spanish Cuisine along with rice. Paella is one such famous dish in Spain that consists of seafood and rice. Other than seafood and rice, Spanish enjoy cheese, fresh fruits, ham and love all kinds of meat. Olive oil and garlic is the most used ingredient in Spanish food since it is grown within the country. Wine is most often the side ingredient of Spanish food. The famous tortillas that we enjoy so much stem from Spanish cuisine. Tapas are also an important part of Spanish cuisine and usually serve as appetizers before the main lunch. Though Spanish food is easy to cook and healthy, it is still mouth-watering and delicious. Spanish Climate Since Spain is a mixture of different topological features and it covers a large area, the climate varies extensively in the country. Though Spain is known of its sunny weather, this climate is restricted in central Spain where the winters are freezing cold and the summers baking hot. Near the Mediterranean region, Spain is characterized by warm summers with rains falling during the spring and summer time while people living in the Atlantic region enjoy a climate similar to that of UK. Daily life in Spain Daily life in Spain is a little different from that of its modern counterparts. Though with the increase in immigrants to Spain, the culture has changed to some extent but this is mostly restrained to the islands and the coastal areas but rural Spain still is removed from the daily necessities of life such as electricity and a proper sewerage and water line. Siesta is one of the most important and famous aspects of the Spanish culture and daily life. During the afternoon, between 1 to 4 p.m., all business activities are closed down, even educational centers. The locals are expected to rest during this time and resume normal activities after 4 p.m. (Kohen and Elias, 40). Shopping in Spain Madrid and Barcelona are the unofficial shopping centers of Spain where shops range from side stalls to designer shops that cater to the different kinds of customers. To enjoy the flavor of local shopping, one should visit El Rastro located in Madrid on a Sunday morning. It functions more as a flea market where bargaining is essential and pick pocketing is common. For a more upscale market in Madrid, one should visit Eastern Salamanca, which showcases the designs of the most international and local designers. Shopping in Spain is enjoyable for both the bargainers and the brand conscious individuals. History of Spain Spain, the most historically and culturally rich country, first harbored the Celts and the Iberians. Later after the Second Punic War, the Romans captured the country after an extensive period of two centuries. The culture of the Celts and the Romans married together but later Roman culture and tradition was accepted and practiced by the Spaniards. The province of Hispania became an important centre for the Romans and emperors such as Traian and Hadrian originated from the province of Hispania. When Roman Empire began to fall in 401 AD, the Gothic took over the area. This lasted for more for nearly 300 years and soon the Moorish Muslims from Africa took leadership of the country. The existing Christians and Jews were allowed to practice their religion on a conditional tax but conversion to Islam increased at a rapid rate. The Muslims were unable to retain control for long due to internal rivalry and with the marriage of Isabella I and Ferdinand II, the Christians managed to gain power over the country. Isabella and Ferdinand consolidated the power in Spain and Spain emerged as the first world power. This was one of the brightest periods of Spain as the age of discoveries began and the rule of Spain expanded into the newly discovered America. This was reversed in the 17th century with the rise of Protestant Reformation and resulting internal conflict in the country. This allowed France to take hold of the country and Spain came under the rule of Napoleon. But in 1793, Spain went against the French rule and fought wars against the country which did free the country but rendered it economically weak. Spain finally emerged as an independent state after the Spanish Civil War in 1963, as the natives fought against the dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera. Vacation Spots in Spain Spain is magnet for tourists as millions come to the country to enjoy its rich culture and entertaining night life. Vacation Spots in Spain range from the Canary Islands to the metropolitan cities of Madrid and Barcelona. Las Ramblas is the main tourists’ attraction in Barcelona where crowds of tourists are found enjoying the culture, food, drinks and dancing of Spain. References Kohen, Elizabeth and Elias, Marie Louise, Spain. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2003. Print Read More
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