• Culture of Spain history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family
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  • Spain occupies about 85 percent of the Iberian peninsula, with Portugal on its western border. Other entities in Iberia are the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrenees and Gibraltar, which is under British sovereignty and is located on the south coast. The Pyrenees range separates Spain from France. The Atlantic Ocean washes Spain's north coast, the far northwest corner adjacent to Portugal, and the far southwestern zone between the Portuguese border and the Strait of Gibraltar.

    Spain is separated from North Africa on the south by the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea, which also washes Spain's entire east coast.

    Spain also holds two cities, Ceuta and Melilla, on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco. Spain's perimeter is mountainous, the mountains generally rising from relatively narrow coastal plains.

    The country's interior, while transected by various mountain ranges, is high plateau, or meseta, generally divided into the northern and southern mesetas.

    Great local diversity flourishes on Spanish terrain and is part of Spain's essence. The people of hamlets, villages, towns, and cities—the basic political units of the Spanish population—and sometimes even neighborhoods barrios hold local identities that are rooted not only in differences of local geography and microclimate but also in perceived cultural differences made concrete in folklore and symbolic usages.

    Throughout rural Spain, despite the strength of localism, there is also a perception of shared culture in rural zones called comarcas. The comarca is a purely cultural and economic unit, without political or any other official identity. In what are known as market communities in other parts of the world, villages or towns in a Spanish comarca patronize the same markets and fairs, worship at the same regional shrines in times of shared need such as droughtwear similar traditional dress, speak the language similarly, intermarry, and celebrate some of the same festivals at places commonly regarded as central or important.

    The comarca is a community of concrete relationships; larger regional identities are more easily characterized as imagined but emerge from a tradition of local difference and acquire some of their strength from that tradition. A recognition of difference among Spaniards is woven into the very fabric of Spanish identity; most Spaniards begin any discussion of their country with a recitation of Spain's diversity, and this is generally a matter of pride.

    Spaniards' commitment to Spain's essential Spain diversity is the benchmark from which any student of things Spanish must depart. It is essential to realize that outsiders can legitimately consider some of Spain's diversity as imagined every bit as much as its unity might be—that is, Spaniards sort their differences with a fine-toothed comb and create measures of local and regional differences which might fail tests of general significance by other measures.

    The majority of Spaniards endorse the significance of local differences together with an overarching unity, which makes them regard Spain's inhabitants as Spanish despite their variety. This image of variety is itself a shared element of Spanish identity.

    The populations least likely to feel Spanish are Catalans and Basques, although these large, complex regional populations are by no means unanimous in their views. The Basque language is unrelated to any living language or known extinct ones; this fact is the principal touchstone of a Basque sense of separateness. Even though many other measures of difference can be questioned, Basque separatism, where it is endorsed, is fueled by the experience of political repression in the twentieth century in particular.

    There has never been an independent Basque state apart from Spain or France. The Catalan language, like Spanish, is a Romance language, lacking the mysterious distinction that Basque has. This growing power was soon to be enhanced by the Crown's monopoly vis-a-vis other regions and the rest of Europe on all that accrued from Christopher Columbus's discovery of the New World, which occurred under Crown sponsorship.

    Madrid, already at the time an ancient Castilian town, was selected as Spain's capital inreplacing the court's former home, Valladolid. The motive of this move was Madrid's centrality: The Puerta del Sol is at kilometer zero for Spain's road system. Spain's population of 39, in early represented a slight decline from levels earlier in the decade.

    The population had increased significantly in every previous decade of the twentieth century, rising from under nineteen million in Spain's declining birthrate, which in was the lowest in the world, has been the cause of official concern. The bulk of Spain's population is in the Castilian provinces including Madridthe Andalusian provinces, and the other, smaller regions of generalized Castilian culture and speech.

    The Catalan and Valencian provinces including the major cities of Barcelona and Valenciaalong with the Balearic Islands, account for about 30 percent of the population, Galicia for about 7 percent, and Basque Country for about 5 percent. These are not numbers of speakers of the minority languages, however, as the Catalan, Gallego, and Basque provinces all hold diverse populations and speech communities.

    Spain's national language is Spanish, or Castilian Spanish, a Romance language derived from the Latin implanted in Iberia following the conquest by Rome at the end of the third century B. Two of the minority languages of the nation—Gallego and Catalan—are also Romance languages, derived from Latin in their respective regions just as Castilian Spanish hereafter "Spanish" was.

    These Romance languages supplanted earlier tribal ones which, except for Basque, have not survived. The Basque language was spoken in Spain prior to the colonization by Rome and has remained in use into the twenty-first century. It is, as noted earlier, unique among known languages. Virtually everyone in the nation today speaks Spanish, most as a first but some as a second language.

    The regions with native non-Spanish languages are also internally the most linguistically diverse of Spain's regions. In them, people who do not speak Spanish even as a second language are predictably older and live in remote areas. None of the regional languages has ever been in official use outside its home region and their speakers have used Spanish in national-level exchanges and in wide-scale commerce throughout modern times. Under the democratic government that followed Franco's death inGallego, Basque, and Catalan have come into official use in their respective regions and are therefore experiencing a renaissance at home as well as enhanced recognition in the rest of the nation.

    Proper names, place-names, and street names are no longer translated automatically into Spanish. The unique nature of Basque has always brought personal, family, and place-names into the general consciousness, but Gallego and Catalan words had been easily rendered in Spanish and their native versions left unannounced. This is no longer so. In Basque Country, the easy use of Basque is increasing among Basques themselves as the language regains status in official use. The same is true in Galicia in circles whose language of choice might until recently have been Spanish.

    An important literary renaissance expectedly accompanies these developments. In those parts of Spain in which Spanish is the only language, dialectical patterns can remain significant.

    As with monolingualism in Basque, Catalan, or Gallego, deeply dialectic speech varies with age, formal schooling, and remoteness from major population centers. However, in some regions—Asturias is one—there has been a revival of traditional language forms and these are a focus of local pride and historical consciousness.

    Asturias, which in pre-modern times covered a wider area of the Atlantic north than the modern province of Asturias, was a major seat of early Christian uprising against Islam, which was established in southern Spain in C.

    Events in Asturian history are thus emblematic of the persistence and reemergence of the Christian Spanish nation; the heir to the Spanish throne bears the title of Prince of Asturias. Thus the Asturian dialect, like the province itself, is emblematic of the birth of the modern nation. Spain's different regions, or smaller entities within them, depict themselves richly through references to local legend and custom; classical references to places and their character; Christian heroic tales and events; and the regions' roles in Spain's complex history, especially during the eight-century presence of Islam.

    Examples already cited here are the association of Madrid with a site at which a bear and a strawberry tree were found together, of Asturias with tales of local Christian resistance early in the Islamic period, and of Basque country with a pre-Roman language and a defiant resistance to Rome. Many such images are stable in time; others less so as new touchstones of identity emerge. Current symbolism at the national level respects the mosaic of more local depictions of identity and joins Spain's regions in a flag that bears the fleurs-de-lis of the Bourbon Crown and the arms or emblems of the several historical kingdoms that covered the present nation in its entirety.

    The colors, yellow and red, of what was to become the national flag were first adopted in for their high visibility at sea. The presence of an eagle, either double- or single-headed, has been historically variable. So has the legend under the crowned columns that represent the pillars of Hercules based on the older motto nec plus ultra "nothing beyond" that now reads plus ultra in recognition of Spain's discovery of new lands. The presence of a crown symbol, of course, has been absent in republican periods.

    The national flag is thus quite recent—it has only been displayed on public buildings since —and its iconography much manipulated, as is that on the coins of the realm.

    Many regional and local symbols have been more stable in time.

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    This in itself suggests the depth of localism and regionalism and the seriousness of giving them due weight in symbolizing the nation as a whole. In some instances the iconography or language of monarchy and the use of the adjective "royal" real takes precedence over the term "national. Some of the most compelling and widespread national symbols and events are those rooted in the religious calendar. The ancient folk festival of Midsummer's Eve, 21 June, is conflated with the feast of Saint John San Juan on 24 June and is also the current king's name day.

    There are also secular figures that transcend place and have become iconic of Spain as a whole. The most important are the bull, from the complex of bullfighting traditions across Spain, and the figures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, from Miguel de Cervantes's novel of These share a place in Spaniards' consciousness along with the Holy Family, emblems of locality including locally celebrated saintsand a deep sense of participation in a history that has set Spain apart from the rest of Europe.

    History and Ethnic Relations Emergence of the Nation. Early unification of Spain's tribal groups occurred under Roman rule circa B. Other aspects of administration, military and legal organization, and sundry cultural and social processes and institutions derived from the Roman presence. Christianity was introduced to Spain in Roman times, and the Christianization of the populace continued into the Visigothic period to C.

    The Visigoths were the first foreign power to establish their centers in the northern rather than the southern half of the peninsula.

    Visigothic rule saw the implantation of new forms of local governance, new legal codes, and the Christianization of the peoples of Spain's mountainous north.

    A Jewish population was present in Spain from about B. The presence of Islam inspired from the beginning a Christian insurgency from the northern refuge areas, and this built over the centuries. Much of the northern meseta was a frontier between Christian kingdoms and the caliphate—or smaller Muslim kingdoms taifas after the caliphate's fall.

    Christians pushed this frontier increasingly southward until their final victory over the last Islamic stronghold, Granada, in During this period, Christian power was continually consolidated with Castile at its center. Thus began the formation of Spain's great overseas empire at exactly the time at which Christian Spain triumphed over Islam and expelled unconverted Muslims and Jews from Spanish soil. Spain has been a committed Roman Catholic nation throughout modern times. This commitment has informed many of Spain's relations with other nations.

    Internally, while the populace is almost wholly Catholic, there has been much philosophical, social-class, and regional variance over time regarding the position of the church and clergy. These issues have joined other secular ones, some regarding succession to the Crown, to produce a dynamic national political history.

    Twice the monarchy has given way to a republic—the first from tothe second from to The Second Republic was overthrown in by a military uprising.

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    Following a bloody civil war, General Francisco Franco, inestablished a conservative, Catholic, and fascist dictatorship that lasted until his death in Franco regarded himself as a regent for a future king and selected the grandson of the last ruler Alfonso XIII, who left Spain in as the king to succeed him.

    Franco died in and King Juan Carlos I then gained the helm of a constitutional monarchy, which took a democratic Spain into the twenty-first century. Spanish national sentiment and a sense of unity rest on shared experience and institutions and have been strengthened by Spain's relative separation from the rest of Europe by the forbidding barrier of the Pyrenees range.

    Processes promoting unification were begun under Rome and the Visigoths, and the Christianization of the populace was particularly important.

    Christian identity was strengthened in the centuries of confrontation with Islam and again with the Spaniards' establishment of Christianity in the New World. The events of brought senses of both a renewed and an emergent nation through the reestablishment of Christian hegemony on Spanish soil and the achievement of new power in the New World, which placed Spain in the avant garde of all Europe.

    One legacy of Spain's medieval convivencia living together of Christians, Jews, and Muslims is a universal consciousness of that history and the presence in folklore, language, and popular thought of images of Jews and "Moors" and of characteristics and activities imputed to or associated with them.

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    The notion of cultural difference or ethnicity is often submerged by facts of religious difference except in the case of Spanish Gypsies, who are Catholics.

    Through most of the twentieth century, Spanish society unlike Spain's former colonies in the New World, Africa, and Asia was not ethnically diverse, except for the presence of Gypsies, who arrived in Spain in the fifteenth century.

    Other non-European presences were relatively few, except for growing tourism in the last decades of the century, a United States military presence at a small number of bases in Spain, a modest Latin American presence, and the beginning of the passage through Spain of North African workers, especially Moroccans who by late in the century would become a labor presence in Spain itself. Despite these late twentieth century trends, Spaniards' most consistent and abiding sense of difference between themselves and others on their own soil is in regard to Spanish families tend to consist of nuclear family only, with older couples or unmarried adults living on their own rather than with kin.

    Gypsies, who occupy the same marginal place in Spanish society to which they are relegated in most European countries. Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space Spanish settlements are typically tightly clustered. The concentration of structures in space lends an urban quality even to small villages. The Spanish word pueblo, often narrowly translated as "village," actually refers equally to a populace, a people, or a populated place, either large or small, so a pueblo can be a village, a city, or a national populace.

    Size, once again, is secondary to the fact of a concentration of people. In most rural areas, dwellings, barns, storage houses, businesses, schoolhouses, town halls, and churches are close to one another, with fields, orchards, gardens, woods, meadows, and pastures lying outside the inhabited center. These latter are "the countryside" campobut the built center, no matter how large or small, is a distinct space: Campo and pueblo are essentially separate kinds of space. In some areas, human habitation is dispersed in the countryside; this is not the norm, and many Spaniards express pity for those who live isolated in the countryside.

    Dispersed settlement is most systematically associated with areas of mixed cultivation and cattle breeding, mostly in humid Spain along the Atlantic north coast. Spain's major cities—Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Zaragoza—and the many lesser cities, mostly provincial capitals, are major attractions for the rural populace.

    The qualities of urban life are sought after; in addition, nonagrarian work, market opportunities, and numerous important services are heavily concentrated in cities. Dwelling types are varied, and what are sometimes called regional types are often in reality associated with local geographies or, within a single zone, with rustic versus more modern styles.

    Many parts of rural Spain display dwelling types that are rapidly becoming archaic and in which people and animals share space in ways that most Spaniards view with distaste.

    Most houses that meet with wider approval relegate animals to well-insulated stables within the dwelling structures, but with separate entries. Increasingly, however, animals are stalled entirely in outbuildings, and motor transport and the mechanization of agriculture have, of course, caused a significant decrease in the number and kinds of animals kept by rural families.

    Houses themselves are usually sturdily built, often with meter-thick walls to insure stability, insulation, and privacy. Preferred materials are stone and adobe brick fortified by heavy timbers. Privacy is crucial because dwellings are closely clustered and often abut, even if their walls are structurally separate.

    Southern Spain, in particular, is home to houses built around off-street patios that may show mostly windowless walls to the public street. Urban apartment buildings throughout Spain may use the patio principle to create inner, off-street spaces for such domestic uses as hanging laundry.

    Building patios also constitute informal social space for exchange between neighbors. Outside of dwellings and within a population center, most spaces are very public, particularly those areas that are used for public events. Village, town, and city streets, plazas, and open spaces are common property and subject to regulation by civic authority.

    The very public nature of outdoor space heightens the concern with the separation of domestic from public space and the maintenance of domestic privacy. Yet family members who share dwelling space may enjoy less privacy from one another than their American counterparts: Beyond the homes of rural or middle-class urban Spaniards, there are palaces, mansions, and monuments of both civil and sacred architecture that display some distinctions but much similarity to comparable structures in other parts of Europe.

    These—along with prehistoric art and sites—are important in the array of emblems of local and regional identities. Food and Economy Food in Daily Life. The traditional Spanish diet is rooted in the products of an agrarian, pastoral, and horticultural society.

    Home production of honey is today mostly eclipsed by use of sugarcane and sugar-beet products, which have been commercialized in a few areas. Most important among the garden vegetables are potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cabbages and chard, green peas, asparagus, artichokes and vegetable thistle cardozucchini squash, and eggplant. Most of these are ubiquitous but some, like artichokes and asparagus, are also highly commercialized, especially in conserve.

    Important orchard fruits besides olives are oranges and lemons, quinces, figs, cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, pears, apples, almonds, and walnuts.

    Of these, oranges, almonds, and quinces, in particular, are commercialized, as are olives and their oil. The most important vine fruits are grapes and melons, and in some regions there is caper cultivation.

    The heavily commercialized herbs are paprika and saffron, both of which are in heavy use in Spanish cookery. The Spanish midday stew, of which every region has at least one version, is a brothy dish of legumes with potatoes, condimented with cured pork products and fresh meat s in small quantity, and with greens in season at the side or in the stew.

    This is known as a cocido or olla or olla podrida and in some homes is eaten, in one or another version, every day. These rice dishes are eaten everywhere but in some areas are often reserved for Sundays. The midday meal comida around 2: This follows a small breakfast desayuno of coffee or chocolate and bread or other dough products—purchased breakfast cakes, packaged cookies, or dough fritters churros. Family members may breakfast at different times.

    A mid-morning A flamenco dancer in Madrid. This idiom of song, dance, and musical accompaniment is regarded as uniquely Spanish. In the late afternoon, between 6: When taken, the supper cena is a light meal—often of soup, eggs, fish, or cold meats—and is eaten by families together around This meal pattern is national except that in the Catalan area main meal hours are earlier, somewhat as in France 1: The family meals, comida and cena, are important gathering times.

    Even in congested urban areas, most working people travel home to the comida and return to work afterwards. Commercial and office hours are designed around the comida hours: Banks and many offices have no afternoon hours. Food stores, butchers, and fishmongers may remain open longer in the mornings and not reopen until at least 6: Virtually all commerce is closed by the family supper hour of Restaurant dining has become common in the urban middle, professional, and upper classes, where restaurants have made a few inroads on the home meals of some families; in general, however, family comida and cena hours are crucial aspects of family life throughout the nation.

    Restaurants in urban areas date only from the mid-nineteenth century: Other kinds of establishments—taverns, houses specializing in specific kinds of drinks such as chocolateand inns fondas offering meals to travelers are of course much older. But urban restaurants offering meals to those who could eat at home instead represented a new kind of social activity to those who could afford the price.

    Into the s, Spaniards who ate in restaurants did so mostly in families and mostly to eat together, at leisure and in public, and not to try new foods.

    Menus were mostly of Spanish dishes from the same inventory home cooks also produced. Tomato gazpacho is one of the Spanish dishes that has an international presence, as do paellas and mountain serrano hams.

    Spain's contemporary version of the ancient refreshments barley-water French orgeat or almond-water is made from the tuber chufa and is called horchata. This beverage is produced mostly for Spanish consumption. Another beverage, sherry wine, which is produced around the southern town of Jerez de la Frontera, has international fame. And it was Spaniards who first introduced Europeans to drinking chocolate.

    Chocolate parlors, like coffee-houses and wine cellars, are public gathering places that purvey and attract customers to drink specific beverages. Their product, hard cider, is also bottled and exported to other regions and abroad. Wine, however, is the most common accompaniment to meals in most of the nation, and beer is drunk mostly before or between meals. A number of desserts and sweets have a national presence, principally a group of milk desserts of the flan or caramel custard family.

    Cheese figures strongly as a dessert and is often served with quince paste. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Eating and drinking together are Spaniards' principal ways of spending time together, either at everyday leisure moments, weekly on Sundays, or on special occasions. Special occasions include both general religious feast days such as Easter and Christmas and such family celebrations as birthdays, personal saints' days, baptisms, First Communions, and weddings.

    Many of these involve invited guests, and in small villages there may be at least token food offerings to the whole populace. Food is the principal currency of social exchange. The contents of special meals vary.

    Some feature dishes from the daily inventory at their most elaborate and numerous, with the most select ingredients.

    Some respond to the Church's required abstentions principally from meat on particular days such as Christmas Eve and during Lent. Salt cod and eel are especially important in meatless dishes. Some purely secular festivals of rural families accompany the execution of major tasks: In some regions, a funeral meal follows a burial; this is hosted by the family of the deceased for their kin and other invited guests.

    This meatless meal is in most places a thing of the past, and the Church has discouraged funeral banquets, but it was an important tradition in the north, in Basque, and in other regions. Spain has been a heavily agrarian, pastoral, and mercantile nation. As of the middle of the twentieth century the nation was principally rural. Today, industry is more highly developed, and Spain is a member of the European Economic Community and participates substantially in the global economy. Farmers' voluntary reorganization of the land base and the mechanization of agriculture both accomplished with government assistance have combined to modernize farming in much of the nation; these developments have in turn promoted migration from rural areas into Spain's cities, which grew significantly in the twentieth century.

    With the development of industry following World War II, cities offer industrial and other blue- and white-collar employment to the descendants of farm families.

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    The Spanish countryside as a whole has been largely self-sufficient. Local production varies greatly, even within regions, so regional and inter-regional markets are important vehicles of exchange, as has been a long tradition of interregional peddling by rural groups who came to specialize in purveying goods of different kinds away from their homes.

    Land Tenure and Property. The chief factors that differentiate Spanish property and land tenure regimes are estate size and their partibility or impartibility. Much of the southern half of Spain, roughly south of the River Tajo, is characterized by latifundios, or large estates, on which a single owner employs farm laborers who have little or no property of their own.

    Large estates date at least from Roman times and have given rise to a significant separation of social classes: In the north, by contrast, properties are small minifundios and are lived on—usually in pueblo communities—and worked principally by the families of their owners or secondarily by families who live on and work the estates on long-term leases.

    The north of Spain, dominated by minifundios, is crosscut by a difference in inheritance laws whereby in some areas estates are impartible and in others are divisible among heirs. Most of the nation is governed by Castilian law, which fosters the division of the bulk of an estate among all heirs, male and female, with a general though variable stress on equality of shares. There is a deep tradition in the northeast, however, whereby estates are passed undivided to a single heir not everywhere or always necessarily a male or the firstbornwhile other heirs receive only some settlement at marriage or have to remain single in order to stay on the familial property.

    The passage of estates undivided down the generations is a touchstone of cultural identity where it is practiced just as estate division is deeply valued elsewhereand as part of a separate and ancient legal system, the protection of impartibility has been central to these regions' contentions with Castile over the centuries. Spanish civil law recognizes stem-family succession in the regions where it is traditional through codified exceptions to the Castilian law followed in the rest of the nation.

    Nonetheless, the tradition of estate impartibility along the linguistic distinctions of the Basque and Catalan regions have long combined with other issues to make the political union of these two regions with the rest of Spain the most fragile seam in the national fabric.

    Among Spain's traditional export products are olive oil, canned artichokes and asparagus, conserved fish sardines, anchovies, tuna, saltcodoranges including the bitter or "Seville" oranges used in marmaladewines including sherrypaprika made from peppers in various regions, almonds, saffron, and cured pork products.

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    Cured serrano ham and the paprika-and-garlic sausage called chorizo have particular renown in Europe. Historically, Spain held a world monopoly on merino sheep and their wool; Spain's wool and textile production including cotton is still important, as is that of lumber, cork, and the age-old work of shipbuilding. There is coal mining in the north, especially in the region of Asturias, and metal and other mineral extraction in different regions.

    The Canary Islands' production of tobacco and bananas is important, as is that of esparto grass on the eastern meseta for the manufacture of traditional footgear and other items. Even though Spain no longer participates in Atlantic cod fishery, Spain's fisheries are nonetheless important for both national consumption and for export, and canneries are present in coastal areas.

    There is increasingly rapid transport of seafood to the nation's interior to satisfy Spaniards' high demand for quality fresh fish and shellfish.

    Leather and leather goods have longstanding and continuing importance, as do furniture and paper manufacture. Several different regions supply both utilitarian and decorative ceramics and ceramic tiles, along with art ceramics; others supply traditional cloth handiwork, both lace and embroidery, while others are known for specific metal crafts—such as the knife manufacture associated with Albacete and the decorative damascene work on metal for which Toledo is famed.

    Spain's heavy industry has developed since the end of the Civil War, with investments by Germany and Italy, and after the middle of the twentieth century with investments by the United States. The basis for these developments is old, however: Spain's arms and munitions production is still important today, along with the manufacture of agricultural machinery, automobiles, and other kinds of equipment.

    Most industry is concentrated around major cities in the north and east—Bilbao, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, and Zaragoza. These industries have attracted migrants from the largely agrarian south, where there are sharp inequalities in land ownership not characteristic of the north, while other landless southerners have made systematic labor migrations into industrial areas of Europe—France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland.

    The most far-reaching development in Spain's economy since the s has been in the multifaceted tourist industry. The number of tourists who visit Spain each year is roughly equal to Spain's resident population. Much of the influx is seasonal, between March and October, but the winter season is important in a number of areas—for winter sports in mountain zones and for the warmth of the southern coasts and the Balearic and Canary Islands.

    The hotel, restaurant, and other service sectors related to tourism constitute Spain's most significant industry, and it is one whose effects are felt in every corner of the nation. This has to do not only with the actual presence of tourists and the opening of areas of touristic interest, but also with expanded markets for Spanish products abroad as well as at home. A growing international acquaintance with Spanish foodways has enhanced the demand for certain Spanish foodstuffs and wines.

    Spanish leather goods, ceramics, and other crafts have a heightened and increasingly global market. Additionally, the consciousness of touristic interest even in remote regions and not always with the help of professional promoters has broadened local people's awareness of the interest in their own cultural heritage. Consequently, a variety of festivals and local products now enjoy expanded markets that often make real differences in local economies.

    The market for Spain's local and regional folk culture is not dependent just on international tourism; internal tourism, once reserved for the wealthy, is now promoted by television and the growth of automobile A cart outside a rural building in Castillo. Stone is a popular building material in Spain, providing strength, insulation, and privacy.

    Spain is a member of the European Economic Community Common Market and has its heaviest trading relationship there, especially with Britain, and with the United States, Japan and the Ibero-American nations with which Spain also has deep historical ties and some trade relationships which date from the period of her New World empire. Among Spain's major exports are leather and textile goods; the commercialized foodstuffs named earlier; items of stone, ceramic, and tile; metals; and various kinds of manufactured equipment.

    You got the job, the house, the lifestyle… now who to share it with? You know it gets lonely during those cool January nights. You want to be holding hands and taking walks by the beach. You want to be that couple making out on the Metro. Those Spaniards are looking good, and you want a piece of the action! This is your guide to dating in Spain, by and for expats in Spain. Really though, it can be very lonely in a new country. So what of it?

    What can you do? Picture this for a moment: How does an expat get a date with a Spaniard?

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