This topic could also be discussed in the cultural blog of Suzan, but we’ve decided to approach the subject ‘bullfighting’ as a typical sport of Spain. Besides looking at the sports aspect, I’ll also include a little bit of information about bullfighting as a cultural element of Spain.
I found an interesting article from the Guardian about bullfighting. Currently there is a petition going on about the fact that Spanish heritage. Reasons for this petition are that the Spaniards started turning their backs on the bullfighting and there was a recession which caused the public money to fund the fights to dry up. The numbers have dropped further due to the double-dip Spanish recession.
Furthermore, Spain has an unemployment rate of 26 percent and growing so an increasing number of Spaniards put their names down in the official register that allows them to take part in bullfights. Basically this petition would lead to a tax break for the promotors and therefore it can be seen as an attempt to revitalize a diminishing Spanish tradition. The petition is already signed by 590 000 people.
In addition to the bullfighting you also have the running of the bulls (San Fermin festival in Pamplona). Click on this link if you want to know everything about this amazing event! I’ll give you a head start : Throughout nine days, bulls are released into a parcour that leads to the arena. Daredevils run from the bulls and matadors slay them afterwards in the arena. PETA, an animal rights organization, has been protesting against the running of the bulls for years. Another important thing, the running of the bulls is not harmless for people nor the bulls. Therefore, you need to be eighteen to be able to participate.
The Wikipedia website about Bullfighting also had a couple of interesting things to say! Bullfighting or in Spanish ‘corrida de toros’ is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru, in which one or more bulls are fought in a bullring. Although a blood sport, by definition, some followers of the spectacle prefer to view it as a ‘fine art’ and not a sport, as there are no elements of competition in the proceedings.
Someone who is definitely worth mentioning in a case study about bullfighting is American writer and journalist Ernest Hemingway. One of his books ‘The Sun Also Rises’ is a novel in which the story takes place in Pamplona during ‘las fiestas de San Fermín’. Another book of him is called ‘Death in the Afternoon’ which is a non-fiction story about the ceremony and traditions of Spanish bullfighting.
In my opinion, bullfighting is an acceptable modern day sport. All sports have risks. People are always getting injured in other sports such as football, soccer, tennis, baseball and basketball. Rodeos are just as deadly as bullfighting, and yet we continue to praise and go to them . All sports are dangerous to some degree; that’s what makes them interesting.