ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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​On the Horns of a Dilemma

Observing a Spanish Bullfight

​On the Horns of a Dilemma

An unexpected encounter with a bullfight in a Spanish village throws up questions about the acceptance of cruelty in cultural practices.

I chose it for its remoteness: a place where time stood still. The village of Albarracín in Spain was not pretty the way idyllic scenes of the Swiss countryside are. At 4,000 feet above sea level, the terrain was rugged. Bosco and his taxi received us at the end of a long bus ride from Barcelona. In another half hour, we could spy a cluster of onion-coloured houses forming a Klee-esque pattern—the steep stairs of a home converted to a hotel led us to a cosy room.

We ventured out and soon found ourselves at Plaza Mayor, the village square. Locals hung around in front of the bars, drinking beer and chatting. We noticed that logs and planks had been used to construct tiered seats surrounding a temporary arena that occupied the entire plaza. A group of musicians was unpacking their equipment onto a stage. It became apparent that we had unknowingly arrived in the middle of the village’s annual celebrations. Subduing our misgivings, however, we walked on; it took us only a minute to lose the noise and crowds.

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Updated On : 20th Mar, 2021

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