iHola a todos!
Last weekend my friends and I met up with some Spanish intercambios from school and got to practice our Spanish/English. During one of our conversations, I asked my Spanish friend what he and the general Spanish population thought about Christopher Columbus and his expeditions to the New World. My friend told me that Christopher Columbus or Cristóbal Colón is neither seen as a hero or a villain. From his perspective, the famed navigator happened to be the first person to discover the New World. Without Columbus, someone would inevitably discover the Americas either way.
I had never thought about Columbus from that perspective before. In school, we were only introduced to the Columbian Exchange and how it resulted in the transfer of plants, animals, ideas, culture, and diseases. After countless thoughts about Columbus and trying to see both sides of the argument, I thought about the two main reasons as to why he was neither a hero or a villain. Columbus is viewed with skepticism because his arrival indirectly marked the beginning of the violent annihilation for the natives. Millions of inhabitants in the New World perished due to the diseases, warfare, and enslavement brought upon them by the Europeans. The Europeans’ treatment of the natives, Bartolomé de las Casas to write about injustices and human rights violations against the natives. Las Casas’ action also introduced the Atlantic slave trade to the Americas. From this perspective, we can see that Columbus’ voyages triggered a chain of events in the Americas which shaped the course of American history.
Through the course of his four voyages to the New World, Columbus initiated the world’s introduction to globalism. The introduction of plants, animals, technologies, and culture transformed humanity and the preconceived ideas they had about the world. Like my friend pointed out, Columbus did what took others a few years to follow. Even without him, the discovery of the New World was bound to happen. In the end, these reasonings are only my own opinions. Columbus did push the world towards the age of globalism but doing so he instituted long-lasting consequences that are still prevalent in today’s society.
On a lighter note, this week in my Spanish class, we have begun moving from a beginning to intermediate level. I am getting better at understanding the locals even if I might not know how to reply. Seeing my growth this past couple of months is a reward on its own because I know I that I can only improve from here.
This weekend my friend and I visited another city in Spain. Compared to Madrid, València is a smaller and slow-paced city. One of the reasons why I wanted to visit this autonomous community was because of the paella. Valencia is known for having one of the best paellas in Spain. We also visited the City of Arts and Science and La Malvarrosa which are famous attractions in València.
Hasta La Vista,
Song of the week: “Cuenta a Saldo” – Maluma