In short, Spain went through forty years of dictatorship. The nation was torn between the perception of a “hero” or their “villain.” After the dictator’s death, in 1975, the nation had to be restored. Although Spain was able to transition from a dictatorship to a democracy, society took a while in getting off the ground after such an impactful era.
During the 70s and 80s, Spain underwent the Movida Madrileña era. This time period was societies first opportunity to express themselves in culture, music, and fashion. My class had the opportunity of visiting locations that survived Movida in Malasaña. It was interesting to see buildings that were very popular during that time still up and running. The neighborhood also had their own essence of culture lingering with their spunky stores and passion to keep gentrification out.
Similar to the United States, Spain does have a president. However, Spain also has a king and queen in each of their provinces. On June 6, I visited Congreso De Los Diputados or the Congress of Deputies. The building was adorned from the ceiling to the carpet with intricate wallpaper, murals on the ceilings, and beautiful furniture. Even the bathroom featured a bidet shower.
On June 1, I also had the opportunity of witnessing the excitement of the 2019 Final Championship League Fútbol. Of course, I could not afford tickets to the game, but I was able to walk the streets of Madrid and see other people celebrate. Each player had their own chant, so all through the streets of Madrid, I heard people sing together. I also went to the tailgate where People from all over the world were singing, spraying beer, and lighting color bombs. I never witnessed so many people celebrating together like that.
My fourth week in Spain will be bitter-sweet. I absolutely miss my family and some aspects of my life back home. However, I made great connections with those who are in my study abroad program. We shared many memories, adventures, and food together. I will also miss Spain. Spending a month learning about Spain’s history and getting accustomed has put me beyond my comfort zone.