Taiwan, Mexico, Italy and Poland are some of the nationalities that have gathered, this year, in Cuenca in different educational programs such as Erasmus +. Here is the description of their experience of San Mateo.
«She was scared and excited in the same time to run away from the bull»
For Ivon, who is from Taiwan, San Mateo was the first event that she joined in Cuenca. She described it as unbelievable, and a great opportunity to see because in her country they don’t celebrate this way, in fact the concerts there last until 22:00 or 23:00. When I asked her if in her country they have a celebration with animals like bulls she said that they don’t have because they think it is crucial and there is no need for the bull to be angry. In the historical event that they have, people are wearing typical clothes in front of the temple. For many people, nowadays, San Mateo is characterized more by the alcohol than the historical meaning of the celebration and that’s why the young people prefer the parties than escaping from the bulls in Plaza Mayor. Ivon, told me that she participate both in the bullfight and in the parties. She was scared and excited in the same time to run away from the bull, but in the end she preferred the parties. She preferred them because the music here is different from her country. The music here is more enthusiastic, in contrast with her country that is more romantic. What is she thinking about the way that the Spanish people celebrate? She thinks that they really enjoy what they are doing. The people in her country are different, they don’t stay all together, yes they have some small parties but not in this massive way. Finally, her three words to describe San Mateo is crazy, no culture and unforgettable experience.
“Erasmus is the best way to know better the Spanish culture, to meet new people, no matter your country and culture, it make us all the same and with the same purpose to explore the city that we live”.
From another region of the world, Mexico, Fernando has to say for San Mateo that it is awesome. He is thinking that is great to have a celebration like this every year, to have the opportunity to meet other people from your city and all over the Spain to celebrate the tradition. The tradition in San Mateo comes from the history behind, from the bullfight in Plaza Mayor, the fireworks and the typical beverage that the people drink. In Mexico they have an event similar to San Mateo. There are no bulls, but there are roosters, who are fighting with sharp objects on them, in an event like carnival named Feria. Feria is not so popular like San Mateo and not everybody join the festival, because in Cuenca everybody it is a part of San Mateo. He liked the bullfight because of it is unique nature, the feeling of the adrenaline when you run, but he is also liked the party. The way that Spanish celebrate is similar to the Mexicans, of course in some different ways that they choose to have fun. In the end, he thinks that San Mateo in Erasmus is the best way to know better the Spanish culture, to meet new people, no matter your country and culture, it make us all the same and with the same purpose to explore the city that we live. Three words to describe San Mateo: bull, typical drink of Cuenca and party.
“it is normal for her city to celebrate a festival like San Mateo, as for small cities in general like Cuenca, but in the big cities like Rome and Madrid it is difficult to feel the importance of these events because of the multicultural character that describes them.”
It is time for Europe, Elisa from Italy she thinks that San Mateo is really important festival for the inhabitants. They truly feel and participate in all the events of the festival, in every part of it, every day and during all the day. She is from Zagarolo a place near Rome and there it is a celebration with animals like bulls. It is a medieval festival with donkeys that they cross the city carrying people that they are wearing old clothes. There are also festival with horses with people playing some typical games. She thinks that it is normal for her city to celebrate a festival like San Mateo, as for small cities in general like Cuenca, but in the big cities like Rome and Madrid it is difficult to feel the importance of these events because of the multicultural character that describes them. First, she was excited to attend all the events in San Mateo but in the other days the process was exhausting and so different from Italy, when they do not party all night long. She preferred the concerts than the bulls, because she does not like the violence in the animals and the fact that bulls have to run all over the Plaza. Spanish people for her are crazy (with the good meaning of the word), they don’t have limits, they drink and dance all the night. San Mateo is opportunity for Erasmus people to stay all together to share beautiful moments and explore the Spanish culture. Three words for San Mateo: alcohol, cold, funny.
“She was excited to participate in San Mateo and she tried to be concentrated on how Spanish people act, what they do, drink and eat. Everything for her was interesting.”
Last but not least, Maja from Poland told me that San Mateo for her was a great opportunity to know Spain, Spanish culture and that she consider herself lucky to get to Cuenca this period of time. She don’t think that in her country they have a celebration with animals but in her town Cieszyn, the inhabitants celebrate “ŚWIĘTO TRZECH BRACI” the feast of three brothers who build the city from a water well. The city named Cieszyn which means happiness because the three brothers were happy when they met each other in front of the well. The festivals in Poland are not qualified from happiness and drinking like in Spain but more for the serious character that the people prefer to give them. She was excited to participate in San Mateo and she tried to be concentrated on how Spanish people act, what they do, drink and eat. Everything for her was interesting. The way that Spanish people celebrated in San Mateo was strange for her because they were there for days and hours no matter the bad weather conditions. Spanish are open people, they like to dance and singing. Erasmus, in San Mateo was an opportunity to meet people not only from Cuenca but from other cities too, like Madrid for example, because many visitors came here only for San Mateo. Her three words for San Mateo: bulls, Spain, celebrating.
In conclusion, San Mateo was great not only for the people from Cuenca, it was great for every person that was there from every part of the world. In festivals like these the differences that might be in every country like Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan give space to the feeling that you want to be similar with the Spanish people. You want to run from the bull, to experience something that some people doing every year, you want to drink and dance because every single person of the city does the same. It is incredible to share these moments with other Erasmus students from all over the world that they have the same willingness with you to learn the new culture.
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