|Photo taken from a corner of the New City, but looking across the street |
toward the Old City, the Zona Vieja
|Looking out the window from within |
a cafe in the Zona Vieja
This mixing of traditions is just something that happens. Even back when the European missionaries spread Catholicism to South America, the Caribbean, West Africa, etc, the resulting religious customs were a mix of indigenous beliefs with Catholic prayer and ceremony. "In with the new" doesn't necessarily mean "out with the old".
Today, our missionaries from the various Orders - the Starbuckians, McDonalodians, etc, - penetrate Spain, but only up to a point. The people here stubbornly continue to drink their own cafe' con leche, and to grill most of their meat and fish with olive oil, salt, and garlic. Starbucks and McDonalds still haven't made it to Santiago de Compostela. But perhaps it's a matter of time. Friends of ours from Madrid do go to a Starbucks there. They have small children in strollers, and take advantage of convenient Starbucks restrooms for changing diapers.
Our popular music penetrates more deeply. The most loved American musician here seems to be Bruce Springsteen. His songs for everyman, about the struggles of working class life, resonate with the Spanish. With his lack of pretense and glitter, he fits in perfectly here. At an outdoor Springsteen concert in Santiago de Compostela a few years ago, I watched tens of thousands of Spaniards, who speak very little English, singing all the words to almost every one of his songs.