Today the church is more tolerant, church and state less compatible. Rituals are still very important. Nearly every Spaniard passes the milestone rituals of life baptism, first communion, marriage and a funeral mass in the church.
Bullfighting is another widely observed ritual. Leading toreadors are national heroes.
Like the Oriental, the Spaniard is much concerned with appearances and sometimes behaves illogically to save face. The Latins’ concern with dignidad comes quite naturally from Spain. Carried to an extreme it becomes machismo, the absurd concern for manliness.
Tourism in Spain showed spectacular growth in the 1960s under dictator Franco. By artificially controlling labor costs and prices, the Franco Government made Spain a major tourist destination, vying with France and Italy in attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly. Room and meal prices are specified according to a rigid set of criteria. Hotels are classified according to room size and furnishings, luxury of appointments and extent of the menu and service. Hotel construction was fostered with low interest loans and tax advantages. The Spanish police, The Guardia Civil, kept an iron hand on crime. No foreigner had cause for complaint of purse snatching or being bothered in any way. Since Franco’s demise inflation blew most of the bargain prices away. Now there are nineteen gambling casinos. Today, in Spain and Italy, ladies are often robbed of their purses and satchels by men sailing by on motor scooters. One drives, the other snatches. To foil them ladies are advised not to carry over-the-shoulder bags or to wear them on the side opposite the street.
Spain Subway Map Photo Gallery
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