Category Archives for Culture

The Caganer, Another Catalan Christmas Crapper

We’re in a poopy mess here these holidays. Here’s a curious Catalan Christmas tradition that has to do with the act of defecation (other than the caga tió). And that’s the caganer, the

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How to Care For Your Caga Tió (Tió de Nadal, Catalan Christmas Log)

If you want presents on Christmas Eve, you’ve gotta do some work: Give your tió de nadal some tender lovin’ care. And if you’ve never heard of him… The tió de nadal is a log with a face on

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Balthazars of Spain, stop doing blackface.

I’m always curious to see what kinds of blackface I’m going to come across around Three Kings’ Day. So many blackface Balthazars make their appearance at kids’ schools and Three Kings’ Day

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A Spanish Lesson: Body, Panty, Leotardo, and More

When I was pregnant, I started to make a list of newborn clothes that I’d need before my baby girl’s arrival. My mother-in-law (who’s Spanish) asked me if my daughter had enough bodys. Well

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American Goods I Bring Back to Spain (and Foods I Make)

A few months ago, I sat down with my family to chow down on our routine weekend breakfast — homemade pancakes. I tipped over my bottle of American-imported maple syrup only to see a few piddly drops

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Ten Reasons Why Barcelona is a Smart City

Barcelona is the first city in Spain coined a “Smart City” and is named the fifth overall in Europe in 2013 ahead of Paris, Stockholm, and London. And with all the noise about the Mobile World Congress

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Barcelona’s Non-Traditional Nativity Scene: Yay or Nay?

My family and I arrived at Plaça Sant Jaume to check out an awesome annual Christmas tradition in Barcelona. That would be the city’s official pessebre vivent, or living Nativity scene. It’s usually

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