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According to The Telegraph, a petition was signed by 180,000 people last year as a movement to ban the fights. However, there is still the continual disagreement among the Catalonian population of whether or not the ancient art form is a thing of the past.
Animal activists think the violence and suffering the bull entails during the fighting ritual is against modern-day practices. Other Catalonians argue that bullfighting is a Spanish icon, according to CNN.com.
Although I never ventured to Barcelona during my European travels, I was able to attend an authentic bullfight in Alicante, Spain. A little hesitant at first, I braved the performance and ended up walking out of the arena feeling the Spanish pride.
As one of the few blondes roaming around the streets of Alicante, the only Spanish culture I had ever previously experienced had been in my Spanish classes at school. It was exhilarating to witness the pride the spectators boasted as the matador teased the bull and flaunted his skills for the crowd. The matadors strutted dangerously close to the angered bull, and some even ventured to pet it between the horns while simultaneously flashing a smile to the crowd.
Although I certainly support animal rights activists, I also have an attraction to the tradition behind these bullfights. Living in America, our history is in its infancy stages compared to that of other countries. I must admit I appreciate the rich cultural experiences travelers experience in other countries from the architecture to the stories, and in Spain, I feel that bullfighting is part of that.
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