Wednesday 14 September 2011

Bullfighting in Seville


I want to write this down lest I forget how I felt and with what intensity. I am the kind of person who can barely watch Spartacus and did not watch 300 as I thought it to be too gory. So when we decided Seville to be part of our roadtrip route, I was in two minds whether I wanted to see a bullfight or not. But reasoning to myself that this was something I would only experience once in my lifetime, I decided to go for it. The bullring in Seville seats 14000 people and is the oldest in Spain. The fight that day was with a set of younger bulls and thus was cheaper at 35 euros per person (in the sombre tickets meaning shade versus the sunny seats) than the fight with the older ones.

The begining parade

Dot on time, the matadors marched out onto the arena in their grand finery and saluted smartly at the mayor asking his permission to begin. When he did allow, all but one left and he went and sat right in front of the gate where the bull was to charge out of, already having been wounded already to make it mad. I really do not want to give a play by play of the event, it not being for the faint hearted. But the gist of it is that 10 odd matadors repeatedly wounded the bull for 15 minutes till it was so weak that it could barely stand and then the main matador drove a sword through its heart.

The main matador shows his skill by barely moving his feet while the bull charges near him

Yes, we had the same reaction as you. It was gross. There were supposed to be 6 bulls that entered the arena, one after the other died, but after 2 we decided we just couldn't watch any more and walked out despite our ferociously expensive tickets.

That takes guts

I respect the traditions of every culture, but this sport needs to be banned. There is pure cruelty in pitting 10 people with weapons against one animal. Lets see a single matador take on a bull barehanded and then I may enjoy the spectacle. No doubt the matadors needed a lot of guts to stand in the face of death and still perform with such theatrics. And there is definitely a lot of skill involved. But for all practical purposes, this was as barbaric as people cheering in the Gladiator arena in Roman times (and yes, everytime the bull got injured, people cheered as if it were a baseball game. No, we couldnt get ourselves to).

I returned not regretting my decision as I had to experience it once to know how I felt about it. But I returned sad. At the bravado of human ego.

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