Spain's Many Cultures: Cantabria and Andalusia
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Spain’s Many Cultures: Cantabria and Andalusia

Spain is one of the geographic areas with the most cultural variety in all of Europe. The fact that it is part of the Iberian Peninsula has facilitated the arrival of many foreigners from many different regions, promoting an extraordinary diversity of cultures, traditions and beliefs.

One of the biggest differences in Spain can be found if we focus in on two opposing geographical points: the Cantabrian and Andalusian Coasts.

On the Cantabrian Coast, we should highlight Cantabria as the province that gives its name not only to the location, but also to the culture of the region. A place where the pre-Romanesque culture was the main model from the start and where pagan celebrations forcibly ceded to Christian traditions; although the fight continues even to present day shown in the representation of different festivities by both parties, and highlighting that the Celtic culture is still one of the most influential.

In Cantabria fish and livestock are very important, which is reflected in the food found there; and it is one of the areas in Spain where food is served most abundantly. The cold winter and mild summer climate also promote this continual consumption of meat and fish.

Andalusia, however, is characterized by a hot, dry climate, above all in the summer when it reaches suffocatingly hot temperatures.  This has led to the belief that the Andalusian region is lazy and relaxed, even though it has shown great initiative in many areas throughout history.

Because of its location and History, Andalusia has been greatly influenced by Arabic culture, mainly when it comes to architecture, agriculture and craftsmanship. However, celebrations are led by flamenco when it comes to music and by religion when it comes to the stage and visuals.
It’s common to find regional or local festivals in which people dance before or after some sort of significant religious event.

In contrast to Cantabria, Andalusia doesn’t have a significantly rich gastronomic selection when it comes to meat and fish. However, they have completely dominated the art of deserts, starters and soups; with Andalusian gazpacho, one of the most well-known dishes in Spain, as the perfect example.