Spanish way of creating community

Ocak 12, 2010

Almost 2 weeks passed and I did not have time to write any post to the blog. I was quite busy last days with the preparation to my new period of my life. I am moving from Spain, from my 2nd home, where I have passed lovely 3 years and a half. I am coming back to Istanbul to start a project (for now I can say a social entrepreneurship project, a web site, I will tell you the details later on!) in which I was working for more than one year now.

So I decided to write this post in English in order to dedicate it to Barcelona and all my friends here, to try to say thanks for the inspiration they provided me for this new road that I am taking to continue with my adventures!

In this post I want to share with you my experiences with the Spanish way of creating community. Two issues: Interaction and meeting points: “plazas”(squares) and the way of having fun: “fiestas” (festivals).

In Spain like many European cities, the squares have a very important place in the daily life of the people. It’s very typical during the day seeing many people from different ages, cultures, backgrounds, gender and religion coming together in an open place just to pass some time: drinking something with friends, talking with their neighbors, buying their bread from the bakery, taking care of their dogs or children etc. What is really inspiring for me in these places is the interaction of all these people. Even they do not speak to each other I believe that there is an important interaction point between each other. Seeing other people’s different life styles provide a tolerance in the long term. These squares make people more open minded for the differences around them.

The other issue is Spanish festivals. I will share 2 different kinds of festivals which I witnessed in Spain. First is the neighborhood festival, and the example is coming from a neighborhood in Barcelona: Gracia. Gracia is a very old neighborhood in Barcelona with a big Catalan population and culture. The habitants of this neighborhood meet during the year to decorate their street with a topic. They convert the street that they live in a cultural place to visit in which you can attend to concerts, cultural activities etc. And at the end of this festival, the jury is choosing one winner street which is an honorary premium for the residents of this street who took part for the decoration during all the year. What a perfect way to take part in doing something good for the community!

And the other example is the village/city festivals. In Spain each village/city has a saint which is believed that protecting the village/city. So each year, in the day of this saint the village or city is also celebrating their festival. For me it is really curious to see how religion can make all people from different ages, genders and backgrounds come together to celebrate something with so many fun. At the end saints are just an excuse for the community to come together and have a lot fun during some days.

These two are giving really inspiring examples for the community creation which facilitates people to come together and interact by doing it fun. They prove that people with so many differences can share so many things, which at the end brings tolerance, empathy and understanding to different live styles.

I am happy to take with me the enrichment by taking part in these communities during 3 years and a half. And now it is time to move on with new adventures, to discover new ways of living 🙂

Thanks to all to make my life more beautiful…


12 Responses to “Spanish way of creating community”

  1. bercem Says:

    Guzel!!! Good luck with your new endeavors! and as your blog’s name also refers as well as a “different world” a “different way of living” is also possible!

    • aysegulguzel Says:

      Berçem thanks a lot. Let me know if you pass through İstanbul pls. Id like to see you again after a very long time. A big conversation is waiting us about our differenting life styles after South Campus days in Bogazici :)Kisses!!!

  2. Megan Says:

    A nice comment on Spanish culture Aysegul, and cool photos too – wishing you all the best in Istanbul and look forward to hearing about your new project – sounds interesting!

  3. cyrilmaury Says:

    Props for putting the picture of the MACBA square where we socialized many many times during the past two years… And good luck in Istambul!

  4. Ergin MURAT Says:

    I wish that you are coming to discover the squares here in Istanbul. The most common use of the squares is as passing the street from one side to the another like Taksim 😦 or for Tarkan concert..

    Maybe you can tell us a “different” way to put to good account 🙂

    • aysegulguzel Says:

      Thanks Ergin for the message. Actually I already know the squares in Turkey:( At least the actual situation. But this does not mean that we can not change it. Why not to start a square project starting from Istanbul? 🙂 And also congrats for your project: isim sehir. I really like the photos.

      • Ergin MURAT Says:

        I’m glad that you like the project 🙂

        If you are going to start a project to change smt. I’ll make a contribution. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

  5. Ishac Says:

    Very nice post about our culture. Thanks Aysegul!

  6. Goktug Says:

    The seperated people of Turkey need to come together again for the environment, peace, and democracy. The current political atmosphere might be demotivating and gloomy, still we need to overcome it and remind all that we are brothers and sisters before any ethnic, religious or political identity. Thank you Ayşegül, I hope to see you soon, and talk about your project. Happy that you are back :))


    • aysegulguzel Says:


      Çok mutlu oldum senden haber aldığıma! Buluşalım harbiden, neler oldu hayatında merak ediyorum. Benim de bir dolu değişiklik var hayatımda 🙂

      Görüşmek üzere,

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