Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sitting in Class Issues

At my internship, I work with people of vastly different backgrounds. The CEO is from Germany, one guy is from India, another from Argentina, 2 guys from Denmark, an Egyptian woman, an English guy, and 3 people from the Barcelona area. Despite being so different, everyone treats everyone else equally, and I believe it's because everyone is able to communicate in Spanish, despite their different heritages. In the city itself, I've seen this reflected on a much larger scale. It seems that as long as you speak Spanish, or Catalan, you'll be treated equally and respectfully. However, there are always exceptions to any rule.

Spend enough time around the city and on public transportation, and you'll see groups of African men toting large sacks of cheap wares that they'll spread out on the ground to sell. These men all travel together in very large groups, and try to sell to any and everyone nearby until the police show up. As soon as any cops are spotted, all the men will gather up their goods and head for the nearest subway. If any group is treated worse than other people, it's this class of people. I believe this stems back hundreds of years, when the African Moors used to rule Spain. After the Moors were kicked out, there was significant backlash, with Moorish buildings torn down and converted into churches. This trend still continues today, albeit not as overtly, but as a faint idea in the backs of people's brains, I believe. However, despite this issue with Africans, Barcelona is a very progressive city; where the ability to speak Spanish is your ticket to ride!

What do you think about class issues in Barcelona, or any other similar city?

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