Thursday, July 19, 2012

Siesta in Spain - Do the Spanish Still Take a Siesta

Siesta in Spain - Do the Spanish Still Take a Siesta - Spain´s famous siesta brings on a sense of calm and tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, to many tourists, it is merely a cause of frustration and confusion. Between the hours of 2pm and 5pm, Spain shuts down to allow the locals to rest after a long and hectic morning and prepare for the busy afternoon. Meanwhile, the common tourist invariably chooses this time to stroll the streets for their souvenir-shopping, newspaper or sightseeing, only to find the shops closed and the streets empty…

La siesta literally translates as a short nap of 15-30 minutes. However, this definition is far from the 3 hour break taken in the middle of the working day. Siesta has spread all over Spain, South America, the Philippines, the Middle East and North Africa. La siesta is a necessity and the reason is that around 2pm, the heat temperature reaches its peak and it is simply too hot to be outside. Hence the locals take a siesta and wait in the comfort of their own homes, for the heat to subside.

However, this is not always the case. In areas such as Northern Spain, Southern Argentina and Chile where the heat doesn´t always warrant such evasive action, la siesta has gone from being a necessity to a luxury and even a habit. Because the working day is broken up, the modern siesta is the time working people go home and spend time with their family or friends, and not necessarily take a nap. Often, families will use it as a time to have a long family lunch.

Some theorists date the origin of la siesta back to the Spanish Civil War. The war brought extreme poverty to many Spaniards, meaning they were forced to have mutiple jobs. It has been argued that the siesta was the period during which they had to eat their late lunch, due to their unusual working hours. However, whatever the origins of la siesta, it is now as firmly established in the Spanish psyche as flamenco and fiesta, and is a habit that may be difficult to break. La siesta is one of the strongest Spanish traditions, and most probably, one of the easiest to embrace as a foreigner.

Spain may end afternoon siestas due to economy, In one of many efforts considered in dealing with crippling debt and high unemployment, Spain may reportedly work to end its time-honored tradition of long afternoon naps known as siestas.

Siesta in Spain - Do the Spanish Still Take a Siesta Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn

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