Basic Spanish Traditions

I’m Spanish and I’ve been living in Dubai for the last 4 years, and only this last Christmas I went back home to celebrate this important time of the year for us with my family.

Time flies when you are living and working abroad.
We forget about our traditions and lifestyle of our home country.

I wanted to share some of our traditions that are quite similar to the Arabic:

  1. We normally have a family gathering on Sundays where we cook and spend time together. It’s tradition to eat Paella on that day, but it depends on the region you are from. ¬†For us, it’s very important to share food with our loved ones as it’s an important part of our culture.

    For the most religious families it is a must to go to Sunday’s prayers before lunch time.

  2. We like to dine together, normally the mother decides on the meal times in the house and we all have to be punctual.

    That means we spend a lot of time in the kitchen with our mum, learning how to cook and having fun and wonderful moments!

  3. A normal family, even a wealthy one will teach the kids to clear and clean all the plates and kitchen utensils as we believe every person should be able to be independent and know the basics of cooking, doing the laundry…etc.

    If you fall in love with a Spanish man, you might be lucky! He’ll probably know how to cook and clean!

  4. We have a strong relationship with our grandparents, we call and visit them as much as we can and we celebrate together birthdays, Christmas, Easter and any special celebrations.

    The Spanish have always something to celebrate!

  5. Our weekend starts on Thursday’s! We like to have a drink with our friends on that day, specially in big cities like Madrid or Barcelona where Thursday’s are the University nights! People goes out to have some beer and tapas.
  6. Our eating times are later than in the rest of Europe, we eat around 2 or 3pm and we have dinner around 9 or 10pm, we love having a “merienda” around 5pm, which is a small snack.

    I remember eating amazing fresh bread toast with Nutella… and as well going to the bakery and buy fresh pastries!

  7. In our tradition we normally do “siesta” which means “nap time”, this is because originally all shops used to open in split shift closing between 1pm till 5pm, so all families could have lunch together and have a little rest.

    This tradition however is not happening like before, specially in the big cities where shops are open 24 hours now!

    I never liked “siesta” but most of my family and friends does!

  8. We always say hello to each other giving two kiss (one in each cheek).
    This tradition can be a bit weird if you are come from another country.

    Only in a professional level we will keep the distance until the older person will decide to have a closer contact.

  9. Birthday’s are a very important celebration of the year, and we celebrate it for few days, first with our families and then with our friends!

    I personally love my birthday, and I like to celebrate it with all the people that I love. My father always calls me more than 5 times to wish me Happy Birthday! Of course I give all the leadership to my Mum as she was the one that made it happen!

  10. In general we don’t have sense of being strictly punctual.
    In Spain it’s accepted that people arrives a bit later to social parties or appointments.

    I personally don’t do that as I like to be on time, but if you go to Spain keep it in mind!

This are only the basic traditions tips, but we have much more traditions in each celebration, I’ll talk about it later.

I hope you like my post and that will be helpful for you to understand better Spanish culture!

Sushi: What it is and how to eat it!

The history of sushibegan around the 8th century in Japan. The original type of sushi was first developed in Southeast Asia as a means of preserving fish in fermented rice, so they used to salt the fish and wrap it in fermented rice to preserve it, as there was no refrigeration.

In the Muromachi period, people began to eat the rice as well as the fish, this new way of consuming fish was no longer a form of preservation but rather a new dish in Japanese cuisine.

During the Edo period, vinegar than lacto-fermentation was used to sour the rice, so both rice and fish could be consumed at the same time, and the dish became unique to Japanese culture.

Nowadays you can find Sushi all over the world, from street fast food restaurants to the most refined and selected restaurants where starred Michelin chefs cook for you, but do you know which is the original way to eat sushi? And do you know the difference between the sushi types ?

Here I’m sharing with you some good tips about the above.

BASIC TYPES OF SUSHI

Sashimi: Very thin raw fish or seafood without rice.

Nigiri: “hand pressed sushi”¬†consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses between the palms of the hands to form an oval-shaped ball, and a topping (the neta) draped over the ball. It is usually served with a bit of wasabi; neta are typically fish such as salmon, tuna or other seafood.

Maki: “rolled sushi”¬†is a cylindrical piece, formed with the help of a bamboo mat known as a makisu¬†. Makizushi is generally wrapped in nori (seaweed), but is occasionally wrapped in a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or shiso (perilla) leaves. Makizushi is usually cut into six or eight pieces, which constitutes a single roll order.

Uramaki: “inside-out roll”¬† is a medium-sized cylindrical piece with two or more fillings, and was developed as a result of the creation of the California roll, as a method originally meant to hide the nori. Uramaki differs from other makimono because the rice is on the outside and the nori inside. The filling is in the center surrounded by nori, then a layer of rice, and optionally an outer coating of some other ingredients such as roe or toasted sesame seeds. It can be made with different fillings, such as tuna, crab meat, avocado, mayonnaise, cucumber or carrots.

Temaki: “hand roll”¬† is a large cone-shaped piece of nori on the outside and the ingredients spilling out the wide end. A typical temaki is about ten centimeters (4¬†in) long, and is eaten with fingers because it is too awkward to pick it up with chopsticks. For optimal taste and texture, temaki must be eaten quickly after being made because the nori cone soon absorbs moisture from the filling and loses its crispness, making it somewhat difficult to bite through. For this reason, the nori in pre-made or take-out temaki is sealed in plastic film which is removed immediately before eating.

I personally love Sashimi, as you can enjoy the full flavour of the raw fish, but of course, the quality has to be top TOP !

Here I share with you a clear and fantastic picture of how to eat sushi, I’m sure you will discover things that you didn’t know before!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that will be helpful for you to order is your next visit to a Sushi Restaurant!

Which is your favourite sushi?

My recommended Sushi Restaurants in Dubai.

3 Fills tuna and uni imported from Japan every Wednesday, the sashimi is my favourite in town, amazing place, staff and chef!

Tomo located in Raffles hotel, the head chef is Japanese and the Nigiri is delicious!

Zuma located in DIFC, a fine dining experience with premium products.

Nobu in Atlantis the Palm a world class brand ! Stunning venue and food.

Okku a contemporary Japanese Restaurant.

Sikka Art Fair 2018

This beautiful fair, takes place every year in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in the heart of Bur Dubai, Old city side by the Creek.

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum‪,‬Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the contemporary, artist-led fair provides a platform for emerging UAE-based and GCC talents‪, in‬ a vibrant 10‪-‬day programme featuring exciting exhibitions, art installations, workshops, film, and music‪.‬

SIKKA complements the city-wide activation of cultural events that takes place during the fifth edition of Dubai Art Season, which runs throughout March and April 2018 and feature events such as the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Art Dubai, DIFC Art Nights and the Middle East Film & Comic Con, among hundreds of other initiatives.

I visited Sikka twice, as it’s big and requires attention if you really want to enjoy an understand the artists.

I will mention 2 of my favourite spots but I truly enjoyed the whole fair.

  1. Tamashee Saudi House.

    Tamashee, is a high-end Arabian Gulf footwear brand based in Dubai. The brand began as a set of social goals which are now the core values for all of its work.

     

    They setup a beautiful house representing a journey of different forms of contemporary art in Saudi Arabia.
    From beautiful paints to photography and live art, the whole exhibition was in harmony with their brand and colours as their products have been inspired by research of cultural designs and patterns. Tamashee carefully studies the history, form, and function of each cultural design and revives certain key elements of the past through its products.

     


  2. Mawaheb Art Studio

    Mawaheb from Beautiful People is a Dubai-based art studio for adults with special needs, now known as ‘the determined ones’ following a directive by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubais).

    The students from 16 years and above bring out the best of their creativity and create beautiful pieces of art full of meaning and imagination!

    They prepared an amazing exhibition for Sikka called: Life is Beautiful !
    All the paints and sculptures had strong messages of #strength, #happiness, #freedom, #art and #culture.
    You could find small little sculpture persons all around the neigbourhood inviting you to discover them in their house!

    I’m sharing with you some of their paints, but if you really want to visit them you can do it on Weekdays from 9am to 2pm and have a great coffee from the hand of the students! Follow them in Instagram ! @mawahebdubai¬†¬†

As you can see, life is beautiful and more when is full of

COLORS, ART AND FUN !