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  Bull Fighting 斗牛——死亡之舞
 斗牛  Whenever we think about Spain, a picture of a Bull-fighter with a red cloth in hand and a bull charging towards it comes in our mind. Bull fighting has truly become a symbol of this European country.
  The basis of bull fighting in Spain lies in an age-old tradition in which people used to sacrifice a bull on the days of fiestas1). And this game originally started as a playful competition between people and their bulls.
  The professional form of this sport started in 711 A.D. to celebrate the crowning ceremony of King Alfonso VIII. At that time, the sport was played while riding a horse. It was then a sport for aristocrats, but King Felipe V banned them from playing this sport as he thought that it created a bad example for the people.
  Once the aristocrats were banned from the sport, common people started taking part in the Bull Fighting. As common people couldn’t afford to keep horses, they changed the rules of the game. Thus, the present version of the game was created in 1724. In this version, the player dodges2) the raging bull on foot and unarmed.
  Ever since that time, bull fighting in Spain has been one of the most beloved sports. Thousands of people flock to the bull ring to watch this intense and entertaining competition between man and animal.
  The matador3) is regarded as the greatest of sportsmen in the country as the act of jumping into a ring with a huge bull requires quite a bit of courage. Many times, matadors can get seriously injured while fighting with the bull. This sport causes several deaths and disabling injuries every year. This is why a bull fighting match is also known as the dance of death. Despite the danger, its popularity has only increased over the years.
  Today, bull fighting has become a highly organized sport in Spain. Even though there are many organizations which consider this game to be cruelty towards animals, this has not diminished the craze of people towards this sport.           一想到西班牙,斗牛士手执红布、公牛低头冲锋的画面就会浮现在我们脑海中。毫无疑问,斗牛已成为西班牙的象征。
  Flamenco 弗拉门戈舞——西班牙之魅
弗拉门戈舞  Flamenco is a Spanish art form with roots deep in Andalusia—Spain’s southern region. Although there are clues as to how this dance and folk music evolved, the details are lost in history.
  Even the origin of its name is elusive. Some attribute it to the early 1500s and the Flemish4) courtiers5) during the reign of Spain’s King Charles V. Their bright clothing inspired the names given to garish or conspicuous things, such as flamingoes6) and flamenco. Others say flamenco was the nationality erroneously given by the common people to Gypsies. Still others claim the name comes from the Arabic “fellah mangu”—the laborer who sings.
  Flamenco combines acoustic guitar playing, singing, chanting7), dancing and handclapping. The flamenco dancer performs with passion, fervor, and even tortured expressions, but is always striving for grace and dignity.
  The guitar and the rapid rhythmic handclapping of the singers and dancers set the scene8). Flamenco handclapping produces a sharp, almost piercing sound. The dancer does not begin immediately, but waits, absorbing the strumming, clapping and singing until inspired to dance.
  Like American jazz, flamenco dancing involves improvisation9). It’s the dancer’s spontaneous expression of the moment’s emotions. The Spanish call it “duende”. The word means goblin10) or fairy, but to the flamenco dancer it signifies an inner force that fuels an inspired performance.
  Pablo Picasso帕布罗·毕加索——立体主义绘画大师
拿烟斗的男孩  Pablo Picasso was a pioneer and a protean11) master, with a hand in every art movement of the 20th century. He is best known for co-founding the Cubist12) movement and for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work. He was born in Malaga, Spain in 1881. When he died in 1973, he was ninety-one years old. In his final days, he still took up his paints and brushes to start a new picture as if he were seeing things for the first time.
  Picasso demonstrated uncanny13) artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence; during the first decade of the twentieth century his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. Picasso’s creativity manifested itself in numerous media, including painting, sculpture, drawing, and architecture. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortunes throughout his life.
  To say that Pablo Picasso dominated Western art in the 20th century is an understatement. Before his 50th birthday, the little Spaniard had become the very prototype of the modern artist as public figure. No painter before him had had a mass audience in his own lifetime. The total public for Titian14) in the 16th century or Velazquez15) in the 17th was probably no more than a few thousand people. Picasso’s audience was in the tens, possibly hundreds, of millions. He and his works were the subjects of unending analysis, gossip, dislike and adoration.


  Real Madrid 皇家马德里——足球界的“银河战舰”
  Founded in 1902, Real Madrid Club de Futbol has been one of the superpowers in European football since the middle of the last century. Indeed, they were awarded the honour of “Best club of the 20th century” by FIFA16), an award for their huge domestic success and also for their domination of Europe. “Real Madrid” has not always been the club’s name—the “Real” part of the name was only added after the club received a blessing17) from King Alfonso XIII in 1920.
  The club’s success really started under the Franco18) regime—he saw the club as an excellent propaganda vehicle and poured resources into the club to try to make them a dominating force in Spain and beyond. Probably Madrid’s finest period came between 1955 and 1960 when they won an unprecedented five European Cup’s in a row. This really put the club on the map19) as a dominant force in Europe and no club has matched the feat since. Probably the finest display came during this period in the 1960 final where they demolished20) their German opposition, Eintracht Frankfurt, 7-3. Real have since gone on to win the trophy four more times, and their total of 9 is better than any other team. Amongst Real Madrid’s domestic honours are a massive 29 league titles and 17 Spanish cup triumphs, equally unrivalled by any team in Spain.
海鲜饭  If you are looking for a traditional Spanish recipe, without doubt, the best-known is the prodigious21) paella—that tasty, adaptable, gregarious22) dish famed throughout Spain and the World.
  Paella originated in the countryside long ago. Farmhands made a fire in fields at lunchtime and simmered23) the local short grained rice in a flat pan. They added whatever edibles were at hand —snails might be added as well as artichokes24) and other local vegetables, or perhaps a stray25) chicken or a rabbit caught in the fields. Along the shore, fishermen would embellish26) their paellas with fish and seafood.
  As tourists from other parts of Spain vacationed on the Mediterranean coast in the summer, the dish spread throughout other regions of Spain. Variations have evolved to include locally available produce27). In Sevilla and Cádiz they add big prawns and langostinos. Along the Costa del Sol28), mussels, prawns, nora peppers and lemons became favored ingredients. Today, paella has universal appeal with literally hundreds of regional variations. 
  1. fiesta [fI5estE] n. 宗教节日
  2. dodge [dCdV] vt. 避开,躲避
  3. matador [5mAtEdC:] n. 斗牛士
  4. Flemish [5flemIF] adj. 佛兰德的,佛兰德人的。佛兰德人为佛兰德斯地区(中世纪欧洲一伯爵领地, 包括现比利时的东佛兰德省和西佛兰德省以及法国北部部分地区)的六百多万居民的称呼。
  5. courtier [5kC:tjE] n. 朝臣,奉承者
  6. flamingo [flE5mIN^Eu] n. [动]火烈鸟
  7. chant [tFB:nt] vi. [音乐]吟唱,唱
  8. set the scene:(为……)作好准备
  9. improvisation [7ImprEvaI5zeIFEn] n. 即兴创作
  10. goblin [5^CblIn] n. 顽皮的丑小鬼,小精灵
  11. protean [prEu5ti:En] adj. 变化多端的,多才多艺的
  12. cubist [5kju:bIst] adj. 立体派的
  13. uncanny [Qn5kAnI] adj. 离奇的,神秘的
  14. Titian:即提香·韦切利奥(Tiziano Vecellio, 1478~1576),意大利文艺复兴盛期威尼斯画派的代表性画家
  15. Velazquez:即迭戈·委拉兹开斯(Diego Velazquez, 1599~1660),西班牙杰出的绘画大师
  16. FIFA:国际足球联合会(Federation International Football Association)
  17. blessing [5blesIN] n. 同意,允许
  18. Franco:佛朗哥(1892~1975), 西班牙军人和政治领袖,1939~1975年间为国家元首,在西班牙实行独裁统治。
  19. put … on the map:使……出名
  20. demolish [dI5mClIF] vt. 推翻,铲除,彻底除去
  21. prodigious [prE5dIdVEs] adj. 巨大的
  22. gregarious [^rI5^eErIEs] adj. 社交的,群居的
  23. simmer [5sImE] vt. 慢煮
  24. artichoke [5B:tItFEJk] n. [植] 洋蓟(地中海地区的一种菊科蓟类植物)
  25. stray [streI] adj. 迷路的,离群的
  26. embellish [Im5belIF] vt. 修饰
  27. produce [5prRdju:s] n. (尤指新鲜水果、蔬菜等)农产品
  28. Costa del Sol:阳光海岸,直布罗陀海峡东北的西班牙南部沿岸,欧洲著名的度假胜地