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Cultural Diversity in Spain 1

Cultural Diversity in Spain Vanessa Rios Arizona State University

Cultural Diversity in Spain 2 Cultural diversity in Spain, just as in several other countries if not every country in the world is facing threats that may cause traditions and customs of the past to diminish if not disappear. In some cases, those threats have already caused such an unrepairable loss of history and cultural identity. A country is nothing without the roots that it is founded upon. These roots are what make countries unique from one another and contribute to diversity of the world. Without culture, without individuality, a country has lost what makes it special; what makes it different from any other country in the world. A place in which one can see the loss of cultural diversity in Spain is with the loss of language. Spain began as a country filled with several different peoples who inhabited the peninsula due to the rich lands and coasts located there. These people each had their own languages and customs to contribute to the rich culture of Spain. A problem that comes along with having several peoples in one area is the fight over territory. With the killing and banishing of people, languages and customs are also banished or killed. From the figures below one can see this in motion.

Figure 1: 14th Century

Figure 2: 18th Century

Figure 3: 21st Century

In figure 1, the different colors are of different languages spoken in Spain during the 14th century. As one can see, there were many different languages and they were fairly distributed,

Cultural Diversity in Spain 3 except for the predominating Castilian Spanish. In figure 2, a few centuries later, it can be seen that Castilian Spanish has spread more and more in the country, while other languages have diminished. Lastly, in the last image, figure 3, the dominance of Castilian Spanish can clearly be seen. It is also seen that many of the other languages, such as Arab and Basque have been severely reduced, if not disappeared in all. This can be attributed to generational gaps in which the elders in the families of Spain perhaps do not teach their children different kinds of languages that they may know. With the growing percentage of Castilian Spanish, it has become the norm in the country, and therefore since it is better to go with the crowd many have opted to speak Castilian; making the other languages dissipate. In addition to language loss, there is also the loss of landscape, or historical landmarks that make up Spains past, and entail, make up the culture of the country as well. The loss of landscapes not only come from urbanization and the use of natural resources, but also the fact that many of these landmarks and buildings are simply old and deteriorating. Places like these need special care and attention but that comes at a very hefty price. There are a few programs, mostly funded by non-governmental foundations that help preserve the history of Spain in many ways. An example of this would be the World Heritage Program that the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization runs. This organization helps preserve historical landmarks in Spain that have helped shape the Spanish culture. This is just one of the many organizations that help Spain and several other countries in the world keep their cultural identity. Along with global efforts, there are organizations within Spain itself that promote the saving of the rich culture they have accumulated over the years. Hopefully, these organizations can help this country overcome the threats to cultural diversity it has been facing and preserve the long history and beautiful culture of Spain alive.

Cultural Diversity in Spain 4 Works Cited Cubias, Daniel. Hispanic Cutlural Traits To Preserve For Future Generations. (2011). Latino Voices. Huffington Post. Retrieved April 10, 2014 from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/15/preserve-hispanic-culturalNo Author. Spain. (2014). World Heritage Centre. UNESCO. Retrieved April 11, 2014 from: http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/ES/ No Author. Spain Country Profile. (2012). BBC News. Retrieved April 11, 2014 from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/991960.stm Rodriguez, Silvia. Cultural Diversity in Spain. (2008). Global Projects and Countries. United Planet. Retrieved April 10, 2014 from: http://www.unitedplanet.org/blog/2008/07/25/cultural-diversity-in-spain