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SPAIN

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Boris
880276.  Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:42 pm Reply with quote

I am surprised Spain was not included in this list, so here I am with the first weird factoid:

Spain is the only country in the world where "Spanish" is NOT spoken.

The correct term (as set out in the Constitution) is actually "Castillian", as other regions within Spain already speak their own languages: Catalan, Basque and Galician.

 
Jenny
880289.  Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:39 pm Reply with quote

Thanks Boris - that's interesting!

 
Zebra57
880308.  Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:48 pm Reply with quote

The origin of the word Spain is disputed with one theory supporting the idea that it was from "land of the hyrax or rabbit."
(from Punic: Ispanihad)

 
CB27
880378.  Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:01 pm Reply with quote

I didn't realise the definition is disputed.

It was supposedly named by the Phoenicians, who would have spoken a semitic language, and the link to this definition is seen in modern semitic languages. In Hebrew, the word for "Island" can be "Ee", the word for "Rabbits" would be "Shpanim", so the island of rabbits will be "Ee Shpanim".

 
CB27
979272.  Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:41 pm Reply with quote

The Spanish Government is looking to introduce a law that will allow Sephardic Jews anywhere in the world the right to a Spanish passport and citizenship.

Sephardic Jews are decendents of Jews chucked out of Spain some 500 years ago (the Hebrew for Spain is "Spharad"), and while there is now a population of some 40k-50k Jews in Spain, these might not necessarily be Sephardic.

One of the attractive points about the offer is that people will be able to keep their current passports for whichever country they are a citizen of (something that Spain wouldn't normally allow).

Why is Spain doing this now? The suggestion seems to be that this is some kind of attempt to get Jewish people to come and invest in the Spanish economy (because Jews always have money...). Another suggestion is that this is a way of placating Israel after Spain supported the Palestinian bid to become a member of the UN.

I like this particular quote from the BBC though:

Quote:
Whatever the motivation, some Muslim scholars are denouncing the offer as unfair. They point out that their ancestors were expelled from Spain during the Inquisition. But no-one is inviting them back.

I think someone is feeling lonely... :)

 
Zebra57
980212.  Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:35 pm Reply with quote

In May 2011 a QI article on Spain appeared in the Daily Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/qi/8495579/QI-Quite-interesting-facts-about-Spain.html

 
Boris
1019669.  Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:57 am Reply with quote

Rather puzzlingly, in Spain two cheek kisses are considered to be a formal greeting.
Whereas a single cheek kiss is considered to be informal.

So, if a man double kisses a friend's wife, no one blinks an eye.
But if he gives her a single kiss, he might find his face smashed by the offended husband :p

 

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