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Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I occasionally see British TV and it is full of people who don't have "Anglo" names. Presumably their families went to the UK from all around the world. They are just there - no fuss, nothing different - getting on with their jobs as reporters, soap actors, presenters and the like. It's so normal, so routine that it's completely unexceptional.

Back home in Pinoso I was reading through the list of entrants and prizewinners in a competition to design a poster for some event a while ago. I was half looking for a British name. The last time I saw any information there were 42 nationalities represented in Pinoso yet, amongst the names of the entrants there was not a single one that didn't have a double barrelled Spanish surname. I may be wrong but I've never noticed anyone in the Carnival Queen competition who isn't Spanish either and whilst I have seen the odd Brit amongst the dance troupes and choirs I haven't noticed Algerians or Senegalese doing anything similar.

I didn't bother to Google my figures and the numbers will have dropped recently but there were something like six million foreign born residents in Spain from a population of some forty seven million. We EU Europeans have a right to live here but lots of nationalities like Ecuadorian, Moroccans, Ukrainians and Chinese have to become nationalised if they wish to remain in Spain. So there are lots of people here with their family roots in other countries who are now full blown Spanish nationals. Lots of them must be well into second or maybe third generation by now.

I don't watch much Spanish TV, the home-grown product that is as distinct from US imports so I am not a reliable source. However, I can only think of two regular TV faces who aren't Spanish. One of them is Michael Robinson the ex Liverpool and QPR footballer who is a football commentator and pundit and, until very recently, there was a young Korean woman called Usun Yoon on a satirical current affairs programme called el Intermedio. There are almost certainly others but I don't know them. Obviously there are all shapes and sizes of people on TV all the time because Spain buys programming from all around the world and because there are celebs and sports stars doing what they do as well as turning up in the adverts. Nonetheless the nationally produced stuff seems remarkably monolithic.

I was at a music festival over the weekend and I was talking about this phenomenon to Maggie. I realised that there were very few black people, Latin Americans etc. among the crowd or even among the musicians.

Maybe it just needs a few more years.

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