This weekend would have marked the beginning of the Feria de Jerez; the annual celebration of the various traditions that collectively define the intoxicating Flamenco culture of Spain’s south. Horsemanship, Sevillana dancing, delicate guitar playing, melancholy singing and – of course – sherry are all consumed in abundance by locals eager to revel in the cultural vibrancy of their ville. Coincidentally, today marks two months since the FBTG team last attended a Football game, which happened to be the biggest game of the 2019/2020 season played in Jerez de la Frontera. Though it may seem Continue reading
For part I of Sunnis, Sukarno and Soccer, please click here.
It is easy to make the mental leap that Indonesia is “more Muslim” than its sibling Malaysia is. But if that is the case, why are Koranic prayers read at before Football matches in Malaysia and not in Indonesia? The answer perhaps lies in the path to independence of both modern nation states.
It is something of a sour point to the Chinese and Indian Malaysians that Islam, a faith that is entirely foreign to them, has been chosen as their state religion. In a country where ethnicity is a factor that influences your legal rights and civil status, the Chinese and Indian Malaysians are somewhat used to playing second fiddle.
The British facilitated the migration of their ancestors from Canton and Kerala into their Southeast Asian territories in Continue reading
A gruff voice boomed across the ground, magnified to ensure absolute clarity. The chatter of noise from the terraces stopped abruptly. All spectators shuffled to their feet. On the ground floor, I was already on mine, but to my left a handful of young men in one of the media boxes end their conversation and put their smartphones away in haste before bowing their heads. The exact message of the announcement was lost on me, but I Continue reading
Studying the name of one of south Spain’s most high-profile Football ultra groups “El Frente Bokeron” gives a great insight into one aspect of Andalusian culture.
Whether on the Football terrace or in the tapas bar, just a short amount of time fraternising with and listening to Spaniards is needed to Continue reading
For Part I of “Nonidentical Twins”, please click here.
At the height of Moorish rule in Spain, their capital city was not Granada, but Cordoba. Cordoba was an established but weathered Roman settlement on the banks of the Guadalquivir River at the foothills of the Sierra Morena. Its strategic location offered three major advantages for Continue reading
Granada CF had a sublime second half of the 2018/2019 La Segunda campaign, coming from 5th place in March to earn promotion back to La Liga by finishing the season in 2nd place. Yet arguably more impressive than the East Andalusian club’s hard-fought journey to Spain’s top flight has been its outrageous Continue reading
That figure means various things to various people. It is the maximum capacity of the Estadio La Romareda, home of Real Zaragoza. It is apparently the number of people who die each year in the USA from antibiotic-resistant microbes. And it is the amount of inhabitants of the market town of Beverley, just north of my beloved Kingston Upon Hull.
It is also the number of fans that followed SG Dynamo Dresden to the Olympiastadion in Berlin for a cup tie against Hertha BSC.
You probably Continue reading
The ethnic Han account for approximately 92% of the population of the People’s Republic of China. A couple hundred other ethnic groups are formally recognised by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), though possibly thousands more exist unofficially within the world’s most populous country. In his book “The Emperor Far Away”, author David Eimer literally and figuratively explores four geographic regions of China where the Han Chinese are outnumbered by their reluctant compatriots, and his work directly inspired this article.
The picture he paints is bleak. While the Han Continue reading