Sunday, April 28, 2013

T is for Toro

Toro means bull.

Before I lived in that part of the world I was totally ignorant about bull fighting. One day, a friend invited me to go and watch bull fighting. I accepted because I thought it was some cool cultural thing- I mean I'd heard of it but I didn't really know what it was. Well! I was about to find out.

After waiting in line for more than an hour we found our seats and the show began. There were entire orchestas playing tunes and it felt like a circus was going to begin. And then they brought in the bulls. And they brought in the matadors. And they proceeded to TORTURE the poor animal. Everytime they stabbed or hurt the poor thing the crowd cheered. It made me feel sick. There were thousands of people there and they were enjoying this. It was so sad. In the end they murdered the bull, which I am sure was the nicest thing they could have done. It was the most amazing show of cruelty and I couldn't look at the friend the same way afterwards (I left early because it was so disturbing). The problem is, when you try to talk to people about this you are met with condescending responses "It's a part of our culture- you can't understand because you're not from here" "Don't be ignorant" and the such. I am happy to say that there are some groups of people trying to make a change- demonstrations are being held all over the continent- but they are still a minority. It made me think of what it would have been like to watch the gladiators in Ancient Greece.

This was one of the saddest experiences I had in South America.

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