Andalucía es mi Tierra! Yo soy del Sur!

Hi everyone,

Mark was interested in writing a post about Sevillismo and the culture of the city more broadly than just the SFC which we all know and love.  Personally, I know next to nothing about these topics and love learning more about it all.  And of course we can continue discussing both the post and also debating all the rumors, transfers, and pre-game results we always do in the comments.  So, here’s Mark’s post!  Enjoy!

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Andalucía is my Earth, I’m from the South!

I’ve been thinking for some time about writing a post about all things – SEVILLLSMO! In my eyes trying to convey what more there is to fully celebrate as being a Sevillista! In essence on this blog we discuss the SFC football matters in great depth and with tactical rigour and analysis. I’ve always found it fascinating when I read posts about how people that post became Sevillistas from all corners of the globe.

As the heading translates the City and region is an incredibly beautiful place. It is the title of a traditional song that talks about how Andalusian’s are fiercely passionate of their land and their customs (See on Youtube). I have been in the very fortunate position over the last 15 years to visit Sevilla and Andalucía quite regularly and this post is for me to try and convey in my experiences the City and the Fans, and how it embodies the Club. I’ve never really seen anything quite like this.

To describe the City the culture and climate gives me a very special feeling. The City itself is truly spectacular, the buildings, the narrow streets, the idyllic courtyards are in another world really. The area called Santa Cruz around the La Giralda tower which entombs Christopher Columbus is quite breath-taking. This is best experienced in the summer evenings when it is still very warm, with a fantastic street atmosphere and hearing Flamenco music and singing in the background. You can eat lots of tapas and drink ice cold crisp Cruz Campos all through the night, the whole Spanish ambience of the place just takes over you. Trust me it really doesn’t get any better than this. The rich culture of Sevilla complements beautifully the magnificent allure of the City. There are many spectacular proceedings over the year, most notably Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Easter fair “La Feria”,

Semana Santa is Holy Week and Sevilla’s celebration is likely the most famous in the world. Whether you are religious or not there’s something to enjoy and I guarantee you won’t see anything like it anywhere else. I was taken back and very moved by this experience. Semana Santa for many means more than the processions in the streets. It marks the arrival of spring in Sevilla with a week-long celebration that fills the streets, churches, bars and restaurants. There are more than 50 church brotherhoods, some dating as far back as the 13th century, which take part in Semana Santa, carrying over 115 different floats, or pasos, through the streets of Sevilla. Each procession can last hours, and is almost a 24 hour event. When you are within touching distance to the paso, you can see these enormous structures with 40-50 men underneath carrying them on their shoulders.

For La Feria de Abril, the week-long celebrations begin at the Gates of Jerez which is the beautiful structure at the entrance to the Feria where thousands of lights are switched on by the Mayor of Seville at midnight. Then it’s time to head for the ‘Caseta’, crack open the sherry and let the Fino Sherry and let the partying begin. Casetas are tent structures with a bar, tapas and ‘Sevillana’ dancing which is an elegant and pulsating style of flamenco dancing. At last year’s event it was reported that around 1,000 temporary Casetas were set up to allow ‘Los Sevillanos’ to celebrate their beloved April Fair. A huge fairground is also set up with lots of the typical rides and attractions together with a circus show. The City this week is also populated with all the Senoras y Senoritas wearing the traditional Flamenco dresses – Quite stunning! I recall in 2006 I met a couple of Germans who were Schalke fans on my honeymoon in Venezuela. They said the loss in the UEFA Semi-final wasn’t as bad as they had a memorable night in La Feria and formed many friendships with the locals.

Like in all Sporting organisations and communities the fans, the City and the local customs are the club. In the case of Sevilla the rich intoxicating experience of the City, the unpretentious yet world renowned cultural festivities, the mouth-watering tapas cuisine such as Jamon Serrano accompanied with ice cold Cruz campo and the endlessly warm climate, for me makes Sevilla such a unique and special place. It has a magnetism that literally draws you in to being SEVILLISMO!  Then watching Los Roji-Blancos in the pure of theatre of the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuin is the icing on the cake with the colours, the exuberance and singing El Himno!  It truly is an unbelievable and breath-taking place to visit, to live and feel the experience and to be a part of it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my definition of being SEVILLISMO! Un abrazo grande para todos.