Culture Focus: Gibraltar 

Gibraltar is a small British colony located in the south region of the Iberian peninsula. It’s a small and acquainted town that borderlines with Spain and beautifully blends the English ‘pub’ culture with the Spanish ‘tapas’. Gibraltar offers sandy beaches and historic cobbled streets, as well as an ethnic diversity in culture and religion within its society. The town is also popular for the apes that inhabited the rock thousands of years ago and is now considered one of its main tourist attractions.

The combination of the English language alongside a strong influence of a Spanish lifestyle, is what creates the unique subculture that exists on the Rock of Gibraltar. The distinct language, colloquialized by the Gibraltarians themselves as ‘Llanito’, derived from both the English and Spanish languages, with some words that may have originated from places such as Malta and certain parts of Italy and Portugal.

Gibraltar can also be described as a small paradise for those interested in a multicultural atmosphere. The integration of religions and communities such as, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Jewish have encouraged this ethnic diversity and mindset in its culture, food and the social interactions. Gibraltarians or the ‘Llanitos’, as they like to call themselves, are without a doubt known as ‘foodies’. Their local cuisine has adopted flavours from a number of different places and because of that, dishes that have been passed down through generations such as Calentita (kind of quiche made with chickpea), Torta de Acelga (chard pie) and Banoffee Pie have become part of the national gastronomy. Around the rock one will come across a number of different restaurants to suit everyone’s acquired tastes. Options may range from a tapas night out across the border in La Linea or a traditional Indian curry at one of the town’s favourite Indian spots.

Very much into health and fitness or simply enjoy a little challenge? This little ‘ape’ land is a great place to keep fit. The sun is always shining and the views are breathtaking which motivates us students even more. Runs along the beach, or a hike up the ‘Mediterranean Steps’ are usually what the young ones get up to in keeping up with those beach bodies. Skydiving, jet skiing and even surfing are also very popular during the summer.

Nightlife on the rock is surprisingly good  – admit it, you were not expecting a tiny rock at  the last tip of Spain to be such a party place, however, it’s true. Marina Bay and Ocean Village Leisure Park are right by the sea and therefore make them idyllic areas for cocktails or perhaps a little dancing in a summery atmosphere.

Good food, good nightlife, nice people and the beach. What more does one want? See you on the rock!

By Hanushka Karnani

15th April 2017

Image Credit: Hanushka Karnani