It seemed that the entire population of our local town and numerous outsiders were present, for a Spanish funeral involves the whole community. Many of the congregation were still in their work clothes and some slipped out occasionally to have a smoke.
In this Spanish church, the vestments of the priest, the hymns and the incense, I found echoes of the solemnity, mystery and magic of the Tridentine Mass of my Catholic childhood. And the eulogy for the deceased rang with sincerity, for the priest had known them personally.
All national characters are formed by a nation's history, and perhaps it is that Spain's blood-soaked history (the three and a half centuries' reign of the Inquisition, the carnage of the Civil War and the repressive Franco regime) have taught the Spanish the price of disunity [a juzgar por los últimos años, no parece que sea el caso].
The Spanish, I wrote, are so welcoming that one has the impression of being a member of a huge, extended, loving family; a view which my detractors clearly did not share, and for some reason found offensive. It is a great pity that such people do not adopt the Spanish way of life, which is, indeed, also the Spanish way of death.
Muy bonito. Si al menos fuera verdad... (no me tomen en serio, los neoprogres somos así, :))