Translation (to English): Home, house
|A typical Galician house (and what most small town residents live in)|
|Man lars scattered about in the hills and countryside outside of La Coruña|
|A cute mailbox slot with a beautiful handpainted tile above it as seen in Oleiros|
As I may have mentioned in a previous post, Galego and Portuguese are very closely related lingusitically. Galego is believed to be the “mother” of Portuguese which means it came first and Portuguese was created second. There are debates on this very issue so I won’t go on any more with that discussion. I’ll save it for another entry perhaps. I have been putting off writing this post (and continuing the series) due to some trips that kept me busy and a lack of time to fully research the words I planned to share with you all this spring. I also could not find a lot of information on this particular word, “lar,” but managed to have a breakthrough today and can now finish explaining about this word. I hope you will enjoy learning about it as much as I have.
Not everyone lives in a home similar to the ones I shared above. In fact, most people in Galicia live in a flat or apartment with their family or with flatmates. Another commonality that I’ve found to be true in almost all of Spain, is that while someone may say they’re from a city, it’s highly likely that they’re actually from a small town outside of the city. There’s also a high chance that their grandparents (and even their parents) still live there and the city dweller will go home to visit their pueblo at least once a month if not more. And as much as a gallego might enjoy living in the city, there is nothing like a visit home and the chance to taste their mother’s cooking again and bring enough Tupperware containers back to their flat for the following week’s meals.
|What most gallegos actually live in – flats (pisos) [Photo taken from my rooftop]|
I personally have been to a handful of Spanish family’s homes over the years (mostly in Andalusian homes) and consider each visit a privilege. I’ve yet to be invited to celebrate an event or share a meal in a Galician home but I hope to one day have the honor. I’ve been regularly attending church here and have been a guest at a few Sunday meals after the service but I feel like that is just a taste of what it’s like to fellowship with a Galician person. To an outsider, a gallego can seem unapproachable and unfriendly. They can also appear to have cliques or groups of people that they will only hang around and talk to. This is partially due to habit and the fact that many of the local people in this region have lived here most of their lives. They are bound to still have childhood friends living near them or family friends whom they’ve known forever.
|A Galician tapas feast that you can enjoy in a lar or in a restaurante|
For many gallegos, the home can represent many things. It can be a place of rest and relaxation after a long hard day of work. It can be a loving and warm retreat from the rest of the world and its gloomy rainy days. It can also be a place of fellowship and a place where you can eat some of the best food of your life and miss that food while you’re away. A lar to a gallego will be the place where you are the safest and most loved. It’s where you will make a regular house a home that will linger in your mind and heart for many, many years to come.
Have you ever been invited to eat dinner or attend a special party at a Spanish family’s home? What was it like? If you live in or know people from Galicia, do you find the topics I addressed above to be true when it comes to Galician homes and families? Tell me about your experiences below!
|Hogar dulce hogar (home sweet home)|