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Williams College

Publication Date

Spring 2008

Program Name

Spain: Language, Community, and Social Change


The Caldereria, the street is officially named, but it is known as the Calle de las Teterias. One crowded, narrow market street, leading tourists and locals alike up into the Albaicin, overflows with Arabic themed shops and products. But most noticeable, and most attractive to me, are the Arabic arches of the lavishly decorated teterias, tea houses, scattered among these little shops. Inside is the aspect of Granadian culture most basic to life here and a living remnant of the Moorish occupation – food! I came to Granada with the clear knowledge that I would find many windows into its fascinating history, filled with stories of invading peoples from far away places. The most obvious and interesting, I thought at the time, was the architecture of the city in the famous neighborhood called the Albaicin, which represents a tangible remnant of history that I would be able to experience firsthand. However, on one of my first nights in the city I sampled migas at my host family’s table and immediately realized I had discovered a much more dynamic window into the long history of this city. After my first few weeks of school I began to walk home through the Albaicin each day. While I enjoyed its beauty, its hidden corners and glimpses into flowering patios of the carmens, what I really looked forward to was walking by the tea houses at the bottom of the hill and more often than not stopping to enjoy backlava, tea, or a crepe. The proud owner of a powerful sweet tooth, I found the Arabic treats waiting at the bottom of the barrio to be a serious distraction from my studies at the Celei center, and of course jumped at the opportunity to learn (and sample) more through this investigation.


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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