By FUNG Wing Sum, Sammi (BA English for Professional Communication, Year 3)

'Bienvenido a La Feria de EspaƱa!' La Feria is a festive event originating from a typical festival in southern Spain - Seville's April Fair. This celebration has been going on for over 150 years, gathering 1.5 million visitors from all around the world. It welcomes all Spanish food and culture lovers to join and celebrate in Spain. This year is the first time that La Feria has taken place in Hong Kong.

On 9 October, La Feria 2011 was successfully held in Happy Valley. A total number of 1,300 visitors took part in this joyful event. Citizens from Spain, local Chinese students and even other expatriates all had a great time together. There were around 20 Spanish exhibitors to offer visitors traditional Spanish food and beverages. The fragrance of premium Spanish ham, Chuletillas, Sangria cocktails, and top wines stimulated the taste buds of every visitor and impressed them with local Spanish cuisine. In addition to the live demonstrations of local specialties and beverages by leading Spanish chefs, a beer competition was held for visitors to show their power.

Apart from the enchanting food and drinks, Flamenco was another main focus of the event. Flamenco is the most representing cultural dance of Spain and it is very popular in Hong Kong. Famous Flamenco dancers were here to showcase the exhilarating traditional Spanish dance with music. Sometimes we might not understand the lyrics in the music, but the passion and energy of the Flamenco dancers serve as a cultural bridge in promoting Spain to people around the world.

Although it may not be possible for every one of us to travel to Spain, there are a lot of ways for us to know more about Spanish culture. Every year there will be exchange students coming from Spain to CityU and they are cultural ambassadors introducing us to lively Spanish cultures. With the help of the information provided by the official Spanish travel and educational organizations, Spain is not so far away as we imagine anymore. Luckily, you can even be an exchange student representing CityU in Spain!

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