Sunday, September 27, 2009

Trying to sort out the confusion

In Spain there are lots of words which translate similarly in English but may not necessarily refer to the same thing. These sort of anomalies can lead to confusion for those of us trying to learn the language.

One example are the terms Cofradía and Hermandad both mean Brotherhood. On the face of it, they seem to be interchangeable but I imagine there is a subtle difference which eludes me at the moment. Perhaps one of my Spanish readers could explain the difference.

A lot of the references to Cofradías that you find are related to those that parade during Semana Santa (Easter). They carry and accompany the pasos which tell the story of the passion of Christ and the events of Holy Week.

Although most of the Cofradías and Hermadades are religious in nature, you also find Cofradías de Pescadores or fishermen which are similar to the guilds in Britain.

The Cofradías de Pescadores have a thousand years of history in Spain. Although they only cover coastal fishing, there are 229 of them and they control 83% of fishing employment in the country.

I don’t know whether there are similar guilds for other trades; I can’t find any references to them online.

Cofradías in Bigastro (list taken from the Bigastro web site)
San Joaquín.
Ntra. Sra. de Belén.
Cristo Resucitado.
Hijas de María.
Virgen del Carmen.
Sagrado Corazón.
Santa Rita.

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