Cut it out


Cutting an apple with a pair of scissors? This photo was taken in Granada (Spain), so you probably think that Spaniards are really funny people. But no, it is not what it looks like and here is why.

Spanish is a colourful language, not in the least because its use of imagery and puns, even in everyday language. The usual word for ‘apple’ is ‘manzana’, but in Granada they also call it ‘pero’. This word has a second denotation which is ‘but’ (‘The weather is fine, but I think it will rain this afternoon.’).

Pessimistic views are not always welcome guests in Southern Spain, especially not on national or regional holidays. So on 3 May, the Fiesta de la Cruz, the inhabitants of Granada want to cut out all those ‘buts’ (‘I feel fine, but it could be better’, ‘The menu looks tempting, but the calories…’), a kind of carpe diem. To symbolize this philosophy on this local feast the double meaning of ‘pero’ comes in handy and here enters the apple.

On the Fiesta de la Cruz crosses adorned with carnations are put up by schools, neighbourhoods, associations, etc., surrounded by all kinds of traditional objects that are regionally used. Everything is carefully arranged around the cross and the apple and some scissors are a fixed part of the scene.

It is a local holiday and everyone uses it to parade up and down the streets and visit as many crosses as possible. A day to just have fun and not think of any buts…

My contribution to Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge: Unusual.



15 thoughts on “Cut it out

    • Yes, it is curious, I didn’t know and only learnt in during my stay there. And you are perfectly right, ‘pera’ is also Spanish for ‘pear’. According to the official dictionary, a ‘pero’ is longer and not as round as a ‘manzana’. By the way, do you know Italian?

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      • Probably your knowledge of Spanish helps with the associations. If that is your way to learn Italian, that’s perfect, very creative. When I was a Spanish teacher, it was one of the ways I taught my students not to look words up in the dictionary, but to try and guess the meaning looking to other languages and the context. At first they thought I had gone out of my mind, but later on enjoyed it and saw it as a game. Hopefully you enjoy learning Italian too.

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      • Oh, you were a Spanish teacher! 🙂 I remember mine, she started our second year of Spanish with Cien anos de soledad and Octavio Paz. She was my favourite teacher. She taught us No nos moveran and Gracias a la vida, and the expression Feo con efe de foco fundido (if I remember right). My approach to Italian is like I’ve seen in a movie with Antonio Banderas when he just suddenly starts to understand a strange language everybody around him is speaking. 😀 So yes, a kind of game. I like your approach too.

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      • Oh, that would be great too, suddenly understanding a language. When we were children, they told us that we had to put our schoolbooks under the pillow so that we would know it all in the morning. Needless to say we were bitterly disappointed time and again. By the way, I did not know the Feo expression, so you taught me something knew also!

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