Monday, January 03, 2005

What's a Tertulia?

A tertulia is an informal, but regular, gathering of friends or "fellow intellectuals" to discuss issues of great import and interest to all. This could mean politics, literature, culture, whatever. These gatherings can occur in someone's home or, more likely in Spanish culture, in a public space such as a café.

I came across this great definition while searching the internet, which really gets to the heart of the spirit of the tertulia:

"¡Tertulia! When a group of individuals come together and share their ideas, talents and anecdotes in the spirit of interpreting life, when there is song and poetry and when there is wit in conversation, then we say that a ¡Tertulia! has formed."

Is a tertulia transferable to the Anglo world? Do we even have a translation for the word tertulia in English? As with so many concepts from other cultures, we can't translate it with just one word. But we can still bring the spirit and practice of the tertulia into our own lives. Schedule a regular gathering with your friends, maybe once a month, to discuss issues above and beyond your daily lives. And don't forget the music, wine, and spark of life – the chispa that makes it fun.

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