Last month, while waiting at the Bilbao airport for AB to arrive from Paris, I sat in a quiet corner reading Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity. The quietness was disrupted by a family with three small boys, probably between the ages of three and six. The eldest boy was amusing himself with jumping from one metal grating on the ground to the other. The youngest kid tried to follow suit, albeit not too successfully and had to take two steps for every one step that his brother took.Not that this bothered me. In fact, I was quite amused by how they were running up and down along the same path with an equal level of enthusiasm each time. Funny how little children can find joy in and entertain themselves with the most ordinary things. When I was small, I’d try to walk such that I would avoid stepping onto cracks in the pavement – no good reason for doing so, but also no good reason for not doing so!
Looking around at these three boys and other families with small children who passed by, I was struck by how similar all these Spanish children looked – everyone had a lovely olive complexion with light brown sun-kissed hair and sturdy little limbs. Must be a combined result of the sun and pork diet!
Excerpt from the Cambridge.org article: “Spaniards also enjoy high pork consumption and have a special fondness for cured hams and suckling pigs… Spanish enthusiasm for pig meat stems in part from pork’s past importance as a symbol of cultural identity. Because Moors and Jews did not eat it, Christians saw the meat as more than simple nutrition. In sixteenth-century Spain, pork eating was an acid test faced by Spanish Moriscos and Marranos who publicly claimed conversion to Christianity. Conspicuous pork avoidance could result in an appearance before the tribunals of the Inquisition.”
Anyway, I have no answer to the question presented at the top of this post.
But what I do wish to share is this Tumblr account by Angelica Dass which documents human skin colour based on PANTONE® colour scheme. Using an 11×11 pixel sample from the face of each individual, Dass creates a background that is dyed with the same Pantone tone. Humanæ is an ongoing project and I look forward to seeing more portraits. I’d love to see more Asian and African faces here!