13 May 2010

A Musical Haircut

So, I was at the hair dresser's the other day getting a trim etc. and it turned out to be quite an interesting afternoon! Seemingly out of no where these guys waltz into the salon and start playing their instruments and serenading one of the clients, the hair stylists and then walking all over the place stopping for a bit in front of each of the clients!

Allow me to introduce you to La Cuarentuna de Cartagena:

What's a Cuarentuna? Well it's a "older" ("cuaren" as in cuarenta = 40) Tuna. And no, I don't mean the fish!!! :p

The Tuna (similar groups in Latin America are known as "Estudiantinas") is a musical tradition in Spanish universities dating back to the Middle Ages and is present in all (as far as I know) Universities, usually one in every "school" (Science, Medicine, Law etc.). They're easily recognisable by their laid-back attitudes (some of these guys take a bit long to finish college) and their Renaissance inspired outfits (pantaloons, doublets, hose etc.). To get in one must not only have a good voice and know how to play an instrument, but also pass a "practical joke" exam to determine if the candidate is of good cheer (and knows both how to take and give a joke).  Mostly guys, although there are a few female Tunas out there... They know how to have a good time and travel around a lot for competitions etc. My mom once ran into the Tuna de la Facultad de Ciencias de Alicante (so the one associated to my school at Uni) in Vienna, and then in Budapest the next day!

A quaint old tradition. Some people don't like it, I think it's fun!


  1. Some traditions are meant to pass along, this is one of them.

  2. Anyone who doesn't like this tradition would NEVER qualify for a TUNA, since they have no sense of humor at all. This is so much fun, and also so... Spanish! Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Indeed DJan, this is one of those "if you don't us then we definitely don't need/want you!"

    Glad you guys enjoyed this bit of Hispania! :o)

  4. I love this! You know, at one time I was managing an insurance office and someone sent me a male stripper for my birthday. For me, it was embarrassing and awkward, I didn't know what to say, where to look, and how to respond. I really hated the experience – not the right time or place. But this would be fun, now I could get into this. Good, clean, light-hearted fun.

  5. Rhonda: I'd be so red they'd need a fireman's hose to cool me down! Embarrassing doesn't begin to cover it! I hope you "got back" at whoever pulled that prank! :p
    Yeah, the Tunos can be jokesters, but amongst each other... otherwise they're just around in odd outfits serenading the ladies. ;o)

  6. I'm with you... that is fun! I would love to be serenaded while getting a haircut! ...or grocery shopping. ...or pumping gas. I bet that put a spring in your step for the rest of the day!

  7. Well, at least for the rest of the evening Lily since it was at 7PM, but yeah, was a lot of fun! ;o)


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