Every day at 8pm, people in Spain go out to their windows, balconies, and terraces to applaud for healthcare workers and all the essential personnel (cleaners, supermarket sellers, pharmacists, etc.) as a way of thanking them for their courageous work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the beginning of the lockdown, which started around three weeks ago, different artistic talents are expressed through the balconies to bring joy and encourage each other to cope with this situation.
Guitar, trumpet players and DJs express their feelings by playing different songs after the clapping moment that can last up to ten minutes! The music varies as it reflects the mood of the player or the general ambiance in the neighbourhood. Birthday celebrations, reggaeton special, old hits … it all depends on the feelings to be expressed. The public can also ask for a special request from one of the artists.
Children and elderly people are the biggest participants at this event, singing, dancing and clapping. The environment suddenly changes from a quite deserted Málaga to a party place as it has been known for many years!
Málaga’s pleasant weather has maybe been making it easy for people to socialize. It is common to start a random chat with someone while waiting for a bus, queuing in the market or even while walking. The “Malagueños” are known for being “salerosos”, which means funny, witty and somehow chatty. Social distancing is very contrasting where people are so used to interact, but people seem to have found a way to keep socializing habits through an alternative way.
Screaming from one’s balcony to ask the neighbours in the opposite window about their health, work, children and so on, is not a new practice, people used to communicate (and gossip) this way before the confinement. Now, it just got very trendy. Even in our IT era, where smartphones and computers are ubiquitously used, people still look forward to communicating face to face.
This 8pm routine has been our moment to connect locally and recognise the efforts of those who are still working out there, as well as to appreciate the open view. The videos give a feeling of these moments.