¿What is on another continent?

Ultramar is a place that is across the sea, taking into account the point where it is spoken. This means that there is no country or island that can always be classified as overseas, but rather that this name is developed according to the location of the person who is pronouncing the expression.

For Spain, for example, abroad are the American or Asian regions. The concept acquired a political nuance, since, at the time of the Spanish Empire, the term allowed to designate the Spanish colonies in America, the Philippines and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. The administration and government of these territories were the responsibility of the Overseas Ministry.

The creation of the Overseas Ministry took place only in 1863, and until then the overseas territories were subject to various forms of administration. In 1836, a reform gave rise to the creation of ministries and the name “overseas” was adopted by the Secretary of State and Cabinet of the Navy. A decade later, a homonymous General Directorate was created, which was part of several ministries until it became one. The Ministry of Overseas ceased to exist by Royal Decree of April 20, 1899, partly as a result of the Cuban War of Independence the previous year. Another Spanish institution linked to this notion was the Royal Council of Spain and Overseas, which for a time replaced the Council of State. Businesses engaged in the sale of food products obtained in American lands were known as supermarkets. Currently, grocery stores still exist in Spain, although they no longer distribute products obtained in America. In general, they are small and simple places, with a very characteristic counter and a series of essential instruments for their operation, such as a scale and a guillotine. Soup, legumes, milk and fish are some of the foods that can be obtained from a grocery store, known in some regions of America as a “store” or “grocery store”. Mercadona is the name of a supermarket chain of great importance in Spanish territory; but few know that in its not so distant origins it was nothing more than a simple warehouse with eight branches. Since its founder sold it to his son, Juan Roig, in 1891, the growth of the current colossus has been exponential: in just three decades it has become number one in the country, with multimillion-dollar sales and more than 1,350 establishments.

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Specifically between 1998 and 2003, the volume of its sales grew by an average of 25% per year, almost three times the rate considered normal in its field. These numbers become even more shocking if you take into account that they could only be compared with those of Wal-Mart, in the United States and known throughout the world. Other uses Although the term ultramar is not very frequent in the current vocabulary of the Spanish language, its equivalent in English ( ultramar ) is commonly used in that language. American athletes who play abroad play “overseas”. The ultramarine blue, finally, is the pulverized lapis lazuli (a jewelery gem) that is used as a color in painting. It is also the steel paste and the coloring matter that is made from a mixture of iron sulphate, clay and sodium bisulphide. It is common for this mixture to be used instead of powdered lapis lazuli.

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