CATENGESP


SWEET

(15/02/2008)

Aquest article no estÓ tradu´t al catalÓ; es mostra la seva versiˇ en anglŔs

On sweet fights and becoming an honorary cooper in Vilanova

CATALONIA TODAY ľ SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE EIGHTY-SEVEN

Like many people I like my Sundays quiet, so when the singer Pere TÓpias invited me to see the carnivalesque Batalla de Caramels ('Candy Fight') in his home town of Vilanova i la Geltr˙, and to become an honorary member of an odd-sounding Confraria de Boters ('Brotherhood of Coopers'), I tried to wriggle out of it. So engagingly insistent was he, however, that last Sunday morning but one saw me heading off to Vilanova, completely in the dark as to what I was letting myself in for.
No sooner had I arrived than Pere led me to the Plaša de la Vila and placed me on a balcony opposite the Town Hall. A moment later, fifteen banner-waving gangs of men and women of all ages, including a scattering of Africans and Moroccans, dressed in yellow, red, blue and lilac barretines (Catalan hats) filled up the square below until it was seething with tension. Suddenly the PA system roared a cue - 'La plaša Ús vostra!' - and they started to pelt each other with boiled sweets so vehemently it looked as if they were beating off predatory swarms of gnats. This fight over, the crowd, eight hundred strong, instantly formed twelve chorus lines across the square and performed a melodious, elegant, hokey-cokey-like song. Speechless after this display of colour, noise, music and violence, I was taken to the peaceful, gardened Hotel CÚsar, fed a beautiful lunch, given a red and black morning coat and formally inducted into the Brotherhood of Coopers, by means of a curious ceremony involving wine and doggerel. And there was I thinking that Catalonia, bizarre country though it is, had no more surprises up its sleeve for me, not any more, not after 24 years of residence. Wrong again.


- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programaciˇ: Nac -