In our second year, I am getting better at this. When the fireworks for the celebration San Joan went on sale earlier this month, I got out the screwdriver and took down our mailbox (blown up last year by little hoodlums, remember?). It's a fond memory for many Catalans, the days leading up to the celebration when they as kids went around the neighborhood begging for old furniture. It becomes the central bonfire that in the old days burned all night. Now the wooden pile is the centerpiece for lighting bottle rockets (held in hands, eek!), eating special pastries and drinking cava. The fire in my neighborhood spent in a few minutes, the cake and cava a few hours....only the pyrotechnics carried on tradition until dawn. And the old tables, and chairs and benches gone forever. Not my favorite holiday.
A raging controversy. Does hitting two pieces of wood (or metal, or plastic) together create emotion? Can a rig replace a community of quirky humans trained for years to hit them just so? If something is really a classical instrument, why did Mozart and Bach and Schubert forget to write music for it? Why is it that castanets have wide roots over the world, but we think only of big fluffy polka dot dresses, red lipstick and wailing gypsies? Sounds like a Christopher Guest movie to me!
By Maia Pay Ozguc
Barcelona Impressions. Be curious. Be present. Be Barcelona!