Sunday, 1 March 2009

ENG: When Sitges Beats Us

Among the Swedish expats in the Barcelona, I am probably the only one who prefers Vilanova to Sitges. Having said that, when we talk about carnival celebrations in Catalonia there are a few aspects where even I admit that Sitges comes out on top.

The first one is the reputation of and number of visitors. The Carnaval de Sitges attracts people from all over the world and the parades on Carnival Saturday (rua de disbauxa) and Carnival Tuesday (rua d’extermini) congest the highway and overload allt trains to Garraf with people from Barcelona on their way to these all-night parties.

The second one is style. Thanks to a magnificent carnival poster and by incorporating La Sala as well as professional actors, Vilanova has reduced the distance, but Sitges is still far ahead. Our ‘Arrivo’ parade, for example, has great satiric values for those who follow local politics but, honestly, in craftsmanship and presentation, the least elaborate floats of Sitges equal the best ones from here.

The third one is international inspiration. If my children ever ask their Swedish friends what a carnival is about, the answer will contain words like samba, feathers and glitter. These are main ingredients in Sitges – just like in Rio de Janeiro – but certainly not so in the carnival which we have learnt to love in Vilanova.

Now, I am the first to defend el Carnaval de Vilanova as the only surviving truly Catalan version of this event and I hope that more foreigners will make the effort to explore it, although it is not as inviting as the one in Sitges.

However, for those moments when Vilanova feels introvert, I am happy to have Sitges nearby, as a window to the world outside. Just have a look at the clip where the young members of the Sitges Rugby Club make the New Zealand All Blacks' so called “haka”. That could simply never happen here.

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CAT: Vilanovins i vilanovines,

No estigueu decepcionats amb la nostra familia. Us demano disculpar-nos. És que els meus nens de veritat necessitaven una mica de distracció després de tants dies sense escola. A més, us prometo que portava una xapa anti-Sitges durant tota l’estona que vam ser-hi. Però, sí, teniu raó: vam ser infidels. Encara pitjor: vam passar-nos-ho molt bé.

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Technorati tags: Carnival, Catalonia, Garraf, Penedès, Sitges, Vilanova

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