My first impression when entering the historic library of the Victor Balaguer Museum was unbeatable: Suddenly I was totally surrounded by giants and that filled me with a deep feeling of respect - a flashing reminder about how small we humans are and how short our life is. Fortunately enough, the presence of my wife pulled me back to reality and we started observing all details: the marble like smooth face of the geganta d’Olot, compared with the scarred one of her warrior husband, who seems tired from all things he has seen. The perfect fairy tale king and queen exemplified by the giants from Manresa. The gegantons de Pi, whose clothes reminded us that, historically, many giants used to be dressed up in new things and always in line with the latest fashion.
The exhibition program is full with anecdotes. For example did we learn that the funny looking Gegants Indis from Reus which will be joined by the Vitxets and Moros from the same town for the Saturday giant parade, and that the three couples were made to symbolise different continents. A fourth couple, representing America, was planned but never built. Well, at least I think that the so called Gegants Indis possibly look like a cartoon version of American Indians, but certainly not like people from India.
As you have already guessed, for all the splendour of the visiting giants, my favourites are our own Gegant de la Porra (the Giant with the Club) and the Geganta Grossa. Vilanova i la Geltrú is my first home in Catalonia and will for a foreseeable future be the model, with which I evaluate things from other parts of this country.
From the perspective of popular culture, decades will pass before our town again receives the chance to host an event of this magnitude and whatever it will be, it will not be a Pan-Catalan Giant Exhibition. So, unless you have seen the it, hurry up to the museum – on Saturday afternoon it will be too late.
Finally, a big hand to the Giant Performers (geganters ) of Vilanova i la Geltrú and the pabordes (the Festa Major committee) for this exceptional program item, which makes our Festa Major shine in the eyes of everyone with an interest in Catalan culture.
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