Friday, 30 April 2010

The Event Calendar – May 2010

The Event Calendar has a focus on activities typical for the Catalan popular culture and is presented under the headlines Human Towers, Festa Major, Other Events and Exhibitions.

General information can be found at the end of this entry.

Castells/Castellers (Human Towers) and Falcons

May 1: The Day of human towers during the Festa Major of Vilassar de Dalt (BCN)
Capgrossos de Mataró, Castellers de Sants

May 1: Festa Major at Salomó (TGN)
Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona

May 1: The Ses Salines fair of Ses Salines (Mallorca)
Al·lots de Llevant

May 1: The Castellers Meeting of Baix Llobregat in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona)
Castellers de Castelldefels, Castellers de Cornellà, Castellers d’Esplugues, Castellers de l’Hospitalet, Matossers de Molins de Rei

May 1: The Day of Human Towers of the Festa Major in Torresserona (Lleida)
Castellers de Lleida

May 1: The Sant Isidre Fair of Sant Joan de les Abadesses (Girona)
Sagals d’Osona, Xerrics d’Olot

May 1: The April fair of Guissona (Lleida)
Marganers de Guissona

May 2: At 12:30, the Day of Human Towers of the Festa Major Petita de Cabra del Camp (TGN)
Participants: Bordegassos de Vilanova, Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls,

May 2: The Roser Day of Cerdanyola (BCN)
Castellers de Cerdanyola, Castellers de Sabadell, Castellers de Sant Cugat,

May 8, at 19:30 in plaça Marcer: The Celebration of an Inclusive Society in Sant Pere de Ribes (BCN)

Bordegassos de Vilanova, Falcons de Vilanova,

May 8: the 17th Anniversary of the Castellers de Sants in Barcelona.

Participants: Castellers de Sants, Colla Jove de l’Hospitalet, Colla Jove Castellers de Sitges,

May 8, at 19:00 in plaça Vella: The Modernist Fair of Terrassa (BCN)

Castellers de Terrassa, Minyons de Terrassa,

May 8: The Day of Pallol in Reus (Tarragona)

Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls, Xiquets de Reus,

May 8: 7th Anniversary of the Xerrics in Olot (BCN)

Castellers del Poble-sec, Xerrics d’Olot

May 9: the 16th Anniversary of Castellers d’Esparreguera, in Esparreguera (BCN)

Bordegassos de Vilanova, Castellers d'Esparreguera, Castellers del Poble-sec

May 9: the 17th Anniversary of the Castellers de Sants in Barcelona.

Capgrossos de Mataró, Castellers de Sants, Castellers de Vilafranca,

May 9: the 13th Anniversary of the Castellers de Vila de Gràcia, in Gràcia, Barcelona.

Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia, Marrecs de Salt, Moixiganguers d’Igualada

May 9: Performance for Human Towers to be added to the


List of the Inheritance of Humanity in Perefort (TGN)

Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona, Nens del Vendrell

May 9: Festa Major del Roser in Cerdanyola del Vallès (BCN)

Castellers de Badalona, Castellers de Caldes de Montbui, Castellers de Cerdanyola

May 9: The Santa Creu Fair of Figueres (Girona)

Colla Castellera de Figueres, Xics de Granollers

May 9: A Celebration of Culture and Solidarity in Monistrol de Montserrat (BCN)

Castellers de la Sagrada Familia, Tirallongues de Manresa

May 9: Festa Major in Sant Anastasi (Lleida)-

Participants: Castellers de Barcelona, Castellers de Lleida, Xiquets de Tarragona

May 9: the Fair of Campanet in Mallorca

Al·lots de Llevant

May 15: The Vigil of the Sant Ponç Fair in Sant Cugat (BCN, province)

Castellers de Sant Cugat, Colla Jove de Castellers de Sitges, Castellers d'Esplugues

May 15: The 10th Muixerangues Meeting in Algemesí (Valencia, province)

Muixeranga d’Algemesí, Minyons de l’Arboç, Castellers de Cornellà

May 15: The Spring Festival of Palma (Mallorca) -

Participants: Castellers de Mallorca, Al·lots de Llevant

May 16, at 12:30 in plaça de la Vila: The May Fair of Vilafranca del Penedès (BCN, province) -

Participants: Castellers de Vilafranca, Xicots de Vilafranca, Bordegassos de Vilanova

May 16: The 2nd Montserrat Team Meeting in Igualada (BCN, province)

Moixiganguers d'Igualada, Castellers d'Esparreguera, Tirallongues de Manresa

May 16: The Ascencion Day of Human Towers in Granollers (BCN, province) -

Participants: Capgrossos de Mataró, Castellers de Sants, Xics de Granollers

May 16: The Sant Ponç Fira of Sant Cugat (BCN, province) -

Participants: Castellers de Barcelona, Castellers de Sant Cugat, Sagals d'Osona

May 16: The May Fair of Badalona (BCN, province) -

Participants: Minyons de Terrassa, Castellers de Badalona, Castellers de Lleida

May 16: The 10th Muixerangues Meeting in Algemesí (Valencia, province) - P

articipants: Muixeranga d’Algemesí, Castellers de Cornellà

May 16: Human Towers at El Milà (TGN, province) -

Participants: Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls, Xiquets de Reus

May 16: Human Towers in Altafulla (TGN, province) -

Participants: Castellers d'Altafulla, Castellers de la Sagrada Familia, Xiquets del Serrallo

May 16: Temps de Flors – the Girona Flower Fair (Girona) -

Participants: Marrecs de Salt, Xiquets de Tarragona

May 16: The Sant Maties Fair of Montblanc (TGN, province) -

Participants: Torraires de Montblanc, Nyerros de la Plana

May 22: The Snail Fair (Aplec del Cargol) of Lleida - Participants: Castellers de Lleida

May 23: Performance of Human Towers at the Expo 2010 Shanghai (P.R.C.) - Participants:Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls

May 23: The 30th Anniversary of Castellers de Terrasssa, Terrassa (BCN, province) - Participants: Castellers de Terrassa, Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls, Capgrossos de Mataró, Moixiganguers d'Igualada

May 23: Festa Major at Mollerussa (BCN, province) - Participants: Castellers de Vilafranca, Castellers de Sant Cugat, Margeners de Guissona

May 23: The Festa of Nou Barris, Barcelona - Participants: Castellers de Barcelona, Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona

May 23: The May Day of Human Towers in Tarragona - Participants: Xiquets de Tarragona, Nois de la Torre

May 23: Xatos in Rubí (BCN, province) - Participants: Castellers de Rubí, Colla Jove de l'Hospitalet

May 23: The Festa of the Barri Creu Alta of Sabadell (BCN, province) - Participants: Castellers de Sabadell, Xiquets de Reus, Castellers d'Esplugues

May 29: The Presentation of Reus Associations, Reus (TGN, province) - Participants: Xiquets de Reus

May 30: The Presentation of Poble Sec Associations in Poble Sec, Barcelona - Participants: Castellers de Sants, Castellers del Poble Sec, Xics de Granollers

May 30: Performance to Celebrate the 27th Anniversary of the team premises of Colla Jove de Tarragona, Tarragona - Participants: Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls, Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona, Nois de la Torre

May 30: The Ascension Fair of Manresa (BCN, province) - Participants: Tirallongues de Manresa, Sagals d'Osona, Castellers d'Esplugues

May 30: “6ª Diada del Firal” in Vilafranca del Penedès (BCN, province) - Participants: Minyons de Terrassa, Xicots de Vilafranca, Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia

May 30: Performance in Sant Llorenç Savall (BCN, province) - Participants: Castellers de Sabadell, Castellers de Cerdanyola, Castellers de Cornellà

Festa Major (Town Festivities) and Folkculture

To be up-dated.

Other events:

May 14-16: The May Fair of Vilafranca del Penedès (BCN)Fires de maig o dels enamorats.

May 18: International Museum Day – most museums will organize days of open doors around this date.

May 28-30: Trapezi/Vilanova – the annual Circus festival of Vilanova i la Geltrú (BCN). Here are my entries on the 2008 and 2009 versions.

May 29: The Eurovision Song Contest is celebrated in Oslo.


To be up-dated.

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Wirdheim.CAT Event Calendar hereby celebrates its first anniversary. Congratulations as well as proposals for improvements are always highly welcome in the comment field.

The event calendar is a summary of events where I will go, or at least could think of going, but can hopefully help other expats and tourists when they explore Catalonia. It is biased towards the Penedès area (including Sitges), but will also list manifestations of popular culture and other activities taking place in Barcelona, along the Costa Daurada and in the rest of the Catalan speaking world.

This entry will be up-dated whenever I learn about new things, since (compared to my native Sweden) here information about what will happen tends to come late. To the greatest extent possible will I link back to official pages (usually in Catalan) for information on time and locations but can not guarantee the correctness of the data presented.

Further information on castells/castellers (human tower) performances can be found under the tag ‘Properes Actuacions‘at the Coordinadora de les Colles Castelleres de Catalunya, or in the ‘Calendariat

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Technorati tags: Barcelona, Castellers, Catalonia, Festa Major,Expat, Human Towers, Penedès, Vilafranca, Vilanova,

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Human Towers to Celebrate Sant Jordi

Sant Jordi is celebrated with human towers in many places in Catalonia, among them Vilanova i la Geltrú, where the local team (colla) Bordegassos also took the opportunity to celebrate its 38th birthday and this on the first Sunday after the actual Saint George’s day. For the most active castellers, the day started already at 8:30 in the morning with matinades - the team walked around to music played on gralles and erected human pillars in front of selected houses. Here I must admit that I felt I need to sleep in and, therefore, only showed up around noon, in time for the performance (actuació) at plaça de la Vila.

Our guests for the day were two of the most well-known castellers-teams - Joves Xiquets de Valls and Castellers de Barcelona - which, combined with a fantastic summer weather, resulted in a lot of spectators.

Joves Xiquets de Valls - one of Catalonia's four top teams – will later in the season make human towers of nine levels and, as expected, stood for the most advanced constructions this day. The opened with 8de4 and went on with 5de7 and 4de7 amb l'agulla (explanations of the names at the end of the post).

Castellers de Barcelona will build several towers of eight levels during the coming summer. Here they assembled and dissassembled 5de7, Torre de 7 and 3de7 aixecat per sota.

We ourselves, Bordegassos the Vilanova, is the weakest of these three teams, but here at home (where you always have more camises ("shirts", in this context representing team members) in the square, were challenged by our coaches to reach our maximum level from last year. And so we did, greatly thanks to super achievements by some castellers who managed to hold together shaky towers: 5de7, 4de7 amb l'agulla, 3de7 and vano de 5.

The next appearance for Joves Xiquets de Valls and Bordegassos the Vilanova is on Sunday May 2, at. 13:00 in the Festa Major petita of the small town Cabra del Camp (Tarragona). The Castellers the Barcelona’s next appearance is May 9, at. 12:15 in the plaça de la Paeria in Lleida, together with the Castellers de Lleida and Xiquets de Tarragona.

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A brief introduction to the names of Catalonia's human towers:

  • A pilar is a single column or pillar of people, standing on each other's shoulders. A pilar de 5 has five levels. A vano de cinc are three pillars next to each other where the centre column has five levels.
  • A torre consists of two people per level, except for the top two ones. A torre de 7 has seven levels, the top two ones included.
  • Bigger castells have names such as 4de8 (4 by 8, in my translation), where 4 indicates that it consist of four people per level (the top three ones - pom de dalt - excluded) and 8 that it has eight levels (the top three ones included).
  • The dificulty of a human tower can be increased if it is dismantled via a pilar, then called agulla (hence: 4de7 amb l'agulla).
  • Another way to increase the difficulty level is to erect the tower bottom up (aixecat per sota) which means that the upper levels are not climbing, but raised up into position by the base (pinya).
  • In rankings, it is to crown or assemble a human tower (carregar or, alternatively, coronar), which gives the main part of the score, but for full points it also has to be dismantled in a controlled way (descarregar).

Mänskliga torn för att fira Sant Jordi

Sant Jordi-dagen firas med mänskliga torn runt om i Katalonien, bland annat här i Vilanova i la Geltrú, där det lokala laget (colla) Bordegassos samtidigt passade på att fira sin 38:e födelsedag, och detta på den första söndagen efter den egentliga Sankt Göransdagen. För de mest aktiva började dagen redan halvnio på morgonen med matinades – laget vandrade runt till gralla-musik och byggde mänskliga pelare framför utvalda hus. Själv får jag erkänna att jag ansåg mig behöva en sovmorgon och därför dök upp som först mitt på dagen för uppträdandet (actuació) på plaça de la Vila.

Våra gäster för dagen var två av de mest välkända castellers-lagen - Joves Xiquets de Valls och Castellers de Barcelona – vilket, kombinerat med ett fantastiskt sommarväder, lockade ut mycket publik.

Joves Xiquets de Valls ett av Kataloniens fyra topplag - bygger under högsäsong mänskliga torn om nio nivåer och som väntat stod de för den mest avancerade insatsen också den här dagen. De öppnade med 8de4 och fortsatte med 5de7 och 4de7 amb l’agulla (förklaringar till namnen i slutet av posten).

Castellers de Barcelona kommer att bygga ett flertal torn om åtta nivåer under den kommande sommaren. Här visade de upp 5de7, Torre de 7 och 3de7 aixecat per sota.

Vi själva, Bordegassos de Vilanova, är det svagaste av de här tre lagen, men så här på hemmaplan (då man alltid har fler camises (”skjortor”, som i dessa sammanhang symboliserar medlemmar) på plats, hade vår ledning satt som mål att vi skulle tangera vår maxnivå från förra säsongen. Det lyckades också, även om det krävdes verkliga kraftprövningar av enskilda castellers för att hålla ihop vissa av konstruktionerna: 5de7, 4de7 amb l’agulla, 3de7 och vano de 5.

Nästa framträdande för Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls och Bordegassos de Vilanova blir söndagen 2/5, kl. 13:00 på Festa Major petita i den lilla staden Cabra del Camp (Tarragona). Castellers de Barcelona:s nästa framträdande sker 9/5, kl. 12:15 på plaça de la Paeria i Lleida, tillsammans med Castellers de Lleida och Xiquets de Tarragona.

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En kort förklaring till namnen på kataloniens mänskliga torn:

  • En pilar är en enskild pelare eller kolumn av människor, stående på varandras axlar. En pilar de 5 har fem nivåer. En vano de 5 är tre pelare jämte varandra där mittpelaren har fem nivåer.
  • Ett torre utgörs av två personer per nivå, förutom de två översta. Ett torre de 7 har sju nivåer, de två översta inräknade.
  • Större castell har namn av typen 4de8 (4 gånger 8, i min översättning), där 4:an markerar att de utgörs av fyra personer per nivå (de tre översta – pom de dalt - undantagna) och 8:an att det handlar om åtta nivåer (inklusive de tre översta).
  • Svårighetsgraden på ett mänskligt torn ökas om det nedmonteras via en pilar, som då heter agulla (följdaktligen 4de7 amb l’agulla).
  • Ett annat sätt att öka svårighetsgraden är att resa det nerifrån och upp (aixecat per sota) vilket innebär att de övre nivåerna inte klättrar, utan lyfts upp av basen (pinya).
  • I bedömningssammanhang är det att kröna ett torn (carregar, alternativt coronar) som ger huvuddelen av poängen, men för full poäng krävs också en kontrollerad nedmontering (descarregar).
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Technorati tags: Barcelona, Castellers, Katalonien, Penedès, Valls, Vilanova,

Monday, 26 April 2010

The Day of Sant Jordi in Vilanova i la Geltrú, 2010

Sant Jordi Vilanova Geltru 2010 038

On April 23, the Catalans celebrate their patron saint Sant Jordi (Saint George) in one of the most colourful celebrations of the year. The Diada de Sant Jordi is not a public holiday, but we work as usual, and, most likely, that is what ensures that cities are full of people going out to buy roses (above all to women) and books (above all to men) to those they love.

It is, in fact, the strength of this Catalan tradition which, in 1995, made UNESCO select this date for its International World Book Day.

In Vilanova i la Geltrú, our local Rambla is the natural heart of the event so that is where not only the book stores and florists, but also political parties, school classes, folk culture associations, football supporters' clubs, animal rights associations, and even a Muslim organization tries to sell you their books and roses.

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Sant Jordi Vilanova Geltru 2010 022

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Here are my previous posts about
la Diada de Sant Jordi, in Vilanova 2007, 2008 and 2009 and in Barcelona 2009.

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Technorati tags: Catalonia, Penedès, Vilanova

SWE: Hur katalanerna firar Sant Jordi (Sankt Göran)

Sant Jordi Vilanova Geltru 2010 038

Den 23/4 firar Katalanerna sitt skyddshelgon Sant Jordi (Sankt Göran) i en av de mest färgsprakande högtiderna under året. Då är vi inte lediga, utan arbetar som vanligt och kanske är det just det som garanterar att städerna är fulla av folk som går ut för att köpa rosor (framför allt till kvinnorna) och böcker (framför allt till männen) till dem som de älskar.

Det är styrkan i denna katalanska tradition som gjorde att UNESCO 1995 utsåg just denna dag som sin internationella världsboksdag.

I Vilanova i la Geltrú är vår lokala Rambla händelsernas naturliga centrum så det är där som inte bara bok- och blomsterhandlare utan också politiska partier, skolklasser, folkkulturssammanslutningar, fotbollssupporterklubbar, djurrättsföreningar och till och med en muslimsk organisation försöker att sälja just sina böcker och rosor.

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Sant Jordi Vilanova Geltru 2010 018b

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Sant Jordi Vilanova Geltru 2010 040

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Sant Jordi Vilanova Geltru 2010 022

Här har ni mina tidigare inlägg om la Diada de Sant Jordi (på engelska); Vilanova i la Geltrú 2007, 2008 och 2009 samt Barcelona 2009.

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Technorati tags: Katalonien, Penedès, Vilanova,

Sunday, 25 April 2010

La Mostra - Catalonia's biggest children's theater festival

la mostra igualada april 2010 teatre cercle mercantil

The most comprehensive children's and youth theatre festival of Catalonia is called La Mostra (fira de teatre infantile i juvenil) and takes place in Igualada on an annual basis. During the days April 14-18 it was held for the 21st time, and some sixty theatre companies offered in total 140 performances.

The children and I went up there one day and saw Alice in Wonderland (Alícia al país de les meravelles as a musical show - as opposed to the film which has just been released) by the group la Trepa. It was set up in the in the beautiful Teatre Cercle Mercantil and intended for six-year-olds or older, since it lasted for more than an hour. However, our little one of four years did not have any difficulties to remain concentrated. Afterwards we took a long walk (long live kick bikes!) through the town to also discover some of the games and other activities which are also offered during these days.

la mostra igualada april 2010 ecoxoc

la mostra igualada april 2010 mocadors

I hope that more and more foreigners living in Catalonia will give their children the chance to discover this festival. Igualada has a charming historic town centre but also an exciting, half devastated old factory district, Barri del Rec, telling the story of the importance which the textile and leather industries used to have here.

To go to Igualada from the center of Barcelona takes one hour by car, on the motorway A2. Alternatively, you can take the train (FGC, line R6) from Plaça d'Espanya.

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Members of the co-operative Abacus or Super-3 receive discounts on the tickets to la Mostra, so do not forget membership cards at home.

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Here you have my post about our visit to la Mostra 2009.

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Technorati tags: Anoia, Catalonia, Igualada, Penedès,

Thursday, 22 April 2010

La Mostra - Kataloniens största barnteaterfestival

la mostra igualada april 2010 teatre cercle mercantil

Kataloniens största barn- och ungdomsteaterfestival heter la Mostra (fira de teatre infantil i juvenil) och organiseras årligen i Igualada. Dagarna 14:e-18:e april hölls den i år för 21:a gången, och ett sextiotal teaterkompani bjöd på 140 föreställningar.

Barnen och jag åkte dit en av dagarna och såg Alice i underlandet (Alícia al pais de les meravelles som musikteater - alltså inte filmen som precis har haft premiär - av gruppen La Trepa. Föreställningen spelades i den mycket vackra Teatre Cercle Mercantil och egentligen från sex år eftersom den var över en timme lång, men vår fyraåring följde koncentrerat med hela tiden. Efteråt gick vi på långpromenad (länge leve sparkcykeln!) genom staden för att också upptäcka några av de lekaktiviteter som också erbjuds under de här dagarna.

la mostra igualada april 2010 ecoxoc

la mostra igualada april 2010 mocadors

Jag hoppas att fler och fler av de utlänningar som bor i Katalonien ger sina barn chansen att upptäcka den här festivalen. Igualada har en charmig historisk stadskärna men också spännande, halvöde gamla fabrikskvarter, Barri del Rec, som berättar om stadens forna storhet inom textil- och läderindustrin. Att åka till stan från Barcelonas centrum tar en timme i bil motorvägen A2. Alternativt kan man åka tåg (FGC, linje R6) som utgår från plaça d’Espanya.

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Ni som är med i kooperativet Abacus eller Super-3 får rabatt på biljetterna under la Mostra, så glöm inte medlemskorten hemma.

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Här har ni min post om vårt besök på la Mostra 2009.

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Technorati tags: Anoia, Katalonien, Igualada, Penedès,

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Business Organization ADEG and its Annual Gala Dinner

A few weeks ago, I was informed that my company, Puck Import, S.L., had been nominated for an award since we work not only in Spanish but also in Catalan (so-called linguistic normalization; normalització lingüística). This prize is one of many which the local business organization ADEG (Associació d'Empresaris de Garraf, Alt Penedès i Baix Penedès) presents at its annual gala dinner La Nit de l'Empresa (the company night). I had wanted to join ADEG for a long time, but had waited because of the crisis. The nomination was now a good excuse both to apply for membership and to sign up for the dinner.

Josep Huguet - Nit dEmpresa - ADEG 2010

Formally, ADEG only represents its 1.100 members – all associated on a voluntary basis - but if you follow the local debate, you quickly realize that the organization is the leading player in most business and labour market related issues, versus the politicians of the comarques which it covers - Garraf, Alt Penedès and Baix Penedès – as well as to the world outside.

ADEG also organizes numerous courses to which its members can attend at subsidized rates. The topics are undeniably interesting - from presentation skills to tax advice or Web 2.0 solutions - but I realize that it will take a while before I have the time for such activities.

What I
personally look forward to short term is to present my company in an article in the ADEG magazine, and then follow up with company news, or maybe even be invited to participate in their radio show. The value of such advertising space is undoubtedly superior to the 208 € membership fee which you pay as a small businesses, so with that part I am highly content.

However, my participation in La
Nit de l’Empresa would have benefited from being postponed another year. As I begin to have acquaintances in shops and companies around Vilanova, I was negatively surprised to come to the event and have to admit to myself that I did not recognize one single face among the other businessmen. I did know the name of all the politicians who were there - including the guest of honor Josep Huguet, Catalan Innovation, University and Enterprise Minister (Conseller), I do have regular contact with some of the journalists which covered the gala dinner and, not least, I do know the guy who worked in the garage, but all that was poor consolation.

My mingling efforts resulted in a fiasco, but I am not surprised. I do, after all, come from a small town and know that people who attend this kind of events do so to meet those whom they already know or, at most, those they have at least heard of, but will not to start to talk to absolute strangers – that is the case of small towns in Catalonia as well as in my native Sweden.

Once it was time to sit down, it turned out that I actually knew the representatives of one of the other companies. They arrived late but were - thanks to an active intervention by
ADEG - at the same table as me. Although I did not need them there - also the other people at our table were nice and easy to talk to - their presence increased the exchange of the evening.

Winners of ADEG prizes - nit dEmpresa - 2010

I did not receive any award this time but, honestly, how often do organizations of this kind hand out prizes to new members (bar the category new businesses)? I feel honored to already have been nominated and if we continue as until now, we will have a great chance to be rewarded in the future.

One of the aspects of
ADEG which remains for me to explore is how many foreigners there are among the members. Theoretically, there could be quite a few, since Sitges has several hotels and shops with foreign owners. Having said that, my prejudice is that these have established their own, separate, associations, probably in English and probably only within the municipality of Sitges. We will see.

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Technorati tags: Catalonia, Penedès, Sitges, Vilafranca, Vilanova,