Balance … yeah, I can do that! I can ride a motor bike, and ski … though I’d better gloss over my attempt at surfing. But, balancing acts … I could watch them all day. I say again, watch!!
One of the most spectacular is the castellers of Cataluya. I’ve seen them building their ‘human towers’ in many a TV documentary, and I always thought that it would be an interesting spectacle to see if I happened to be in the area, but wouldn’t make a special trip to see it.
I didn’t have to, for, in 2013, as part of the Salisbury Arts Festival, the castellers of Vilafranca came to Salisbury, to build their castell in front of the Cathedral.
They ‘built’ several ‘towers’, as much as 15 metres high, and, at the top stood a child of primary school age.
I wondered what it was all about, and, coincidentally, an explanation came to me in a book I took out from the library … ‘Donkeys on my Doorstep’ by Anna Nicholas.
In the book, her friend explained that the Catalunyans began making the towers to demonstrate their national unity.
‘It is a symbolic act’ he said ‘it is the creation of an edifice with strong foundations and infrastructure, built for and by the people.’
When the tower is complete, and the infant on top is in place, he must raise one arm, and show four fingers, which symbolise the stripes on the Catalunyan flag.
The children did just this on the first towers to be built, but, on the last, he flew the English flag of the cross of St George. Over there, though, they call him Sant Jordi … and he’s also the Patron Saint of Catalunya.
This week’s contribution to the Travel Theme. See more at https://wheresmybackpack.com/2016/04/08/travel-theme-balance/