Olive Me Blog

Teresa Parker blogs about restaurants, recipes, and the reasons why she's in love with Spain's food and culture.

Humanity in a Castell

Els Castells ja són Patrimoni Cultural i Immaterial de la Humanitat. This is by no means immaterial: UNESCO has declared Catalonia's castells part of the "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity."

Castells are not just a bunch of Catalans standing on one another's shoulders in what UNESCO boringly translates as "Human Towers." They're collective, athletic performance art. They take years of practice and minutes to build.

And while UNESCO says they are a way to fend off the culture-eroding power of globalization, they are essentially done for kicks. What got them on humanity's heritage list, among other things, is that they are traditional, passed down through generations, yet "living"; they're part of a particular cultural identity, yet inclusive.

UNESCO doesn't mention it, but what Ed thinks is especially amazing about castells is the important role children play in their making.
They're moving to watch, even if you're not a Catalan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iSHfrmGdyo&feature=player_embedded

Comments

What a beautiful film. I have to say that, even though it gives them a less traditional look, I was happy to see helmets some of those little guys...

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