Jet's Portfolio Weblog

dilluns, d’octubre 18, 2004

Feelings about Catalunya

We've got the assignment to intervieuw people, and ask, how they think about Catalunya and if Catalunya should be independend.
I asked our landlady, she's a girl, I think about 27 years old and is really Catalan. She feld also really Catalan, prefered to talk in that language and was proud of the Catalan culture. But she wasn't sure if Catalunya shoud be independend. She thought that it wouldn't really make a difference for her personally in her every day life. She thought that it's good as it is, Catalunya as a part of Spain, but with his own traditions and language.
She also told about her family. Her parents were really proud Catalans and would prefer that Catalunya was independend. She told that they thought this way because of Franco and that his dictatorship really made a difference in the feelings about Catalunya.
I also talked about this subject with some classmates from my English Workshop. I discovered that it was not really importend for them that Catalunya becomes independend. They feel Catalan because of the way the're brought up and the traditions they know, but they are more open to the rest of Spain. They thought it was stupid to say that it is an insult to say they're Spanish.
What I think, is that older people have stronger feelings about Catalunya, maybe because they've experienced how it was with Franco. Younger people are also proud of Catalunya, but are more open to the rest of Spain (and maybe also to the rest of the world). But it is a small conclusion, that I made after speaking to only a few persons!

dimarts, d’octubre 12, 2004

Cava festival

After three weeks in this city, I wanted to see something outside of Barcelona. That´s why we went on a trip this weekend! Graham told us about the cava festival in Sant Sadurni d´Anoia, so we (Sanne, Sascha, Sophie, Inge, a friend of Inge and I) wanted to go there.
We went by train, it took only half an hour. When the train arrived at Sant Sadurni d´Anoia, I thought we were in the wrong place! I excpected a nice place with beautifull nature, but it was just a little place that wasn´t really special. Then I saw the factory of Freixenet and knew we were in the cava village!
We didn´t exactly know where the festival was, but we could just follow the other people and finally we arrived in the centre of the city. There it was really crowded and everyone was drinking cava. We found a place where we could buy the coupons, only 3 euros for 3 glases of cava. But first we wanted to eat something, because drinking on an empty stomach isn´t really healthy. We went to a supermarket and bought bread and something to drink. When we had these simple things and we saw everyone around us drinking and eating cava and delicatesses, we feld a littlebit stupid. Then a man came to us and asked why we drunk juice insted of cava and gave us all a coupon to try the cava! So, we had no excuse anymore, we had to start drinking! The cava we tried was really good and the man promoting it told us a lot about his brand, that was interesting.
After drinking the cava, we were interested in how they make the cava. We went to a place where they said they could give us a tour in Engish. When we came there, the people had lunch, so we had to wait for an hour. But it was not so bad, the sun was shining! Finally lunch was over and there were 2 men who could give us the tour. The boss asked us who we wanted! We thought that it was strange just to pick one, so we said that it doesn´t matter. He said that the older man (who could only speak Spanish) should go with us. It proved to be the right choice! The man was great!! He started really strange, we didn´t understood him, but finally we realised that he was telling us about his boss! And he wasn´t really positive about him!! The tour was really funny, he told a lot about the cava, but in he also told us lots of things about his boss! The cellars with the bottle´s of cava were really impressive! It was so huge and there were so many bottles!! We learned everything about the proces of making the cava. Normally the man who gave the tour, worked in the factory, so he could explain everything!
After the tour we had to try the cava, of course! He opened a bottle for us and then he got us some chips, cheese and meat, and we had to eat it all!! He said that his boss probably wouldn´t like it that we got so much, because it costs him money, but if we wouldn´t tell it was ok!! When we finished our cava we thought that we should give the man some money for his fantastic tour! But he wouldn´t accept it, if we wanted to give some money, we could buy a bottle of cava. So we bought a medium size bottle (it wasn´t really expensive, but still, we are students!). Then we had to say goodbye to the man! He said that now we were friends forever and he waved us goodbye for a long time! He was so great!
After the tour, we went back to the city. We had heared that in the evening, there would be an parade and the queen of the cava would be crowned! So we wanted to see this also. The parade wasn´t really big, but there were some castellers, some Big Heads and there was music, so it was a typical Catalan! After the parade, the car with the new queen of cava arrived. I think it is a really big thing to become this queen, you are an celebrity for a year! Then we had to leave, because we had to catch the last train, but it I think it´s nice that we had seen it.
The whole day was really nice and I think that we have seen a lot of the Catalan culture!

dilluns, d’octubre 04, 2004

Expectations of Barcelona

Expectations of the city

Last year I´ve decided to come to Barcelona, not just for the course (however I thought it would be interesting as well) but for the city. Last year we had some meetings with students did the same Erasmus course. They were very enthousiastic about everything, so we became enthousiastic as well. After their story´s I expected Barcelona to be a lively, cultural, beautifull city and now I´ve been here I experience that this is true!
Of course I tried to learn something about Barcelona and it´s culture before I went here, I didn´t know a lot about it, but I think it´s always very diverend when you actually come here.
I prepared myself with books, I looked on the internet a lot and I´ve talked to people who had been here already. But still, it´s hard to get a good picture about how it´s going to be. Because Barcelona is very touristic, there is much information about it, but the information is more about the famous touristic attractions (Gaudi, beaches, las Ramblas etc.), it was harder to find out how just every day live is in this city.
Since I´ve been here, I forgot all about what I´ve read before and I´m try to experience a lot of the culture in person and want to see as much as I can. This way I learn the most, I think.
The picture in my head about the city is now more concrete, but is still open for changing, because every day I see more things that I didn´t know before.

The Catalan culture

We also have to write about something about what we think and expected about the Catalan culture. But actually I didn´t know before that it was such an important thing for the people over here. I knew that this regio has an different culture, with some special traditions, but I was surprised to know that they don´t want to see themselves as Spanisch!
Now I know a little bit about the culture, I think it´s special that they are so aware of there culture and traditions.

The course

As I´ve said, I didn´t came here for the course, but I think it´s going to be very interesting. I still don´t really know how the subjects are going to be, but I have great expectations about it! The subjects we already had, Spanisch and Approach to Catalan Culture, where good to start with I think. Now I know a little bit more about the culture and the language, so I don´t feel like I´m just a tourist visiting this city!

Jet Bosdijk