More books and roses, please – Normalitas

Today is a day of books, roses (and dragons) in Catalonia. #Ficadica to adopt this beautiful custom in Brazel, purfavô

Barcelowna, April 23 from two milevinteum. It was morning, I took the guitar and my cell phone, and there were a few messages from “Feliz Día de Sant Jordi !!” swelling on whatisapi, accompanied by gifs of roses and books, teddy bears sending floating kisses and other transcendent mimosities.

… Like this (Reading)

Sant Jordi or São Jorge, celebrated today, is the patron saint of Catalonia. The date is a sort of Catalan Valentine’s Day, but it goes further.

Instead of candy boxes and underwear kits, it’s all about presenting books and roses (I wrote about this in the containment diary here at Folha, for those who want to know more about this curious local tradition).

And the bunito is that the date isn’t just for romantic partners: parents and kids, friends and coworkers, coworkers, neighbors, anyone can give and win – or, of course, send kitschy numbers through social media. .

My neighborhood was full of new and used book stands today (a Catalan passion, books). And everywhere, in children’s backpacks, in the hands of old people, in confectionery shops and even tobacconists, a red rose.

The flowers are meticulously wrapped in cellophane and red and yellow decor, alluding to the senyera, the Catalan flag. In addition to an opportunity to manifest universal love, promote literature and kill roses (ops), Sant Jordi is also an opportunity to flirt with Catalan pride.

It is also the day of writers who, in the land of readers, can now have the status of stars. In different districts of the city, supported by entities, bookshops or publishers, they are at each Sant Jordi distributing autographs and dedications.

This year, among others, we have the two current best sellers in Catalonia.

On the one hand, Jaume Cabré, with “Consumits pel Foc” (“Consumidos por Fogo”), an embryonic novel (muy) freely resulting from the author’s encounter with a boar – an enigmatic animal from the stories of Asterix that I went to see for the first time live and in the dark hair in the mountainous surroundings of Barcelona, ​​where there are a lot of them.

On the other, Catalan epidemiologist Oriol Mitjà, one of the health symbols of the coronavirus crisis in Spain, with the post-pandemic autobiography entitled “A cor obert” (“With an open heart”).

***

Sant Jordi in Catalonia is not a public holiday, but it does have a place. Maybe especially excited in these times of recovery after the third wave. Yes, there were crowded places in the city, but outside. Yes, this scandalizes some, even if the whole party is more or less controlled by the government, responsible for stipulating the minimum distance between the stands, the maximum number of people and points of sale etc.

(((By the way, or by the way, happy World Book Day, everyone!)))

***

At the hospital this morning for a medical appointment, I had to queue for medication. Behind the counter, the receptionists all stood up as the colleagues arrived with roses. Screams, joy echoing in the crowded hall. What do we do? Who will be against roses and books.

As I leave, I meet a very old man who is climbing a very steep hill and laboriously. With a sparkling bouquet in her hands.

While walking today with my Catalan friend, he puts his hand on his forehead in front of a stool of roses: aiii, I did not buy you a floo. Okay, I already showed up with a book. Sant Jordi is also a day to remember yourself.

It is also the occasion for unexpected / voluptuous gestures / dancers (and isn’t it always?).

Like the girl who had lunch, solitary and intentional, in the restaurant where we were. Forgetting the decibels and pulps in Galician – I thought, thoughtfully thinking tonterías while I waited for my trigueros con salsa romesco (green asparagus with THE SAUCE OF MY LIFE, GOOGLEEEM).

But no. The girl was totally imbued with the meaning of Sant Jordi. He grabbed a Felix cat bag he was carrying under the table and pulled out a rose. When the waiter, a nimble and tired gentleman, passed by, she said: for you. And their faces lit up. For a while, mine too. And such and such, in a threesome of telepathic accidents. I swear on Sant Jordi.

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