Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Jeremy Rose: Barcelona’s Christmas Crapper Canned

Barcelona’s Christmas Crapper Canned


Story & Images By Jeremy Rose
Barcelona


Caganers (literally shitters) on sale outside the Sagrada Familia

The traditional Caganer – a figurine of a man taking a shit – that has been gracing nativity scenes in Catalonia since at least the 16th century has been omitted from Barcelona’s official Christmas display this year because it was felt not to be in keeping with the city’s attempts to clean itself up.

The city council – or Ajuntament – is expected to pass a controversial bylaw, on December 23, which clamps down on everything from pissing in the street and skateboarding to busking and “aggressive begging.”

The local English language newspaper – Catalonia Today – has warned the bylaw could turn Barcelona into the “Singapore of Europe” and a group of academics has compared the bylaw to a Franco era law “against socially dangerous people” which allowed the police to lock up prostitutes, the homeless, gays and anyone else they deemed to be socially dangerous.

Whether the armless man who rattles a tin in his mouth outside El Corte Ingles - the city’s flashest department store - will qualify as an “aggressive beggar” is yet to be seen.

However, the municipal police, perhaps in anticipation of the bylaw’s introduction, have already moved to prevent a character known as the “Maradona of the Ramblas” from delighting the crowds with his football acrobatics.

And the police seem to have effectively rid the city in recent weeks of the hundreds of illegal streets sellers who used to sell everything from pirated CDs and fake designer sunglasses to African and South American trinkets on the main tourist thoroughfares.


Police having a word with a street performer and his dog

Despite its absence from the official nativity scene Caganers are everywhere. Nativity scenes in shop windows invariably include the figure squatting just outside the manger and Christmas stalls surrounding the Sagrada Familia and the city’s cathedral are overflowing with them.


George Bush Caganer

Most the figurines are the traditional Catalan cloth-capped figure squatting over a caca (shit) but inevitably perhaps there’s also a squatting George W Bush clutching a globe in his hands and in a creative combining of Catalan traditions a castell – or human tower – with the anchorman taking a dump.


Catalan traditions combined: Caganers take on the anchorman role in traditional human towers

And in a 21st Century update of the Caganer tradition, a Catalan television channel has animated a piss-take of King Kong that includes flying Caganers shitting on a giant ape clinging to the city’s landmark telecommunications tower.


A variety of Caganers remains on sale

*************

Jeremy Rose is a Wellington journalist currently based in Barcelona
varsovia103@yahoo.co.uk

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Scoop Is Crowd Funding: Help Scoop.co.nz To Fly In 2015

Scoop is NZ's oldest and largest independent online news service. We have described ourselves as fiercely independent for more than a decade and we would like to stay that way... By making Scoop’s connection to the public and contributors more explicit we hope to achieve the level of support and sustainability that will enable Scoop to fly as a community asset. More>>

ALSO:

McBeth On The Cricket World Cup: It's How They Handle Fan Pressure

Brendon McCullum's team has achieved impressive results in the lengthy buildup to the contest and they deserve to be among the favoured teams, but... Their results need to be kept in perspective and fans should get a much better idea of the Black Caps chances when they face England in the capital on Friday. More>>

Keith Rankin: Contribution Through Innovation

The economic contribution of businesses and people is often quite unrelated to their taxable incomes. EHome, as a relatively new company, may have never earned any taxable income. Its successors almost certainly will earn income and pay tax. Yet it was eHome itself who made the biggest contribution by starting the venture in the first place. More>>

ALSO:

A Public Conversation: Reinventing News As A Public Right

Alastair Thompson: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Once journalism was possibly a noble profession, though that is certainly now, to quote our Prime Minister, a 'contestable' notion. It certainly seemed at least a little noble when I joined the ranks of reporters in 1989 . But ... More>>

ALSO:

Syriza Win Greek Election: The Rumblings Of The Left

Binoy Kampmark: The left – and by this, the genuine, progressive, unmanagerial left – is getting noisy. The Greek elections are upon us, with the similar challenges being played out from 2012. There are fears of Grexit – a heavy breathing departure from the eurozone that will do everything to rattle the central currency mechanism that has been taking a battering... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news