TONI TORRENS GOST is a chemist and promoter of local culture. We interviewed him the day before celebrations marking the feast of Saint Anthony in Barcelona. l You are someone who clearly has a hand in deciding what traditions should, or should not be upheld.
Local culture can't be conjured up and dispensed with just like that. It's something you grow up with and claim as your own. With plenty of people coming over from Sa Pobla in Majorca to celebrate Saint Athony's day in Gracia outside Barcelona, it's not a question of exporting the culture - it's to do with people enjoying a common tradition and language. l It all started off as a sort of joke and now it's become a big thing.
Indeed, to such a point that tomorrow's festivities have become the major event of the winter months. l Will they be happy about that in Sa Pobla?
People have different views on the matter. l Those people who are against the idea of going to Gracia instead of celebrating in Sa Pobla - what are they afraid of?
Nothing really. It stems from a deeply-rooted but irrational feeling against all things with belong to the region of Catalonia. In any event, even as we speak, activities and parades are being prepared in Sa Pobla where giant figures with paper-mâché heads will be taking part. This tradition is part of the local identity of people who are born in Sa Pobla. l Politics seems to get in the way of everything.
Yes, instead of seeing the fiestas as a cultural event, politics seems to raise its ugly head wherever I go. l What do you think about figures of “The Simpsons” appearing in the recent parades in Palma?
Undoubtedly, the Partido Popular which control the City Council are acting on orders from Madrid and now there seems to be a campaign against anything which promotes local identity and culture. It seems that it's a plan for the future.


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