Barcelona for dummies…

…or random useful facts you might need to know when meeting a Catalan!

Remember and remember! You are not in Spain!
Architecture at Plaça Sant Jaume

  • You are in Catalunya. When asking a question, “So here in Spain, what time do you usually have lunch?” the answer will follow “Well…I am really not sure about Spain… But here, in CATALUNYA, we take a long break after two o’clock.” It is useful to know thatParlament of Catalunya defines Catalunya as a nation, and the Spanish Constitution recognizes Catalunya’s national reality as a nationality. Therefore, saying “I am Catalan, not Spanish” is politically correct!

You can find the main buildings of the Autonomous Government and the Barcelona Town Council at the Plaça de Sant Jaume in the historic area of Barri Gòtic, where you might catch a glance of beautiful architecture or taste the rebel spirit of another loud local workers’ or students’ demonstration!

Flamenco is not the traditional music here

Catalans prefer rock and roll a little bit more. A scene called ‘rock català’ has become famous in the last 20 years with some of its most popular bands as Lax’n’Busto (translation: an old type of laxative), Els Pets(translation: The Farts), Sangtraït (translation: bloody bruise), or Sopa de cabra ( translation: Goats Soup). With names like that, lively imagination and original music are assured. Listen and view a song by the Goats Soup here!

Know their tapas

One dish that will accompany practically everything that is put on table is Pa amb tomàquet a different kind of bread with tomato sandwich. They cut tomato in two halves, rub it into white toasted bread, season it with olive oil and salt, and then throw the rest of tomato away! Usually accompanied by pernil or embotit ( ham or sausage), it is my favorite lunchtime endeavour.

If you have a sweet tooth, find out how to prepare the irresistable pudding Crema Catalana yourself – right here!

Catalan must be one of the most ‘X-rated’ languages in the world…

taking in account the amount of ‘X’ letters used! Catalan is a language in its own right, co-official with Castilian Spanish in Catalunya, Valencia and Balearic Islands. And the good news is that the government of Catalunya offers to anyone to study Catalan language for free. Click here to find out!

Don’t need a new years party to pop a bottle of sparkling wine!

A glass of a bubbly Cava is a popular addition to the daily breakfast menu in any local tapas bar, especially on a hot summer day. Quite a cheerful start of the day! And you were curious why people smile a lot.

Franco’s

regime 1939 – 1975 did lots of harm to Catalunya, suppressed any kind of public activities associated with Catalan nationalism and democracy such as publishing books on the matter. Even the use of Catalan language in government-run institutions and in public events was banned. Scary!

World’s most powerful men re-unite in Barcelona

to celebrate and practice the national sport! And no, it is not bull-fighting – it is definitely football. Since the moment I saw a mother teaching her little baby boy the anthem of FC Barcelona, I realized the strength and patriotism this sport carries for Catalans. Here in Barcelona you can sense the power of the football industry like nowhere else. Not only you can buy underwear with FC symbols in every little souvenir cornershop, you can also sign up for a long years waiting list to buy a season ticket in the stadium! For Catalans, it is worth waiting, as it is all about the game here in Barcelona. And when they win, the whole of Catalunya is celebrating a feast like winners of real war! Visit FC Barcelona to find a ticket to the next game!