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Dilluns, 15 juliol 2024
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Castells – the cross-border and gravity-defying spirit of teamwork

For more than 200 years, Catalans have celebrated the sky-reaching tradition of castells, literally castles in Catalan, when groups of people gather to climb on top of each other to build the highest castle.

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Although the tradition suffered waves of decline up to the point of disappearance, it experienced a renaissance in the 1980s, and in 2010 UNESCO included castells on its list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity,  bringing the popularity of human towers’ popularity to unprecedented heights.

Lea Beliaeva Bander is joined by Oriol Escudé Macià to chat out the ins and outs of castells, including learning vocabulary such as “colla”, “pinya”, “enxaneta”, and “gamma extra”, and finding out who the typical casteller is, and much more.

We talk to one of the largest colles, or castells groups, the Castellers de Vilafranca, about the importance of good mental health when doing the activity, and we also talk to Stephen “Cuss” Anderson, the president of the Castellers of London, who brought the towers overseas after seeing castells in their hometown of Valls near Tarragona.

This week’s Catalan phrase is “per pinya,” which means “to stick together” or “support each other” typically in challenging situations.

Get in touch with the podcast team: [email protected]

Listen to more episodes of Filling the Sink below or find out more here.

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