Catalan culture in france

So what is Catalan culture? How is it different to Spanish culture? Taking the time to discover some authentic Catalan traditions as well as those well known Spanish ones will only make your trip to Barcelona an even better one.

Charming Collioure: A Splash of Catalan Culture in France

Want to know more? Whilst you can easily experience these here in Barcelona, there is so much more to try! In fact, whilst here in Barcelona, you may have already tried some Catalan food and not realised it.

Catalan cuisine is always changing much like any other. Bon profit! Catalan version of Bon Appetit! Pa amb tomaquet toasted bread with tomato, olive oil and salt — an incredibly popular food whether in a sandwich or eaten as tapas. It sounds so simple but is absolutely delicious!

A basic in Catalonia which you can find pretty much in any bar or restaurant — the Catalans believe it makes bread much more exciting and we agree! Guaranteed that you will miss this when you leave Barcelona.

Calcots — the closest thing that you could compare these to are spring onions or leeks. When you eat them, they will usually be cooked by barbecuing them or putting them in the oven. Botifarra — a type of Catalan spiced sausage. You can get black or white botifarra and it is usually eaten with pa amb tomaquet or as tapas.

catalan culture in france

Escudella — a type of Catalan stew. Made up of meat, beans, potato and cabbage. Usually eaten during the winter. Fideua — the Catalan version of Spanish paella. Instead of rice, the Catalans use a short noodle, similar to macaroni. Sometimes, squid ink is used, leaving the noodles with a dark colour and giving the dish a different taste. It was very popular in medieval times, where it was served on its own or with scented orange flowers. If you are keen to try the best of Catalan cuisine, then you should check out this restaurant which has been voted as making the best Catalan food in Barcelona!

Catalan people, for the most part, are bilingual in both Catalan and Spanish and increasingly those working in the tourist industry speak English well tooso language barriers whether you speak Spanish or not are not extremely high.

This is mainly due to the fact that the Catalan language was oppressed during the Franco dictatorship — and the desire for Catalonia to become an independent state away from current Spain. Foreigners are not usually expected to know any Catalan, but knowing one or two words will go a long way. Be, gracies. And you? Com es diu…. Interested in learning Catalan?

Northern Catalonia

Who said that the Spanish were the party animals? In Barcelona alone, there are events happening all the time and every neighbourhood has their own unique party through the year. Whilst there is a party for almost every occasion, many are neighbourhood parties and most tourists unfortunately miss them or happen to stumble across them. Genetic component meaning that surround and recover.

You have to go to the Correfoc! Instead of 14th February, it is held on 23rd April, and rather than focussing on lavish presents between loved ones, Sant Jordi is considerably more traditional. The man gives his lover a single rose and the woman returns the gift by giving him a book.

Catalan Culture Explained

Visiting the Ramblas will be the most obvious sign of this occasion with the number of stalls selling roses.If you try the Catalan pronunciation for a place name or a menu item, Perpignan locals will still steer you back to French.

The air of the enormous Saturday market in Ceret resounds with Catalan; the market stalls are laden with Catalan specialities — bunches of vegetables and jars of sauces rarely seen elsewhere in France. A pair of fortified villages high in the mountains might explain the cultural amnesia that, until its recent revival, turned French Catalan culture into a mountain outlaw.

Though parts of it can be visited year round, its citadel is still an active military base where French commandos train. To attract a population of shopkeepers and craftsmen, he invited settlers to live tax free for three years, after which they could pay when and only as much as they wanted. Their stone shopfronts and tall, narrow houses line deeply shaded streets that open onto dazzling mountain views.

Visitors can take a shuttle bus from the parking area outside the town walls. The A9 motorway crosses the border into Spain near Perthus, flying over the high passes before descending to the plains of Girona, one of the provinces which, with Barcelona, Tarragona and Lleida, make up Catalunya. Its language, suppressed for four decades under Franco but now spoken by about half the population, has official status and is taught in schools.

This part of Spain feels like an empty quarter. The impeccably restored medieval villages of Pals and Peratallada are lovely but eerily quiet. This peculiarly Catalan activity, known as castelling, is a feature of public holidays and feast days all over the region. Castellers form human towers, or castells. The castell is complete when the person at the top — often a child — raises one hand in a four-fingered salute. While we watched, the castellers reached three, four and finally five storeys.

It seemed to happen spontaneously, like a flash mob, as people gathered to listen to the oddly harsh woodwind music. Family groups, elderly couples, teenagers and children put down their handbags and toys, linked arms and began the lively, complicated dance.

People in region describe what it means to be Catalan

Girona Airport is the gateway to the region. Ryanaircalls cost 10p per minute; www. Car rental is available at the airport. In the centre of the city, this is a smart modern hotel with a stylish, Catalan-influenced restaurant 9 ; www. A traditional Catalan farmhouse, just outside Ceret.

Colourful rooms have views of Mt Canigou or of the gardens 4 ; www. This luxury hotel is difficult to get to but worth the trouble for its dramatic views.Tracing the roots of any culture is a tough task, especially trying to represent a cultural group as accurately as possible without writing a novel on the topic.

I have a few motives for why I am choosing to unravel the roots of the Catalan culture or rather, scratch the surface. The first is the most obvious, and the same reason many have. That is to gain more in-depth knowledge to understand and appreciate the unique culture of the Catalans to the fullest. The second reason for my Catalan cultural exploration is more personal. From the first moment I experienced the vibrancy of this region, I felt an instant connection to it.

Catalonia left a strong impression on me. There was always something unique about the way people gathered and celebrated local events.

French Culture: Customs & Traditions

No matter how many times I watch a Correfoc Public Pyrotechnic Display or observe the Castellers Human TowersI am continually amazed at how the Catalans congregate in masses towards a common goal. To an outsider, their traditions may seem like nothing more than some crazy Catalans gathering together. However, by tracing the roots of the Catalan culture, you begin to understand just how deep their cultural ties run and how these somewhat strange traditions are grounded with historical significance.

Along with traditional ties that help understand their cultural identity, the language, arts, and cuisine of Catalonia also play a significant role. Daily, individuals are standing up in support of the preservation of their culture even though the forces fighting against its survival are strong.

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Economics, Taxes, Pride, and Dignity all play a role. These are the ones at the core of their being, and which connect the Catalan people to a common cause; that is their cultural identity.

The universal identity of the Catalan people can be characterized by innovation, creativity, hard-working nature, and quirky humor.

Their unofficial national symbol says it all. Some places have eagles, Canada has the beaver and maple leaf. In Catalonia, well, they have a Burro donkey. The burro stands to represent two main aspects of the Catalan identity. First, the symbol describes their dedicated nature and hard work ethic, and second, their cheeky poke at the Spanish, who use the bull as one of their symbols.

There is not one single event that shaped the cultural identity of Catalonia; instead, there are a series of events that came to define the culture we know today. Language and traditions have held firm. Even the typical food eaten in Catalonia tells a story about their vibrant past. Many people say this is possibly why the Catalans are so resourceful and have a strong work ethic.

We can trace the roots of the language to the colonization of Tarragona by the Romans. There are two converging theories on the language. One is that it began from a combination of a vulgar form of Latin spoken at the time, plus some Arabic. These two languages created Occitan, which later supposedly developed into Catalan. To a foreigner, Catalan sounds like a mix of French, Spanish, and Italian. I often joke with Catalan friends that if you chop off the last letter of a Spanish word, you have Catalan.

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Catalan is its own language, not a dialect of Spanish at all. I mentioned that Catalonia has come up against a lot over the years; the freedom of the language is no exception. During the war of Spanish successionCatalonia lost its autonomy, and its constitution dissolved. This event resulted in a significant decline in the Catalan culture. Historical Tidbit: During the Industrial Revolution, more money had been generated, a new class emerged, and the culture had a massive overhaul.

The Floral games are still celebrated today, although, payment to see the games are no longer made in flowers. The Catalan language appeared to be strong and thriving once again, that was until the Franco dictatorship came into power in Things began to flourish once again, the arts included. The common saying refers to when Aragon was a respectable empire and massive traders among the Mediterranean civilizations.The Catalans CatalanFrench and Occitan : catalans ; Spanish : catalanesItalian : catalaniSardinian : cadelanos are a Romance [9] ethnic group [10] [11] [12] native to Catalonia of Mediterranean and Pyrenean descent, having its roots in the Pyrenees mountains.

Some authors also extend the word "Catalans" to include all the people from areas where the Catalan language is spoken, namely those from AndorraValenciathe Balearic islandseastern AragonRoussillonand the city of Alghero in Sardinia.

The Catalan government regularly surveys its population regarding its "sentiment of belonging". As of Julythe results point out that In BCE the area that is now known primarily as Catalonia was, along with the rest of the Iberian Peninsulainhabited by Proto-Celtic Urnfield people who brought with them the rite of burning the dead. Much of the Pyrenees mountains was inhabited at the time by peoples related to modern Basquesand today many town names in the western Catalan Pyrenees can be linked to Basque etymologies.

Rome established Latin as the official language and imparted a distinctly Roman culture upon the local population, which merged with Roman colonists from the Italian peninsula. An early precursor to the Catalan language began to develop from a local form of popular Latin before and during the collapse of the Roman Empire. Various Germanic tribes arrived following nearly six centuries of Roman rule, which had completely transformed the area into the Roman province of Tarraconensis.

The german Visigoths established themselves in the fifth century, making their first capital in the Iberian peninsula Barcelona, and they later would move to Toledo. This continued until when Muslim Arabs took control of the region in order to pass through the Pyrenees into French territory.

The Franks on the other side of the Pyrenees held back the main Muslim raiding army which had penetrated virtually unchallenged as far as central France at the Battle of Tours in Frankish suzerainty was then extended over much of present-day Catalonia.

Larger wars with the Muslims began in the March of Barcelona which led to the beginnings of the Reconquista by Catalan forces over most of Catalonia by the year As the border between Muslim and Frankish realms stabilized, Barcelona would become an important center for Christian forces in the Iberian Peninsula. Inthe County of Barcelona entered a dynastic union with the kingdom of Aragon to form what modern historians call the Crown of Aragon in the so-called Reconquista.

catalan culture in france

This allowed the reclaim of Muslim-dominanted lands, eventually conquering the kingdoms of Valencia and Majorca the Balearic Islands. From the 14th century, the territory of the Catalan counties started to be called the Principality of Catalonia.

Regional unrest led to conflicts such as the Revolt of the Germanies in Valencia and Majorca, and the revolt in Catalonia known as the Reapers' War. The war continued until and ended with the Peace of the Pyreneeswhich effectively partitioned Catalonia as the northern strip of the March came under French rule, while the rest remained under Spanish hegemony.Postcard-perfect Collioure, sitting seaside on the far western Mediterranean coast of France, ought to be, by any measure, crammed with vacationers.

Azure waters lapping at beaches right in town? Pastel houses leaning over narrow lanes that lead to sun-dappled squares? Medieval castle right nearby? It's exactly what many travelers hope for in a Mediterranean resort, and yet the town is largely undiscovered though still quite popular with French vacationers in July and August.

Collioure is the perfect size for being on holiday. And its town center, with atmospheric restaurant-lined pedestrian lanes, is an utter delight. Check your sightseeing ambitions at the train station. Enjoy a slow coffee on la Medlose yourself in the old town's streets, comparison-shop the gelato shops on Rue Vauban, rent a kayak or paddleboat, snuggle into a pebble-sand beach flip-flops or aqua-shoes are helpful hereor head out on a photo safari to enjoy the town's famous light, which has long drawn artists like moths.

It's a result, at least in part, of the town's privileged position: nestled up against the chilly Pyrenees mountains but warmed by the seawater. Just 15 miles from Spain, Collioure shares a common history, culture, and independent attitude with its Catalan cousins across the border.


Collioure is happily French, yet proudly sports yellow-and-red Catalan flags, street names in French and Catalan, and business names with el and las rather than le and les. Less than a century ago, most villagers spoke Catalan, and today the language is enjoying a resurgence as Collioure rediscovers its roots. Among the village's more interesting sites is Notre-Dame des Anges, a waterfront church with a one-of-a-kind lighthouse-bell tower and overly ornate altar. Explore past the church to collect city- and seaviews from the jetty wall at St.

Vincent beach best at sunset and after dinner. Also along the waterfront is the Path of Fauvism, where you'll find copies of Andre Derain's and Henri Matisse's works inspired by their stays in Collioure in Consider a short Mediterranean cruise, or a daytrip to Spain via train or car — just watch those curves. If you're feeling energetic, tackle the one-hour, vertical hike up to Fort St.

Elme, a castle high above Collioure. The privately owned castle is not open to the public, but the view from the bluff is sensational. Evenings are best here — as the sky darkens, yellow lamps reflect warm pastels and deep blues. Settle in and savor some of Collioure's Catalan cuisine, featuring fresh anchovies, seafood, and local wines. Paradise reclaimed. Steve Smith is the co-author of the Rick Steves France guidebook. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Share. Collioure's waterfront is dotted with pastel buildings, fishing boats, and pebbly, uncrowded beaches.The climate is of the Mediterranean typewith hot, dry summers and winters which are relatively mild, at least on the Roussillon plain where snow is rare.

Haute-Cerdagne Catalan : Alta Cerdanya is geographically distinct from the rest of Northern Catalonia, lying to the south of the Pyrenean watershed in the upper valley of the Segre. Northern Catalonia formed part of the Spanish Marchesestablished by Charlemagne as a buffer territory against the Moorish forces.

By the end of the ninth century, these counties had gained de facto independence from the Carolingian kings and operated as princely states whose rulers nevertheless retained the title of count. As the seigneury of the counties became hereditary, the total number of Catalan counts fell steadily. One individual often had the charge of several counties, but these were not always transmitted based on primogeniture. However, the Counts of Barcelona steadily gained suzerainty over the other Catalan counts, a process that was virtually complete by the twelfth century.

Royal administration in the Principality of Catalonia under the Crown of Aragon was organized based on vegueriesunder the charge of a veguer appointed by the King of Aragon as Count of Barcelona. In Northern Catalonia, the vegueries followed closely the boundaries of the old counties. The district of Capcir was a sotsvegueriabased around the castle of Puigbalador French: Puyvalador but subordinate to the vegueria of Conflent.

This division satisfied neither branch of the family, and the Kingdom of Majorca was retaken militarily by the Crown of Aragon inreintegrating the Roussillon and Cerdanya into the Principality.

As is common, the present-day arrondissements do not correspond to pre- Revolutionary boundaries. The arrondissement of Prades Prada covers the whole of Haute-Cerdagne Alta Cerdanya and Conflent including Capciras well as about a third of Fenolheda not part of the province of Roussillon. Catalan writers sometimes speak of the " comarques of Northern Catalonia".

Unlike the autonomous community of Cataloniathese comarques have no administrative significance, although they usually correspond to a certain historical and geographical unity. The region is divided among those who support a union with France and those who support reuniting with Catalonia. A big majority of Northern Catalans oppose reuniting with Catalonia, however, the Catalan Unity political party promotes the idea.

The party has had some success sincewinning seats in the municipal elections. It is now the biggest Catalan nationalist party in the region. Northern Catalans are proud of their Catalan heritage and have developed a "Northern Catalan" identity.Most people associate French culture with Paris, which is a center of fashion, cuisine, art and architecture, but life outside of the City of Lights is very different and varies by region.

France doesn't just have culture; the word "culture" actually comes from France. Historically, French culture was influenced by Celtic and Gallo-Roman cultures as well as the Franks, a Germanic tribe. France was initially defined as the western area of Germany known as Rhineland but it later came to refer to a territory that was known as Gaul during the Iron Age and Roman era.

French is the official language and the first language of 88 percent of the population, according to the BBC. It is the dominant language of the country's 70 million residentsbut there are a number of variants based on region. French is the second most widely learned foreign language in the world, with almost million students, according to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

About 3 percent of the population speaks German dialects, and there is a small group of Flemish speakers in the northeast, according to the BBC. Arabic is the third-largest minority language. Those living near the border of Italy may speak Italian as a second language, and Basque is spoken by people living along the French-Spanish border.

catalan culture in france

Other dialects and languages include Catalan, Breton the Celtic languageOccitan dialects, and languages from the former French colonies, including Kabyle and Antillean Creole. Catholicism is the predominant religion of France. The other religions in France include Islam, Buddhism and Judaism. From 23 to 28 percent of people in France do not subscribe to a religion, according to the CIA.

The French take immense great pride in their nation and government and are typically offended by any negative comments about their country. Visitors, particularly Americans, often interpret their attitude toward foreigners as rude.

The French embrace style and sophistication and take pride in the fact that even their public spaces strike a regal tone.

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Even the country's top politicians have been known to carry out extramarital affairs without making an effort to conceal them. As a reflection of the country's secular nature, it is not uncommon for children are born to unmarried couples.

This is a union that has many of the same benefits of marriage, like tax breaks, but can be dissolved with a notice or by marrying someone else or instead of a divorce. Food and wine are central to life at all socioeconomic levels, and much socializing is done around lengthy dinners.

While cooking styles have changed to emphasize lighter fare, many still associate French cooking with heavy sauces and complicated preparation. Some classic French dishes include boeuf bourguignon — a stew made of beef braised in red wine, beef broth and seasoned with garlic, onions and mushrooms — and coq au vin, a dish made with chicken, Burgundy wine, lardons small strips or cubes of pork fatbutton mushrooms, onions and optional garlic.

French fries, interestingly enough, may not be French. According to National Geographicthey may actually be from Spain or Belgium. The reason why Americans call fried potatoes French fries is because Thomas Jefferson discovered the treat while in France while serving there as American Minister from to He brought the idea back to the States. Paris is known as the home to many high-end fashion houses, such as Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

Many French people dress in a sophisticated, professional and fashionable style, but it is not overly fussy. Typical outfits include nice dresses, suits, long coats, scarves and berets. The term haute couture is associated with French fashion and loosely means fancier garments that are handmade or made to order. In France, the term is protected by law and is defined by the Paris Chamber of Commerce, according to Eva Domjiana London-based fashion writer and editor.

catalan culture in france

Domjian writes on her blog:. Art is everywhere in France — particularly in Paris and other major cities — and Gothic, Romanesque Rococo and Neoclassic influences can be seen in many churches and other public buildings.

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