Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Etnosur 2011

Today is Sunday 17th July.
Another scorching hot day here in Alcala la Real.
And the last day of the Etnosur Festival.
People still playing in the fountains in the Paseo - and still dancing away to music.

But already, the Recinto Ferial - the marketplace - which yesterday was full of market stalls selling ethnic jewellery, clothes and the like, is empty of traders and the stage has been dismantled. And on Tuesday, it will be filled again with the traditional market traders, selling fruit, vegetables, clothes and shoes.

On Saturday night, we went down to listen to the music and soak up the atmosphere with some friends.

Romy and Marta enjoyed trying some of the lovely handmade puppets

And there was dancing in the streets...

And Ruy showed that he knows how to get the best view!

Whilst some didn't care at all about the view of the stage - the music was, after all, loud enough to be heard throughout Alcala la Real. It really wasn't necessary to get near the stage - around the fountain was a pretty good idea.

There were some wonderful food stalls - including delicious crepes, food from Thailand, India and Italy as well as jamon and paella stalls. We had an amazing lime and mint drink, freshly-made in front of us and served over crushed ice. Heavenly.

And although we didn't try it, this contraption is squeezing the sugar from sugar cane.

We stayed to listen to the excellent music until around 1.30am when Romy - having spent most of the evening dancing enthusiastically - suddenly ran out of energy and needed to go home.

What impresses me so much about life in Spain - epitomised by this festival - is how good-natured the crowds of people are.
In spite of the noise, the bustle and the crowds - there has been such a wonderful sense that people are having fun, are enjoying themselves; there has been no underlying violence or bad feelings - something I found so prevalent in the UK wherever crowds gathered - and I think part of the reason for this is that all the community has taken part in the festival.

Old people, young people, people in-between and most of all - children. And something for everyone.

I was a little shocked yesterday when I saw the amount of rubbish that had accumulated in the Paseo - it really looked dreadful and as if an army would be needed to clear it up. But today, it was looking almost back to normal, despite the fact that the party was still going on. The authorities in Alcala have got this festival well-organised.

Well done them, I say. Well done everyone who has made it a wonderful weekend.


  1. Oh, what fun, Annie, and such lovely photos. I gulped a bit when I read that you were still there at 1.30am with children, then realised that when it's so hot in the middle of the day, much of life takes place early and late.

    I wish you could send a bit of your sunshine north to Normandy. It's been a dreadful weekend here - grey, wet and windy - and I feel so sorry for those villages whose annual fetes have been ruined by the weather. To make matters worse we're forecast more of the same every day until Friday at least. Sigh....

  2. Oh dear, Perpetua, it does seem that France (and England) have had a dreadful summer thus far. Grey, wet and windy it most certainly is not here, so I will hope that you get some nicer weather as soon as possible. Ax

  3. Annie, In 1993 I spent a week in La Rioja with a good friend of mine, staying with people he had lived with when doing his year abroad from University. Naturally we were out every night, enjoying the bars and the atmosphere.

    The thing I noticed more than anything, amongst crowds of people that were mostly in their late teens or 20s, was that everyone was getting on, everyone was friendly, there was no trouble. Like you, the sad thing is that I noticed this as unusual compared to many experiences in England.

    I think that the biggest factor is the attitude to drink that I saw in Spain - nobody was drunk. Drunkenness appeared to be something that was shameful amongst all ages, rather than an end to be sought. Even at a fiesta in the village of Rincón de Soto, where the drink flowed until dawn (and the running of the bulls), people paced themselves ... with the pints of red wine and coke :-)

    Much much better. I wish we had that attitude here.

    Andy X


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