Keep calm and “poop”!

Christmas is approaching. Few days ago, I talked a bit about the Spanish Christmas Lottery, one of the Spanish Christmas traditions. Now, let’s take a look at how Catalans celebrate Christmas.

I took the photo above at the Fira de Santa Llúcia in Barcelona. You can see there are a lot of figures pooping there (:-P). These figures are called Caganer. Traditionally, Caganer is a peasant wearing his barretina (a traditional red Catalan hat), showing his bottom and pooping.

Interestingly, not only the caganer shows us how he poops, but Tió de Nadal as well.

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Tió de Nadal is a mythological figure which is basically a log. It is a piece of log with a smiley face and a 3D nose. Also, it comes with two or four legs. Usually, people decorate the Tió with a small barretina and cover it with a blanket so as to keep it warm at night and prevent it from catching a cold. People at home will “feed” it from 8 December (the day of the Immaculate Conception) until Christmas Eve. Then, they put it into the fire to make it “poop”. However, nowadays, it’s more usual for them to “help” it poop by hitting it with a stick repeatedly and singing the song of the Tió. Which type of poo the Tió poops? Well… Haha, it’s very sweet as it poops presents and candies for the kids.

Why do the Caganer and the Tió de Nadal gain so much popularity? It is because they bring everyone luck and it’s always fun to see them while celebrating Christmas! :-D

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LGBT rights in Spain

Pew Research Centre in Washington did a research regarding the acceptance level of homosexuality in 2013. Spain, with the acceptance rate of 88%, topped the list of 39 countries in the world. However, homosexuality has not been accepted like how it is now in history due to the strong influence of Roman sexuality, the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and the Francisco Franco’s regime (1936-1975). Anyway, there have been many changes and evolutions initiated thanks to the modernisation concepts. Homosexual is now being considered as one of the forms of sexuality (that is why we have the term ‘homosexuality’).

Nowadays in Spain, the LGBT (as in lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexuals) situation has already improved a lot, especially many citizens now pay close attention to LGBT rights after the legalisation of homosexuality in 1979. For example, the annually organised Pride Parades can effectively raise the awareness in the community about the rights. The first parade in Spain took place in 1979, the same year of the legalisation of homosexuality. It is now a very grand and popular event among Spanish, Catalans, and, of course, tourists as well.

In Spain, there is a very sophisticated social system protecting the homosexuals. The anti-discrimination laws cover areas including employment, the provision of goods and services, and all other areas. Besides, same-sex marriage is legalized in 2005 where same-sex couples can be legally recognized. What’s more, homosexuals are allowed to serve in the military forces openly, and are allowed to participate in blood donation.

In Barcelona, there is an association called the Associació de famílies Lesbianes i Gais (Association of LGBT Families). It collaborates with the Department de Benestar Social i Família de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Department of Social and Family Welfare of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia). Its establishment is due to the equal access to in vitro fertilisation and surrogacy for all same-sex couples and homosexual individuals. It is also because of the legal joint and step adoption by same-sex couples.

The Barcelona local government (‘Ajuntament de Barcelona’ in Catalan) has implemented the Municipal Plan for the LGBT group. It is a five-year plan from 2010 to 2015 with different implementation period. The plan gathers up the public policies of the local government in order to promote, defend, and guarantee the rights of citizenship of LGBT members. It is coordinated with a lot of policies and regulations of many organisations and institutes. Thanks to the local government of Barcelona, the living quality of the homosexual can be considerably improved, and the equality in the society can be effectively and significantly upheld.

Photo: (http://www.pridebarcelona.org/) Avenida Reina María Cristina, Barcelona

Mushroom omelette

Mushroom omelette

1/2 onion
4-5 mushrooms
2 eggs
Milk
Olive oil (or, butter)
Garlic (1 crushed clove or powder)
Basil
Oregano

  1. Chop the onion into small pieces
  2. Cut the mushrooms into thin slices
  3. Beat the eggs, add a few tablespoons of milk (and a pinch of salt)
  4. Heat the oil (butter) in a frying pan and, at the same time, add garlic, a bit of oregano, and basil
  5. Add the chopped onion
  6. Stir the onion a few times until it turns brown
  7. Add the slices of mushroom to the pan and mix well
  8. Turn the heat up and add the egg mixture
  9. Serve the dish with some pasta or toasts

How to make it? Watch the video here.

Ps- A big thank you to Claire, who owns the amazing ‘Cooking English‘. Her blog has inspired me a lot… Happy browsing and cooking! :)