Cultural We

La Voz de Galicia – April 10, 2020 →

Cristina PatoThese days, one wonders about the value we give things when we don’t have them or when we simply can’t have access to them. A stroll in the evening, or being able to walk holding hands. Sitting down for a cup of coffee or to read the paper, or browsing books at the bookstore. Enjoying the scents of dishes in the wine district or the sound of children playing in the plaza…these are some of the things I miss. And then the song from The Sound of Music pops into my head. Here, Julie Andrews’ character tries to cheer up the children during a stormy night and begins to create a song about her favorite things…Rodgers and Hammerstein’s My Favorite Things saved my life so many times making me «simply remember my favorite things / And then I don’t feel so bad.»

Whether tangible or intangible, the value we give those things fluctuates according to the moment, but there are things that are not always valued according to their material worth, and that now matter more then ever. And in these days, culture in general, and the arts in particular, are more present than ever, making us tap into our imagination to be get around a complex reality; these days should make us reflect about the value of culture, about what it means and encompasses. We all make up culture—those in the arts, in the sciences, in the humanities, in the bars and the furanchos[1], in tourism, in education, in the widows’ association and the knitting club…Culture is community. In truth, we are all in it, and not all will be able to put their lives on hold…

But what are the necessary measures so that a «Cultural We» can survive what looks to be a sad, uncertain future? And who must take such measures?

[1] A furancho, typical of Galicia, is a private home with a dedicated space where visitors may sample wine produced in the family’s vineyards, accompanied by small, homemade dishes such as sausage, cheese, and empanada.

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