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Puigdemont: “Sant Jordi serves to vindicate the Catalan language and culture”

The Catalan President said during his speech on the occasion of Sant Jordi that the festivity is an opportunity to have the voices of the Catalans “heard and respected”, and he urged to achieve this through “arguments, proposals, dialogue and understanding”. Carles Puigdemont described Sant Jordi as “one of the most anticipated days of the year in Catalonia and one of the most beautiful and enjoyable to experience” and invited “everyone, people from here and from abroad, to enjoy it in person”. “Take full advantage of this day and enjoy it with happiness, civility and respect for everyone!”, he added, in a televised speech.

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23 April 2016 09:35 AM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, said in his speech on the occasion of Sant Jordi that the festivity “serves to vindicate the Catalan language and culture”, which “still needs protection”. Sant Jordi is also an opportunity to have the voices of the Catalans “heard and respected” but always through “arguments, proposals, dialogue and understanding”, he added. Puigdemont described Sant Jordi as “one of the most anticipated days of the year in Catalonia and one of the most beautiful and enjoyable to experience” and invited “everyone, people from here and from abroad, to enjoy it in person”. 


Using the legend of Sant Jordi as a metaphor, Puigdemont said that Catalans are still facing “many dragons” that try to attack them. However, he urged everyone to answer to those challenges with reason, understanding and solidarity. “Our language still needs protection, but this must come from arguments, proposals, dialogue and understanding”, he stressed. Puigdemont also referred to the situation of those “who are going through difficult times, both those who are close and those who have come to flee from wars”. “Solidarity is a value that we must apply today, more than ever, towards those calling on the gates of Europe in search of a decent life”, he said, referring to the refugee crisis.

In his first Sant Jordi speech since becoming President, Puigdemont said Catalans “can feel proud that Catalonia is the place of origin” of this festivity which “is now being celebrated in many parts of the world”. “This year we commemorate Any Llull, as it coincides with the 7th centenary of the death of the Palma-born writer and philosopher”, he explained. Llull “was one of the greatest advocates of culture and thought in Europe and probably the most important figure in Catalan culture”, pointed out the Catalan President. “Take full advantage of this day and enjoy it with happiness, civility and respect for everyone!”, said Puigdemont in his remarks.

Sant Jordi is not only both Catalonia’s and England’s patron saint but also one of the Catalans’ most beloved traditions, which has been exported internationally and coincides with UNESCO World Book Day on the 23rd of April. Each year, stalls line the streets selling books and roses for people to buy and give to their loved ones as a symbol of their friendship and love. Nearly seven million roses are expected to be sold and despite the different varieties available and new materials used, the classic red rose is expected to be the most wanted. Sant Jordi’s is also a key day for booksellers; last year 1.5 million books were sold on the 23rd of April. Although Barcelona is to be the epicentre of the celebrations, there are around 500 events planned all over the territory, including many cultural activities. Proof of how Sant Jordi’s has gained international exposure is that more than 130 cities over 40 countries have planned some 100 activities or more throughout the week and well into the first days of May. 

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  • Carles Puigdemont during his speech on the occasion of Sant Jordi (by J. Bedmar)

  • Carles Puigdemont during his speech on the occasion of Sant Jordi (by J. Bedmar)