Pooping Figurines of the Mighty and Famous: The Caganers of Catalunya, Spain
Icons of humility and fairness
It’s a practice of the Catalunians to do a caganer of every powerful and famous figure in the world – yes, Virginia, a pooping President-Elect Barack Obama, President George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice and every other celebrity you know. It’s a practice of the Catalunians to put caganers along with the Christmas Manger. I learned that Catalunian children love these figurines. This is good for the environment. But more than a figurine for children and the environment, the practice reminds people that at the end of the day, the powerful and famous is just like anyone of us doing what any other human being does. You can visit this website to view a host of caganers. It’s a very informative site:
Here’s another site where you can see a photo of the caganers. Just follow the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20mm/2790593153/
I stumbled on the above sites after I read in the news that there is a caganer of President-Elect Barack Obama. And then, I found out that there were more caganers….just every celebrity in the world has a caganer in the shops of Barcelona!
Reflecting on the practice of the Catalunians, it impresses me that their history is replete with wisdom just like any other group of people in the world. The caganers is an icon of fairness and humility.
It makes us, people, realize that whatever so-called greatness we achieve, we are, after all, just pooping human beings. Isn’t that the core of the word “humor” – being able to laugh at ourselves for after all we are the same humus (latin word), meaning soil?
Somewhere along the story of the caganers, in 2005, it is a known fact that the government of Catalunya ordered the removal of the figurines during Christmas as the icon may be extolling the practice of pooing in public places. From what I learned, there was a strong clamor from the people to let the caganers stay. That is why last Christmas, there were caganers of every mighty world figure in the Christmas Mangers of Catalunya. They are here to stay!
Featuring the rich and famous in the most solemn but private act of pooing is the most human thing a culture can ever do. But of course, there are people in the world who aren’t impressed by the practice.
Imagine portraying a pooping President with a ballistic missile in his right hand, a Celebrity and others! Even Pope John Paul II had a caganer in Barcelona. There was no protest from Vatican as the caganer is not known to be a spoof of greatness but an invitation for introspection. The practice is really cute and profound. It disabuses us of most of the illusions we wrap ourselves and others with.
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