Tag Archives: Pinya

Lingo

Last friday, when I just stepped into the local casteller the Cap de Colla tackled me:

— Hey Marc — he greeted me, while he was pointing to some fellow companions who were rolling a kids’ rehearsal in the middle of the room. — This is “fer pinya”. And that — then he pointed to the technical commission (I guess i talked about them once)— is “fer UNA pinya” or “fer LA pinya”.

Then I looked at him like the dog who looks a man teaching him to play catch. And then he told me again:

— I tell you because you mistook the difference between “to do pinapple” and “to do A pinapple”.

This is a template for a "three" pinya. Castellers in the technical team put the names of the people in the squares, to set them up in every place. PHOTO: Birreiros
This is a template for a “three” pinya. Castellers in the technical team write the names of the castellers in the squares, to set them up in their  place in the pinya. PHOTO: Birreiros

Continue reading Lingo

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Who manages a colla?

So, up to this point, we have a bunch of people climbing up the shoulders of other people, to the point that a child climbs up all this bunch of people and raises his hand.

That’s really impressive, and beautiful. And all the people who sees castells for the first time gets shocked. Really. If you come to Barcelona for La Mercè’s fiestas (the week following september 24, they raise castells on Sunday) the only thing you will hear on Sunday at Plaça Sant Jaume will be Japanese girls’ yellings. And I guess you might know how acute they can be.

Castellers de Barcelona performing a 4d9f in Plaça Sant Jaume, Barcelona,  for La Mercè fiestas
Castellers de Barcelona performing a 4d9f in Plaça Sant Jaume, Barcelona, for La Mercè fiestas

Anyway, it’s obvious that this mass of people needs someone who manages them. In the sense that they need somebody outside the castell, telling them how they are climbing, who has to climb and when, if the castell is stable or not, to give them support… and much more! Continue reading Who manages a colla?

What are a “Gralla” and a “Tabal”, and what are they used for?

Before answering this question, let me remember that a casteller is not necessarily someone who is in the pinya or who climbs up the tronc all the way, but someone who participates in an active way in a colla castellera.

Gralles and tabals
Gralles and tabals

And a way to participate is playing the casteller tune as a “graller” or as a “tabaler”. Gralles and tabals are not only used in Castells, but they are a very important part of them. Continue reading What are a “Gralla” and a “Tabal”, and what are they used for?

What is “fer pinya”?

“Pinya” in Catalan means “pineapple”. And “fer” is the infinitive of “to do” or “make”. So “fer pinya” in English means “doing pineapple” or “making pineapple”.

Yes. Sounds silly, I know.

I warned you that castells has a lot of lingo that not even all the Catalan people handle, but “fer pinya” is more than an expression used in castells. Let me explain first what the pinya is.

Catalan politicians "fent pinya" for the referendum about the independence of Catalonia. Photo: Vilaweb
Catalan politicians “fent pinya” for the referendum about the independence of Catalonia. Photo: Vilaweb

Continue reading What is “fer pinya”?