Trobades – an exciting insight into the culture of Agres

On May 21, I participated in an event considered very important to the people of Agres and the other surrounding regions. This event is called Trobades – a day celebrating the Valencian language and the schools where the children learn it.

Agres was the host village for the event this year. Well, to be exact, it was supposed to be the year 2020, but because of the pandemic, things had to be postponed (so everyone got Trobades 2020 t-shirts, and it felt like time traveling).

This exciting day had a packed schedule, and various activities were planned from dusk to dawn! (But if dusk and dawn were modified for the sleeping schedule of a child). First on the agenda was a widespread Spanish tradition – a parade around the village where the participants walked the streets while taking small steps, followed by a music band and surrounded by the onlookers taking millions of pictures (one of which was me, ha-ha). 

The unique aspect of this procession was the interesting character that appeared to be from a fairy tale, but to be honest, I didn’t understand who they were. I know. Bad Erasmus+ was reporting on my side (I will get better, guys, have hope!). Now back to the story!

The procession was followed by the beautiful traditional dances of this region and, after them, an even more interesting tradition – a workshop on how to climb people!

I have never seen a thing like this before, and I had to try it! It was an exciting experience – I was a little worried that I might hurt the people by stepping all over on their shoulders or something similar, but it sure was fun.

Alas, the exciting events in the morning ended, and we managed to steal a couple of hours from the schedule and have some paella and delicious locally made beer. Shout out to the people of Velorecicla who fed us! Your good deeds shall not be forgotten.

The second part of the day was reserved for the millions of workshops meant to entertain the almost infinite number of children and their families that came to visit Agres (I mean, I have never seen this many people in Agres.) After the much-needed refreshments on that warm and sunny day, we got ready and held only the best workshop ever! We made cards where, besides the cute drawings, the children could write their parents’ names and phone numbers so, in the unfortunate case if they get lost, the parents could be easily contacted. I believe that this is a handy thing and that it should even be done in any event where children are present. 

So, the workshop was a success. Onwards to the next event! The next and final event was a concert where we listened to our local band from Agres. Yes, Agres had an all-girl band, and these ladies were extraordinary. But, sadly, after many years of performing, this was their last show. They decided to disband their group but, in an almost poetic way, they were followed by a completely new band made out of youngsters who had their first show here in Agres. And they finished the night with a bang after they were repeatedly called back to the stage for an encore. Ah, I hope that one day I can say: “Yes, I was at the first gig of this world-famous band.”

Marija Marinkovikj

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