This year I had the honour to write an article for Pollença’s La Patrona festivities programme. Wow, that is a serious task! I couldn’t help feeling nervous, but also happy and proud of what I saw as the ripened fruit of the integration process (you can see a very different kind of fruit from the same process in a photo below!).
A very warm thank you to Pollença City Counsil and Pere Salas for confiding in me, I loved taking active part in this year’s La Patrona!
The article: Vikings and Corsairs
The fact that I was born thousands of kilometres from the island that I have considered my home for many years does not prevent me from relating to the courage and strength shown by the pollencins on that fateful 31st of May. The Nordic blood that runs through my veins also bears witness to a distant past when everyday life meant not only living, but surviving and always being on the alert. The priority was to defend your people and your property, always with the support of your community, without which you had no identity, nor the capacity to face hardship – let alone pirates!
Our basic needs were, and still are, universal. This means that after thirty years living in Pollença, the distinction between here and there is becoming increasingly blurred. As a passionate communicator, I am always inclined to see and highlight what people have in common rather than the differences that divide them, always, of course, respecting the linguistic, cultural and historical features that shape the fascinating insignias of our identities.
To me, the Moors and Christians mock battle represents the height of expression for Pollença’s identity, a flavourful crockpot of intense emotions, nostalgia and fraternity. It also lends each of us the opportunity to reflect on the people and values we defend. Progress, that double-edged sword, comes with an increasingly wide range of concerns that, unlike those of our ancestors, extend far beyond our immediate surroundings.
La Patrona is a tribute to the community, to the collective and inclusive sentiment. No one wins a battle alone; neither before nor now, neither here nor there.
Long live the plurality of identities, long live our community and long live Pollença!