Village in Spain wants UNESCO status for its al fresco chatting tradition

Village in Spain wants UNESCO status for its al fresco chatting tradition. Image - Algar town hall

A small village in the province of Cadiz wants to preserve ‘chatting in the open air’ by giving it UNESCO status.

Algar, a small village in Cadiz, wants to preserve the phenomenon of ‘chatting in the open air’ by giving it UNESCO status, as initiators fear the habit will disappear as technology takes over social life.

Algar has just over 1,400 inhabitants and in the summer months residents have taken up the habit of opening their door, taking a chair outside and chatting with family, friends and neighbours.

“What you’re doing is gossiping and talking about everyday things,” said Jose Carlos Sanchez, the mayor of Algar.

“Whether the pool is open, what the weather will do, what the physical complaint is like, etc”.

According to Sanchez, television, social media and TV screens threaten that habit.

In Algar, the people believe that their habit is the first social network, a habit that has been taking place for so long that its origins have been lost in time. They believe this should not disappear.

“I saw it getting less,” continued the mayor.

“Part of the population, the elderly, kept the tradition alive, but a larger part of the population did not. Our motto is that social networks should not end one of our most popular traditions”.

The council has therefore decided to submit the ‘charla al fresco’ as an intangible heritage of humanity and give it UNESCO status.

“We got the idea from an article titled ‘On the road with Unesco’,” explains Sanchez.

“I contacted the Junta de Andalucia and we have started the file for the application.”

Last Friday, July 30, the mayor asked residents in the village to take to the streets in support of the initiative, with his request being taken up unanimously and enthusiastically.

The submission continues and also gives the residents something new to discuss in their outdoor chats.

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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