By the Mediterranean, where France meets Spain, lies Catalunya, the land where I lost my heart to Mount Canigou. The Catalan people celebrate their identity with singing, dancing, eating, drinking, speaking Catalan and telling stories.
Often these are the sort of stories where people pull their chairs closer, dim the lights, and listen together to a tale of days gone by, full of magic and humour. But once a year, on April 23rd, stories change hands in the paper form. The tradition is for men to give their ladies a rose and in return they receive a book.
“I give you a story” is the title of a library book I am reading in German at the moment, “Ich schenke dir eine Geschichte”. It is a collection of eight children´s stories from around the world, delightful tales full of fresh ideas and vivid characters the like of whom I have not met before.
I was so pleased to read in the afterword that each year, around April 23rd, books and reading are celebrated around the world, not just in Catalunya. It is also Shakespeare´s birthday and the day so many countries commemorate St George, the famous slayer of dragons.
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