- Title: Spanish town takes neighbourly chats 'al fresco' to UNESCO
- Date: 13th August 2021
- Summary: ALGAR, SPAIN (AUGUST 12, 2021) (REUTERS) ALGAR SIGN, CAR PASSING BY VARIOUS OF ALGAR NAME ON ROUNDABOUT NEIGHBOURS BONIFACIO GUERRA AND FRANCISCA TROYA SITTING ON CHAIR OUTSIDE HOME NEIGHBOUR TAKING CHAIR OUT AND UPSOUND (Spanish) "Let's sit in the coolness. Good afternoon. How are you? Lot of heat? Today it has been quite hot, let's cool down a little bit." VARIOUS OF NEIGHBOURS AT 'EL FRESCO' CHATS NEIGHBOURS SITTING OUTDOORS WITH CHILDREN, WOMAN SHOWING OLD PICTURE OF 'AL FRESCO' CHATS NEIGHBOURS SITTING OUTDOORS, WOMAN WAVING FAN NEIGHBOURS DURING 'AL FRESCO' CHATS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MAYOR OF ALGAR, JOSE CARLOS SANCHEZ, SAYING: "Through a neighbor I got an article from a media where the title was "A la fresca con la Unesco" (Being at fresh air with Unesco), I read that article and it said why going out to the street to get fresh air was not Intangible Heritage of Humanity. I took that article to the office and met with my government team, and I asked them why this initiative cannot be applied in Algar, that here the tradition is a tradition of yesteryear which is still being carried out." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AT OUTDOORS CHATS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MAYOR OF ALGAR, JOSE CARLOS SANCHEZ, SAYING: "The slogan we propose is that social media do not end with one of the most popular traditions such as going out 'al fresco', and I remember as a child going out into the street when the sunset was ending, we go out into the street, we go out to take the fresh air, the word itself tells you, and what we do is also coexistence between children, the elderly, family and neighbours." NEIGHBOUR SHOUTING (Spanish) "Catalina, C'mon, you must bring your chair tonight, C'mon it is getting late" THROUGH NEIGHBOURS' WINDOW (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MAYOR OF ALGAR, JOSE CARLOS SANCHEZ, SAYING: "To reinforce this whole initiative what we do is to convene the whole town to help with the initiative, to go out to the street to get fresh air, I called them two Fridays ago and well, I was surprised when I went out to the street there was no one inside, everyone was in the street, reinforcing this initiative and eager to make Algar an Intangible Heritage of Humanity, the 'al fresco' chats." WOMAN USING FAN AND SAYING (Spanish) "It's too hot, too hot" NEIGHBOURS SITTING ON CHAIRS OUTDOORS MAYOR JOSE CARLOS SANCHEZ SPEAKING WITH NEIGHBOURS AND SAYING (Spanish) "Good afternoon, how are you? Cooling off?", NEIGHBOUR ANSWERING (Spanish) "Here we are on the fresh, dear, there is no fresh at all but at least we spend the time", MAYOR SAYING (Spanish) "Well, but better than inside home, right?, NEIGHBOUR SAYING (Spanish) "Yes, of course. Although my home is fresh too, but we like here, to see people, many foreigners, it gets exciting", MAYOR SAYING (Spanish) "Apart from cooling off we are here for gossiping, aren't we?, NEIGHBOURS LAUGHING AND SAYING (Spanish) "Of course, of course", MAYOR SAYING (Spanish) "Not to lose tradition. Tradition was not only go outdoors but talk about good and bad things" NEIGHBOURS SITTING OUTDOORS NEIGHBOUR TAKING CHAIR FROM HOME AND SITTING OUTDOORS NEXT TO OTHER NEIGHBOURS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MAYOR OF ALGAR, JOSE CARLOS SANCHEZ, SAYING: "The boom of social networks came, and everybody was with social media, now I think people are starting to leave them aside a little bit and want to interact face to face, talk in person, I think we are going to come back a little bit. What we are trying to achieve is harmony, conviviality and a return to the traditional. And logically one of the reasons is to save energy." VARIOUS OF NEIGHBOURS SITTING OUTDOORS VARIOUS OF NEIGHBOURS PLAYING CARDS WITH CHILDREN VILLAGE
- Embargoed: 27th August 2021 13:06
- Keywords: Algar Andalusia Spain UNESCO charlas al fresco chat fresh chats heatwave summer tradition village
- Location: ALGAR, SPAIN
- City: ALGAR, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Europe
- Reuters ID: LVA001EQ466VB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The town of Algar in southern Spain seeks a UNESCO world heritage status to protect and enliven its treasured custom of outdoor neighbourly get-togethers on sweltering summer nights, which it sees threatened by Internet-based social networks.
As cooler air from the mountains and a natural park nearby attenuates the day's heat around sunset, villagers start bringing out chairs, and sometimes also tables, to sit outside their homes and shoot the breeze, play cards or just chill out.
Children often join adults, and although there are few teenaged faces to be seen, Algar Mayor Jose Carlos Sanchez hopes that will change as his call for more villagers to join the outings in support of the UNESCO application gains support.
Two weeks after launching the call, and with temperatures nearing record high levels in southern Spain, he says he was surprised to find "nobody inside, everyone in the street, reinforcing this initiative and eager to make Algar an Intangible Heritage of Humanity".
The idea is to not "not let social networks end one of the most popular traditions", which Sanchez remembers from his childhood as a joyful pastime for Algar families and neighbours.
"When the social networks boom hit, everyone was on social networks. Now I think people are starting to leave that aside a bit to interact face to face, to talk in person... What we're trying to achieve is to have harmony and conviviality and to get back to the traditional way," he said.
Sitting outside also helps save energy, he added, an important factor as electricity prices soared to record levels this week due in part to spiking use of air conditioning amid a heat wave.
(Production: Jon Nazca, Mariano Valladolid, Elena Rodriguez)
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