Monday, December 21, 2009

Culture Abounds

Every week I am surprised by the little gems the Oriental de Valle holds within her landscape. History lies behind every stone. Stories and traditions unfold like an intricately designed tapestry. I can not help but be intrigued by the depth, the layers and the details.

This week I discovered dolmens and went to visit the one on the black mountain.  I have seen pictures of dolmens before, but I did not know what they were called, or that they were so prevalent in the Mediterranean area.

I am aware that this dolmen may sound rather dull to you, dear reader. You’ve probably ‘been there and done that’ and went on to more spectacular outings. However, for me, this dolmen is not just ‘one of many’ that exist in the area, but a symbol of continuity, common ground and humanity before the lines of countries were printed into text books. Dolmen have been found in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The aboriginals of Australia were nomadic people. The had no need to cultivate lands or build homes that lasted the seasons. We have cave paintings and relics of hunter gather civilisations.  The Romans never touched our shores. The Vikings, the Celts, the Goths – these were European stories told in schools when I was a child.

We had suburbs and malls, cricket pitches and story books full of places that snowed at Christmas and talked of far off places like Spain.

Thirty years later, I sit here, dwelling in the lands many of the stories of my childhood were built upon.

The dolmen remind us we are people who have continued to evolve, recreate themselves and adapt to the new circumstances. In these days of mass migration, of peoples of all regions coming together, it is rewarding to look back and see the commons in our human development.
As always, I send you thanks for being here. Thanks for taking me into the design of the great mosaic of Catalonia.

Originally posted in Revista del Valles 

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