Oriol Hosta explains the importance of associacionism activities in Catalonia.
Contact glue is a neoprene-based adhesive that is applied to both surfaces to be united. After some minutes, they end up strongly bond just by contact. It is this simple contact what keeps them holding together, generating a cohesion that I’d like to describe as permanent. This is exactly the effect that the associative organizations produce on people, on ourselves, in our country.
Scouts, Basketball, Plastic Arts, Holiday Camps, Catechesis, Cinema, Circus, Reading Clubs, Conferences, Choir singing, Popular culture activities, Dancing, Chess, Recreational activities, Exhibitions, Popular festivals, Photography, Soccer, Board games, Magic, Music, Nativity Scene building, Diving, Sardanes, Cultural trips, Sporting trips, Workshops, Theater, Table Tennis, Travelling, Lacing by hand, Pétanque, Billiards, Paddle, Rowing, Speleology, Bridge, Genealogy, Slots, Balls de Bastons, Drumming, Diables... These are some of the many activities that the members of our associations practice in our city and our country.
The good health of our athenaeums –also called Centre, Circle, Lluïsos, Casal, Casino, etc... depending on its origin– confirms them as a present-day asset and a good index for the future. Solid social structures that help their members’ will to express itself with a great dose of creativity, generating cultural and social heritage and lots of participative life. Structures traditionally involved and committed to the defense of our language and our symbols.
Adults and young people immersed in their own activities, gaming, singing, playing theatre, dancing... Keeping closely in touch with other members, generating social connection and energy. Within the framework of common participative spaces where each one’s personal experience strikes on others, and thus creating shared emotions.
An adult’s will to participate in an activity that offers leisure, learning and friendship -but commitment and effort too- undoubtedly gives him a feeling of being part of something. But this happens with the youngest ones as well. First as recipients, and after as conductors of these activities, being responsible for the transmission of values playing the role of instructor, coach, trainer, cap de colla or choir conductor. And even after, taking responsibility in their own section’s board or in their associations’ general committee. By assuming these roles and by experiencing these civil and democratic values of participation, they end up transmitting them. Also by using freedom in a responsible way, creating future with volunteering-based imagination and decision. By investing their leisure time in the service of that activity, their companions, their section, their association. And ultimately, in the service of their district, their city and their country.
All people belonging to the association, its members, leaders, board members, technicians and professionals as well as the children’s relatives, all of them are the association. Each one experiences in his own way that feeling of belonging to something. The emotional impact acts as a social contact glue. And these social structures called athenaeums are, unquestionably, state structures.