The Institut Ramon Llull (IRL) and DiploCat are responsible for disseminating the St. George's celebration through Catalan entities abroad with the campaign #BooksAndRoses.
The celebration of Saint George's Day is not exclusive to Catalonia. The tradition of books and roses has become a festival that increasingly attracts the attention of other countries, because of its unique symbols. In short, books and roses, culture and literature, are expanding around the world thanks to two Catalan ambassador entities of this cause, the IRL and DiploCat.
The latter has launched the #BooksAndRoses campaign to spread the diversity of the Sant Jordi celebrations around the world and to bring together in a single platform all the world-wide activities that are organized around this Day.
Jordi Arrufat, Project Manager at DiploCat, explains that the campaign #BooksAndRoses emerged in 2013 from the initiative of American publisher, Liz Castro, who proposed to group all events related to books and roses on April 23 on a single web page. "Anyone who wants can upload the event to the platform. The person only has to indicate who organizes the act, where, and when it is done and it must be in English. The purpose is to reach more people", comments Arrufat.
This year there were more than 150 events organized around the world and in more than 50 countries, including the United States, Canada, Argentina, China and Japan, and more. "We take care of motivating people to publish their activities online as soon as possible and to disseminate the information", explains the DiploCat manager who adds that the platform also serves to capture ideas from other countries and to have as a reference point.
According to Arrufat, events are organized by a wide variety of volunteers, in Catalan communities abroad, the Ramon Llull Institute or private individuals and other groups. "There are interesting cases in France and Poland that spread books and roses as if it were Barcelona or Catalonia and they have no connection with our territory," says Arrufat as an anecdote. The platform also provides digital support material: flyers, bookmarks in different languages or a video that explains what this tradition is.
Izaskun Arretxe, Director of the Area of Literature and Thought of the IRL, comments that the outsourcing of the Day of Sant Jordi is a very good opportunity for the books in Catalan to be translated into other languages in order to reach more readers. "Bot only are books being translated, but also read and recommended to other people", says Arretxe.
The director said that about 150 annual translations of Catalan literature in other languages are done at the Institute in 48 different languages. "We have noticed that Sant Jordi helps us reach more audiences," says Arretxe. Add: "We are happy because the ideas of Sant Jordi are multiplying, and this is a unique event in our country and can be very long-term."
In short, the outsourcing of Sant Jordi is a way of "spreading the values of a country in the rest of the world," Arrufat concludes.