The Catalan Minister for Foreign Action and European Union, Meritxell Serret i Aleu, took part in the opening ceremony of the 35th Adifolk Aplec Internacional, which this year is being held in Villach, in the Austrian state of Carinthia, from 16 to 18 June.
In her opening speech at the 35th edition of the Aplec, Minister Serret highlighted that “Catalan culture is our best ambassador.” In this respect, Serret reiterated how, thanks to Catalan culture, “we can explain what we Catalans are like – an open society eager to build good relations.” Relations which, according to Serret, “will allow us to open up more opportunities for development and cooperation” and thus “strengthen the shared project of building Europe” with Carinthia.
At the opening ceremony of the Aplec, Serret thanked the institutional representatives of Villach and Carinthia for hosting the festival in Austria and expressed to them “the Government’s desire to continue strengthening ties,” now also in the cultural sphere.
Finally, Serret once again thanked Adifolk and the Catalans who have travelled to Villach to take part in the Aplec for their “commitment to culture and the country” and stressed the importance of working together through civil society and institutions to “show Catalonia to the world.”
The opening ceremony of the 35th Adifolk Aplec Internacional was attended by the government bodies and organisations that organised the event, including the President of Adifolk, Ivan Besora; the Mayor of Villach, Günther Albel; and the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to Central Europe, Krystyna Schreiber. The event was also attended by President Puigdemont.
The Aplec marked the end of Minister Serret’s institutional trip to Austriawhere, among other things, she visited the plant of microchip company Infineon and held meetings with the President of the Carinthian Parliament, Reinhard Rohr, with members of the executive and with the Mayor of Villach.
35th Adifolk Aplec Internacional
From today until Sunday, 600 members of 25 groups linked to the world of Catalan folklore and popular culture will fill the streets and squares in the old town of the Austrian city of Villach to promote Catalan culture and traditions.
For three days, a series of festivities and activities to promote Catalan culture have been programmed, such as sardana dances, stick dances, concerts of Catalan havaneres and choirs, displays of mythological creatures, “correfocs” or fire runs, and parades with giants and big-heads.
In this 2023 edition, a representative sample of the Catalan cultural fabric travelled to Villach, including the Pastorets de Vilafranca del Penedès, the Fuentes de Valldans sardana group, the Chamber Choir of the Catalan Federation of Choirs, the Som Riu d’Or folk dance group from Sant Fruitós de Bages and representatives of the Pubillatge Nacional de Catalunya youth group.
“Catalonia meets Carinthia” meeting space
As part of the events to celebrate the 35th Adifolk Aplec Internacional, Minister Serret attended the opening of the “Catalonia meets Carinthia” meeting space. Organised by the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to Central Europe and the Villach Tourist Board, it aims to strengthen ties between the two territories through society, tourism and typical gastronomy.
The activities programmed for this space include tasting of Catalan wines and cuisine, workshops to learn to dance the sardana and the stick dance, and activities to introduce Austrians to traditional Catalan games.