Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Uncolorful Catalunya

Something that has subconciously bothered me over the last couple years here over the last couple years has been the cultural aversion to color here in Catalunya.

Buildings are generally brick, stone or concrete colored. Cars are white, silver, grey, black, blue, or if people are feeling very adventurous, perhaps red. Clothing also tends to be neutral colors... earth tones, etc.

I've heard various theories:
  • sun theory: that cold depressing countries liven up their colors to help people make it through winter, but there isn't a need for that here (although given this winter's weather, I'm not sure about that). Also, the south of Spain seems to have more color in clothing, etc.
  • conformism theory: people don't want to stick out, and thus conform to safe low-risk colors.
  • blame-it-on-the-church theory: the catholic church somehow supressed peoples' desire for color. Italy would seem like a good counter example... Ireland also tends to have much more colorful buildings.
  • Catalans-are-boring theory: There are some counter-examples, like Custo, etc.
  • Genetics: perhaps people from here are able to perceive subtle shades of gray and brown that make the scenery much more exciting.

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