Obama, Queen Elizabeth compete in cheeky Spanish tradition

22nd December 2009, Comments 0 comments

Factory makers in Catalonia say it's hard to determine who will be the best selling caganer figurine of 2010 - Barack Obama or Queen Elizabeth.

Barcelona – Barack Obama is up against Queen Elizabeth this year in a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Catalonia, according to the makers of the Spanish region's 'caganer' figurines.

The ceramic caganer statuettes show affectionate disrespect for famous personalities from home and abroad.

They have been sold in Catalonia around Christmas since the 18th century, when they were placed in nativity scenes in the hope of bringing good luck and a rich harvest.

But they show the personalities with their trousers down in the act of defecating.

Caganer maker Ana Maria Pla said Monday Obama is in line for his second year as the best selling overseas personality.

In 2008, the US president beat France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner and Bolivian President Evo Morales.

But Britain's Queen Elizabeth, a new figurine this year, is giving him a run for his money.

Also getting the dubious honour for first time this year are US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Cuban revolutionary hero Fidel Castro, US golfer Tiger Woods and Britain's Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"This year we do not know clearly who will win. While last year it was very difficult for anyone to get close to Obama, this year the race is very open," said Pla.

She and her family make the hand-painted caganers, which sell for between EUR 12 and 14 each, at their factory near Barcelona.

The original caganer, which literally translated from Catalan means "the fertilizer", was a man wearing a red and black hat and peasant costume shown performing his biological functions.

It was believed that his fertile deposits in the soil of the nativity scene would bring a rich harvest.

But over time, the peasant has been replaced with well-known society figures and personalities from the region, Spain and around the world, in a reminder that all people are equal when it comes to biological functions.

AFP / Expatica

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