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Commercialism?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Michael Matthias, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Michael Matthias

    Michael Matthias New Member

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    I hope to walk my third Camino next year. In general I hope that commercialism can be slowed down along the Camino but fear that with events like a 'Camino Marathon' and an increase of tour groups it might be a lost cause.
    I read about how few services in the cathedral now have the Botafumeiro ceremony, unless groups or rich individuals pay. Why not add a 1 euro charge to everyone who collects their compostella and do it at every 12 noon mass? Isn't the reason for the catherdral the welcoming of pilgrims?
    Also, when you get to the office to collect your compostella, instead of lining up for a long wait, if each person was given a number as they went through the gate then pilgrims could congregate in the courtyard and catch up with friends while waiting for their number to be called?
     
  2. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hello Michael and welcome to the forum.



    Unfortunately, I think that commercialism of Santiago de Compostela is more or less inevitable, but this doesn’t mean that improvements for pilgrims arriving there, often after a long pilgrimage shouldn’t be made.

    I like your idea about getting a number to save queuing up, often for hours at the Compostela Office to get their Compostela.

    I must have been lucky because I have seen the Botafumeiro in action several times in the Cathedral, but I do agree, there should be some sort of system for pilgrims to see it for themselves, even if this was only on the Sunday Mass (Which. I believe is when I saw it swinging)

    The only thing that I can suggest is that you contact “The Amigo’s de Camino de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela through their website at https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.caminosantiago.org/&prev=search and make your suggestions to them

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  3. Michael Matthias

    Michael Matthias New Member

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    Thank you, I will contact them
     
  4. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Michael - Unfortunately, increased commercialism has affected so many destinations that attract the traveler. I think it's a reality that we'll just have to live with and also expect it to become even more prevalent. It was certainly beyond my wildest thoughts that a Camino Ultra-Marathon would ever be considered. Yikes!

    With so many people being drawn to the Camino now more than ever, it's no real surprise about the long lines at the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago. Yes, I, too, have been in that 1 1/2 - 2 hour line waiting to apply for my Compostela. Fortunately, at least for me, I was surrounded by Camino friends, a number of whom I hadn't seen for some time, and we passed the time in celebration without being too concerned by the wait. In my years of travel, I've come to accept the bad with the good and look at minor inconveniences, wherever they occur, as just part of the journey. I will say that when I was there this year in early April that there was no line whatsoever and we simply walked in and got our Compostela in a matter of a couple minutes. An unexpected small gift!

    Without sounding too cynical, I'm actually surprised that the Catholic Church hasn't found a way to charge the pilgrim for other services they offer. Your idea of charging every pilgim a Euro for the Botafumeiro ceremony seems to be an oversight on the part of the Church. Perhaps this IS what we have to look forward to in the future. It is a particularly moving ceremony and it is a shame that it is only offered occasionally. As much as I enjoyed the Pilgrim's Mass, the Botafumeiro made it extra special. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the Forum. Buen Camino!
     
  5. Michael Matthias

    Michael Matthias New Member

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    I agree with those points. Yes, the good definitely outweighs any minor issues.
     
  6. Dabo

    Dabo New Member

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    Not sounding too cynical either, has the Church thought of BINGO on the Camino as a fund raiser? Hee hee!
     
  7. James Orrock

    James Orrock Member

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    I for one am incensed ;) that the Botafumeiro is not in operation at every SdC Cathedral Mass. Having said that, I am very much looking forward to seeing it swinging from one end of the cathedral to the other. Standing in line for an hour or two for a Compostella doesn't sound like much fun but as Wily says if you are shooting the breeze with fellow caminantes the time will go quickly. Adios, amigos.
     
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  8. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey James - Getting to see the Botafumeiro swing was a most moving experience. I remember how excited I was to get my first glimpse of the cathedral as I entered the old part of the city that morning. Then, just a couple hours later at the Pilgrim's Mass, the Botafumeiro ceremony was just icing on the cake. I admit that not having seen it would have been a disappointment. My lucky day!

    Our last day in off the Portugués put us into Santiago well after the mid-day mass. We did attend the early evening mass, but it seemed a more scaled down and certainly less crowded affair than the main mass earlier in the day. Nonetheless, I was able to share this moment with my wife and many Camino friends who also had arrived that afternoon. So, as special as the Botafumeiro is, there is also a great deal of grace possible in just having arrived completing your Camino.
     
  9. James Orrock

    James Orrock Member

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    Hola, Wily. I love icing on my cake so I fervently hope to see the Botafumeiro in action at the Pilgrim's Mass in the Santiago de Compostella Cathedral. I am also in need of a great deal of grace so I very much hope and pray that I arrive in one piece and complete my Camino later this year. Btw, I will be closely following your suggested packing list thus keeping my load to 7-8 kilograms.
     
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  10. jwmarshall

    jwmarshall New Member

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    Commercialism = providing goods and services that others are willing to pay for. Sounds ok to me although I'm not sure a 'real' pilgrim (not sure what that actually is) would agree. The nice thing is that if no one wants what is offered it quickly disappears. Now about the price??? And availability of the location!

    As for charging a Euro for a Compostela and using that to pay the Botafumerio - great idea since seeing the Botifumerio really adds to the Camino experience - but that also sounds a little like commercialization. I like the idea of the Botifumerio swinging at the Pilgrims Mass.

    As for Bingo (sigh).
     
  11. Jeanette Juarez

    Jeanette Juarez New Member

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    I am a "real" pilgrim. I walked El Camino Frances last September, 2016. I did not mind the vendors at all; they reminded me what it would have been like to walk this route n the Middle Ages. Surely there would have been many vendors on the road then. I did not find the commercialism to be excessive. The spaniards need to make a decent living, the pilgrims sometimes find themselves in need such as to buy sandals, clothes, food, etc. The vendors did not harass anybody with their wares; they were never in your face. I saw them as. They a positive addition to the experience.
     

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