I am currently watching the new Brian Cox series on TV”Forces of Nature” which I am finding addictive. The visuals at times are quite stunning, although I have to confess that I sometimes get lost with the scientific explanation of things, which is perhaps more my problem with lack of basic scientific knowledge than any inadequacy on Prof Cox’s part.
In the first programme a human pyramid competition in Spain was one of many eye-catching ways Cox attempts to explain complex science in Forces of Nature. What staggered me about this was that young children climb to the top of the tower, which often collapse and bodies come hurling down to be caught by the crowd below.
One young girl aged 6 was to make her first climb to the top and was a little nervous, but not half as nervous as her parents who stood by to watch the little girl climb to the top of the tower. This “tower building” is an annual event and for many children it is a “right of passage” to ascend the human towers.
What struck me was the bravery of the young girl, the confidence her parents showed in her and the respect for the ceremonial tradition in this part of Spain. You just think that in the UK the “elf n’ safety” mob would be having apoplexy at such an event taking place (witness the Gloucester cheese rolling).
Yes, it is dangerous, and sometimes people do get hurt, but you cannot go through life in a cocoon and it is an introduction to the school of “hard knocks.”
So well done to that young girl and her supportive parents for participating in a long-standing tradition……….long may it continue.