What do you mean you’ve never heard of Mafalda?! I guess if you’ve never been to Argentina then that’s a possibility. She may just be a cartoon character but she is so much more than a cartoon character. She is in fact a huge part in many people’s lives. You don’t even have to go all the way to South America to meet her either. Oviedo, Asturias, is much closer to home for most of us.
Mafalda is said to be the collective thought and worries of adults expressed by kids, and she sometimes comes up with interesting answers to the world’s problems. She is certainly an iconic figure.
So why is she in Oviedo? Well, her creator, Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón, better known by his pen-name Quino, was awarded the Príncipe de Asturias prize in 2014. This was in recognition of 50 years of Malfalda comic strips. As a result, a statue of Mafalda sitting on a bench is located in the Campo de San Francisco park, allowing fans to have photos taken with her. Other prize winners like Woody Allen can be found nearby. You can pick up Mafalda souvenirs in several shops too.
Sadly, Quino died in 2020. There were many tributes but perhaps the most poignant ones were from Mafalda herself.
From what you have seen here, I am sure you can understand why everyone falls in love with Mafalda. Oviedo was a fabulous place to visit and I fell in love with the city too! There was so much to see and I took a free tour with Paraguas Rojo (Red Umbrella Tours) which was excellent. I did it in Spanish but they do run tours in English sometimes so check the website.
Of course, when in Asturias, you need to try the cider too! It’s not the same as what you would find in the UK and it needs to be poured from a height to aerate it properly, although you can get attachments for bottles that do the job nowadays but it’s not as much fun!
As you can see, I had a great time exploring Oviedo. Please let me know in the comments what you think of the city, and if you too have fallen in love with Mafalda!
Oh, by the way, there was a cartoon film made of Mafalda and here is a link to it with English subtitles! Enjoy!!