|Killian Jornet and Manuel Bean climbing Mont Blanc|
Manuel Bean. Mountain Climber. Tyrol. Austria.
I'm Manuel Bean. I was born in Kufstein in Austrian Tyrol. Perhaps because I was born in a mountainous country, I love nature. I love winter sports and climbing. I'm a mountain climber. Climbing can cure, I'm sure. Being in contact with nature is something fascinating but dangerous. You must know that you are a part of Nature and it can control your future. I'm reading a fantastic book: Victor Riverola's Mountain and life. I recommend it.
-Good morning, Manuel Bean, and thanks to attend us.
-Good morning. It's a pleasure.
-Well, to start this interview I would like to know how you define yourself.
-I'm a mountain climber, a person who climbs mountains trying to arrive to the summit. It's a beautiful and dangerous job because you are in extreme contact with nature and its forces and, as you know, nature is unpredictable.
-Some people don't believe that climbing is a job. Could you explain it to them?
-A job is a union of skills and knowledge that you have to do something. Then, you receive some money for this effort. It's simple. It's the difference between amateur and professional sport. Amateur is done by leisure but professional is done to earn money. In my case, I have my sponsors which pay me some money if I arrive to reach some objectives. That's all.
-What is your motto when you are climbing?
-'Impossible is nothing' although you must be clever to know when is a good moment to continue and to stop. In my case, it's my life which is in danger and you must be brave but sensible. Nature is incredible nut it's also very dangerous because you can't control it and although you can predict some phenomenon, you can't do it with 100% of security. You live in the world of predictions and you must take some important decisions in only some minutes because your life depends on it.
-Do you believe mountains have a part of mysticism?
-All things which have a connection with the unexpected world need a part of mysticism and perhaps this is good because we will continue respecting them. You must be afraid of danger, you must respect the mountain because although it is able to offer to you incredible moments and experiences, it can kill you, too.
-How do you feel being a member of The Beans?
-Well, very well. We're a great family full of happiness, collaboration and sense of humour. I like enjoying time with them. They are a great and unforgettable family.
-How is a normal day with The Beans?
-I think there isn't a normal day, if you consider normal like standard. Every day is a different day, isn't it? Then, why is the reason you try to do the same every day? Today is March, 11 2018. Is another date like this going to exist? No. This is our philosophy: enjoy your time and do whatever you wish because impossible is nothing.
-How long have you been studying English?
-Since I was a child. I'm from Kufstein, a small town in Austrian Tyrol. This land is a great attraction to winter tourism and you need English. For other hand, if you are a professional climber, you travel to other countries to climb as important mountains as you can and English is the common language in this profession.
-Then, you speak two languages? Is it very difficult to do it?
-Well, in fact, I speak three languages: German, Romanesque and English. It's not difficult because both of them, English and German, have the same origins and Romanesque is a Romanic language, the oldest language in Switzerland. This fact allows me to understand other languages closer to me like French, Friulian or Italian.
-What is Friulian?
-Friulian is a Romance language belonging to the Rhaeto-Romance family, spoken in the Friuli region of north-eastern Italy. It has around 600,000 speakers. It is sometimes called Eastern Ladin since it shares the same roots as Ladin, but, over the centuries, it has diverged under the influence of surrounding languages, including German, Italian, Venetian, and Slovene. Documents in Friulian are attested from the 11th century and poetry and literature date as far back as 1300. It's an ancient language much unknown for the majority of Europeans.
-Which is the real situation of these languages?
-They're in a difficult situation. The UNESCO has elaborated a great project for recovering as languages as it was possible but to keep a language is very important the conscience of being a part of this language, of being a part of this community, of sharing culture and habits and nowadays, in a global world, this is more difficult, although I think we are in the correct way. Some of these languages are alive because they have survived thanks to the geography. Their speakers live in mountainous zones with difficult access and this has allowed their survival. New roads, new links and new communications are putting in danger these communities.
-Do you believe the new generations will keep the language?
-Yes. Although living in a global world means diversity, and diversity is something very good, every human needs to belong to somewhere, and even your life was a constant travel when you go to sleep and think to yourself, you speak only one language. This language determinates your culture and your culture indicates your place. We are the best ambassadors of our cultures.
-Why are you interested in these languages?
-Because I'm a climber and these communities live in the mountains. If you want to climb a mountain you must know it. You must know people who live around it because they know it perfectly and they are the best guides and advisers. They know the weather and the geographical conditions better than anyone and the mountain is a part of their home, then, if you want to understand the mountain, you must understand the community and language is a great tool of integration.
-What can you explain about your life with The Beans?
-Well, we're a multicultural family and this is one of our great secrets. You learn something every day because every one of us has something to explain and share. It's amazing and beautiful but we must accept that all has a beginning and an end.
-We will never forget this experience. We will continue being a Bean but every one of us will take his/her path although he/she knows that he/she is not alone and we will be always a united family.
-Which is your best memory with the family?
-It's difficult to choose only one but I remember every time we play bingo. I was the speaker and we spent funny moments. My family is very competitive and everybody wanted to win. I like this because demonstrate a great spirit of overcoming and effort.
-Do you believe that 'Impossible is nothing' for The Beans?
-Of course. We can achieve whatever we propose. Now, we are in better conditions than three months ago.
-Because, when we start we were fifteen individualities and now we are one team. You work better knowing that you aren't alone and you can trust in your family because they are always there to help you if you need them. This is very important to get over problems and bad moments.
-Do you like this message?
-Yes. It's a great message of motivation to arrive to reach your objectives. If nobody had believed in doing things, we would have lived Prehistoric times and we're in 21th century. Take Killian Jornet as an example and you realize that 'Impossible is nothing'.
-Thank you very much, Manuel Bean.
-Thanks to you.
No one told us what we were. No one told us we should go.
No one told us that it would be easy. Someone once said that we are our dreams. If we don’t dream we are no longer alive.