Paella in Compton on Sunday, May 15

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Flickr user pablovenegas
Compton's not the place you think it is anymore. Sure, it's got some of the best barbecue in the area, but it's got an increasing population of Samoans, Filipinos and other Pacific Islanders, and it's the home to this year's picnic of the Casal dels Catalans de Califòrnia, the SoCal hub of Catalonian culture, Sunday, May 15 from noon to 5 p.m., at Rancho Dominguez, 18127 S. Alameda St.

Given that there are precious few places in OC to get paella, it's an event that may be worth the trip past the Orange Curtain.

The festivities start with Mass (presumably in Catalan) at noon, followed by an opportunity to learn to dance the sardana--good preparation for the Sunday sardanes in the Plaça Sant Jaume in Barcelona. There will be a cooking demonstration at 12:45 by Pascual Franqueza of L.A.'s La Paella Restaurant, and lunch will be served at the traditional Catalan lunchtime of 2 p.m.: paella, salad, bread, dessert and coffee.

The price is $15, $6 for kids (and $13 if you happen to be a member of the Casal dels Catalans de Califòrnia). If you want to go, you'll need to reserve quickly--May 13 is the cutoff period--by calling Carme Roig at (310) 383-0619. Further details can be found at casalcalifornia.org.

And don't forget your manners--"please" in Catalan is si us plau ("seess plow") and "thank you" is gràcies ("grah-see-ehs").

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