Sunday, September 15, 2013

experiencing La Diada and joining the cause

This Wednesday, September 11 marked a dark anniversary for all us North Americans, but here in Catalunya, they observe a somewhat sombre event as well. It is La Diada, the National Day of Catalonia, marking the defeat of the Catalan Army to the forces of the Bourbon King, Philip V of Spain on September 11, 1714. We started the day at Arc de Triomf, where a fairground was set up. Lots of tents selling flags, food, and history books. Tame. The evening got a little more interesting, as a human chain was organized stretching 400 km across Catalunya all the way to the French border. At 5:14 pm (17:14), everyone joined hands as we watched on monitors at Plaça de Catalunya. Emotions were running high, with lots of passionate speakers including the lady who organized the human chain (who also promptly broke down after saying good afternoon my Catalans). An incredible sight to witness, and inspiring to see so many people feel so passionately about something that happened 299 years ago. Will definitely be here next here, to see its 300th.

So, IESE orientation begins tomorrow. Not exactly school just yet, but things are starting to get real. And shit will get real real fast. I'm hopeful and excited - it's already been a great experience so far, and yes, everyone's relaxed and having fun now, but that's not why we're all here. I wonder how I'm going to look back on this period of time in a few years. Let's get started.


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