Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

SO MUCH LOVE

I had the amazing opportunity of witnessing a special event that took place in Barcelona, called “La Diada.” I don’t know much about history, but what I have learned is that La Diada is a day festival to remember the defeat of Catalonia during the Spanish War. Catalonia is considered an autonomous community, made up of specific provinces; Barcelona being one of them.  This year was especially significant, because Barcelona (Catalonia) have hopes of gaining independence.  In moving away from all the political side of things, I want to specifically give recognition to the beauty of community not only within this event, but overall in Barcelona.

The streets were full, and no matter where you walked you saw everyone representing the Catalonia flag.  Before I even started my day, I went out on my balcony and sat in awe as I watched the streets. It seemed like thousands of people passing by, waving their flags, singing, and holding hands.  I have NEVER seen so much love from that amount of people in a very long time. The main attraction of this day consisted of people dressing in the colors of red or yellow; and thousands of people standing in the streets of Barcelona to create the flag.  This alone was absolutely astounding, because it didn’t matter what age you were, practically the whole city was there.  I saw first-hand what it meant to love your community, it was simply beautiful and something I cannot put into words.

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(September 11, 2014)

My favorite thing about being in Barcelona, is seeing what love and care truly looks like from a community! No matter who you meet, you will be greeted with a smile and a kiss on each cheek, it is things as simple as a greeting that reflects care. In America, we are all about personal space, but here that concept doesn’t exist, at first it made me feel a bit uneasy but now as time goes by I am able to see that people here are comfortable with one another.  In pursuing this further, it amazes me how so many things here reflect the appreciation for community.  I have seen that even if you go out to eat at a café, they will never ask if you want the bill, you can stay in a café as long as you would like with family or friends, and it is your responsibility to ask for the bill (“la cuenta porfavor”). Now, to many of us Americans that seems ridiculous, we don’t simply stay in a place to talk, laugh, and really enjoy each other’s presence for too long because everyone has things to do! Well in Barcelona it’s the complete opposite, they embrace relationships and communing with one another for as long as possible.  This is not to say that certain Americans do not have this value, but it is safe to say that we are a more individualized society.

Barcelona is such a loving community and I can literally feel it.  I find myself wanting to watch more romantic comedies, or tell someone that “I love them,” it’s like I have been bitten by sum love bug and I have to admit that I’m liking it.   As the days go by I become more and more captivated by my new home; though it’s been such a short amount of time I know that I have made the right decision of coming here.

So now because Im feeling extra mushy as I write this I want to give a shout out to all my family and friends and say that I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

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