The National Day of Spain or Fiesta Nacional de España is held annually on 12 October, it is also referred to as the Día de la Hispanidad. The day celebrates our Allies Spain's legacy to the world with emphasis on the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
Meet Pablo Avellaneda, an automotive technician and employee of SHAPE's Sports and Fitness who is currently working here at SHAPE alongside his wife who serves in the Spanish Armed Forces. We asked him a few questions about his country and the importance of Spain's National Day; see his answers below.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss my family and friends, the good weather and the good meals. Spain is well known for having one of the best climates of Europe, thanks to the sun and the beaches. We have the Canary Islands where the weather is perfect all year. The food that I miss the most are croquettes, tortilla and a good Basque steak (which is where I am from).
What have you found rewarding about working/living in such a multinational environment as SHAPE?
Above all, the great cultural exchange, the total immersion in other languages, especially for my four years old son. Also, the way you learn to be more patient and to make an effort to interact with kindness and understanding with so many people from so many different countries. The climate that is breathed within SHAPE, emotionally speaking, is very constructive, both socially and personally, definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
What is something unique about Spain that others might not know?
Well, here could be a long list. However, I can tell you that for example at the end of the year in Spain we eat 12 grapes during the last seconds of the year to the sound of the bells broadcast on television. They are eaten just before the New Year starts; it is like a kind of time trial. I don't think everyone knows that we greet someone who has just been introduced to you with two kisses. Many people are surprised. In addition, inside our bathrooms, we have an object that you rarely can see in other countries, it is called bidet.
During normal, non COVID times, how would you usually celebrate this national day?
It is a very important day for me and for Spain. It is also known as "Hispanic Day". As you know, my wife is a military service member and I go as a guest to the parades that are organized that day. These parades try to highlight "the identification of our Armed Forces with the society they serve".
I am very excited about this day since in addition we cannot forget that this day was set by the arrival of Cristobal Colòn in America, which meant the discovery of the new continent and the beginning of the relationship between both worlds. It is part of the history of Spain of which I am tremendously proud.