Joan Llop likes to open the windows so that the Valencian language she listens to regularly reaches the hearts of her neighbors. La Gossa or la Fumiga are their favorite bands. “Let my neighbors know I sing and dance in Valencian,” he yells on the other end of the phone. Joan is from Foios and lives in Madrid, where she is pursuing her MA in Corporate Communications Technology at BBVA. He says he will be at the paellas celebrated in his town (Foios) on the occasion of October 9th today: “There is chaos out there today. We get together in a friendly way, make paella and have a great day». But he says the nostalgia for the Valencian Community isn’t just about this event. “Sometimes nostalgia comes to me, like in Fallas. And listening to bands in Valencian is the best way to feel at home,” says Joan, who doesn’t feel awkward in Madrid. “There are many Valencians, and people have a lot of respect for those from other parts of Spain.”
Before the pandemic, Ángela Porcar studied in the United States for 6 months on a scholarship from the Universitat Politècnica de València and today lives in the town of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the entire plot of the famous Breaking Bad series takes place.
“On October 9? Wow, I don’t even know what day I live in. I am in the final exams”, this confirms Castellón from Benassal. But count today’s plans in a few seconds. “We’re going to have paella, like most Sundays. My husband, who is from here, loves it and I do the large eight as well as the four. During the meal, we will meet my parents and grandparents through facetime, which is a way to feel closer to home,” he adds.
The lockdown due to Covid-19 has changed the lives of Ángela, who has a 6-month-old North American daughter and a stable job at a nuclear power company. A few blocks away, he tells us excitedly, is the Netflix studio where the subject of chemistry teacher Walter White was filmed. “The motorhome is still parked there,” he exclaims. What does Angela miss about the Valencian Community? “What I miss most is the people on the street, because here you are leaving work and you have to go home. I miss the terraces that kill me. And being close to the sea. I already have planes to go home for a few days at Christmas,” she says.
Tamara Atienzar from Brussels plans to meet other Valencians at 9 d’Octube. Meeting with citizens is a habit for him. She runs Espai València a Belgica, a group that builds bridges between Valencians and the Central European country, she. “There are a lot of Valencians here. We have already organized eight events. Our idea is to bring Valencian culture to the European capital and at the same time strengthen ties with Belgium”, explains Tamara Atiénzar. Espai València a Belgica, like 42 other Valencian houses in other parts of the world, has the recognition of the Valencian Center Abroad (Cevex) by the Generalitat.
“Most of us are Valencians who come here for work or study,” he says. October 9 is marked in red on your calendar. “All the women in my family, namely my mother, four aunts and two cousins, come to visit me. All but my grandmother. They bring me ‘caloret’ from ‘terreta’ and then we will visit Bruges, where we will do the typical thing: let’s have mussels with potatoes and then waffles”, explains the native of Castellón.
Stefania Brunori chose to take photos for the report, with the world’s tallest building (828 meters) Burj Khalifa in the background. She has been living in Dubai since 2009. Social media and personal brand strategist, business coach helping companies grow. Stefania will eat this Sunday with another Valencian, a boy from Castelló, as the Valencian Community considers her unique way of celebrating the day.
Andrea Bueno also went to Belgium from l’Horta Nord. Especially to Leuven, where he studied Law and Criminology fourth year on an Erasmus scholarship. «9 d’Octube is a typical day when you meet up with your group of friends, have dinner, and have a party and verbena in the afternoon. Normally there is a band, it’s a beautiful day,” he says. Andrea, who speaks Valencian in Leuven, says she keeps him close to home. “From here Valencians, Majorcans and Catalans come together and we make a very good group,” he explains. He says they went to Brussels for a concert by the Valencian band Zoo on September 26. The organizer was definitely Espai València.
Monica is a Castellón native who has lived in Copenhagen for 15 years. When she was a Gaiata 19 party girl, she switched to a hotel business in the Danish capital, where she was rooted. “I married a Basque and now we have two children, 14 and 10. The eldest was born in Vila-real hospital and she feels like a terrible child even though she arrived at 6 months old. She is the little Danish,” she explains. “We got used to life in Denmark very well. “We’re very comfortable here,” he adds. What are you doing today? “We went to eat there before we celebrated the 9 d’Octube party any further. But time passes, and since it’s a weekday here they almost have to remind you from home. We get the opportunity to call the family and chat.” . I’m very Castellonian, very ‘gaiatera’ and you miss it, especially when they have parties and you can’t go. Twice a year, at Christmas and in the summer, we go back to our home in Benicàssim».
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