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Adding a social aspect to a tradition Adding a social aspect to a tradition

Adding a social aspect to a tradition

On Sant Jordis day many institutions, such as the Abat Oliba University in Barcelona, use the day as an occasion to add social aspect.
CatalunyaZPortada Derecha 23 April, 2018 user1 0
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Barcelona. “When I walked out of the house this morning, I saw a lot of people on the streets. Everybody was very happy and very festive. I have never seen something like that before”, describes Will O’Neill the morning of his first Sant Jordi in Barcelona. The America student is doing an exchange semester at the Abat Oliba University in Barcelona, where students and various charity projects organized a so-called “solidary market” with focus on social aspects in the courtyard of the university.

Tradition and culture united

In fact, for people from outside of Catalonia it is not immediately apparent, why this day has a special meaning for Catalan people. “Sant Jordi is the traditional patron saint of Catalonia. Men give roses to women and women give books to their lovers and friends. It is linked with culture. We wanted to do an event that is linked exactly with that: Books, music, culture in general and arts”, explains Eva Perea, rector of the university.

In addition to the cultural aspect, the focus on Sant Jordi is on helping people in need. The money of the sold roses and books is donated often. Primary teacher Neus Arbos for example spent the entire day in the university to support the project Sundarijal Children’s Home: “We are selling a little bit of everything here. Some things from Nepal, gifts from volunteers and second-hand books. The money we earn will be directly send to a children’s home in Kathmandu.”

More than only flowers and books

Besides the financial help, the event in the university’s is  about acquainting students with charitable organizations and increasing an awareness for disadvantaged people. Carmen Parra, director of the volunteer service at the university, underlines this goal: “Normally, people only sell books on this day, without the social aspect. That’s what we wanted to change.”

Law-student Gina Padrol participated in the students band.

“A day of love bringing people together”

The high level of participation of the students on the event showed that her idea had an effect. The students organized a band, a poetry slam and brought roses with self-written messages to retirement homes. “Sant Jordi is a day of love bringing people together”, sums up law-student and band member Gina Padrol. Even exchange student O’Neill seemed to have understood the social aspect at the end of his first Sant Jordi. “I didn’t give a rose to anyone because I had no idea about the festivities. Maybe I should catch up this”, he concluded.

                         

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