What is ¨El Día E¨? El Día E is a celebration of the Spanish language, which started in 2009. It was created and organized by the venerable Instituto Cervantes (http://www.cervantes.es/default.htm) , an organization developed by the Spanish government in 1991 to promote the Spanish language, and the varied and beautiful cultures of the world’s Spanish-speaking countries, around the world. It is an organization created for all lovers of Spanish, whether they are Spanish or not. It welcomes people who wish to learn the language or perfect it, and for countless individuals it has provided them with a new understanding of just how beautiful and diverse it is. According to the website for El Día E in NYC (http://www.eldiaenyc.org/home.html), there are currently 73 outposts of the Instituto Cervantes worldwide, and growing.
Why Spanish? For me personally that is an easy question. It is the language of my ancestors. It is the language in which I speak to my family. It is ancient. It is evolving. It is beautiful. Language grows and changes. Languages evolve. All languages evolve. In our ever shrinking world it is easy to note that languages are blending, as well. Words from one language are adopted into the common parlance of others, and just as the world’s cultural boundaries are softening and vibrating and occasionally spring leaks, so do those of language. Is there one language that is more beautiful than others? That depends on the nationality of the person you ask, doesn’t it? I don’t think there is. I suppose it depends on what your ear is accustomed to hearing or what might seem melodious to you. I am not chauvinistic about my love of Spanish. For me it is simply evocative of home, and it is beautiful.
This June 23, the 4th annual Día E will be celebrated around the world. The day on which it falls is determined by the summer solstice. The Saturday closest to it is the day on which it is celebrated. Why not? The longest day for one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. More than 495 million people speak it worldwide. (Would you like to see more staggering statistics? Visit http://www.eldiae.es/la-situacion-del-espanol/) That is a lot to celebrate! What it IS NOT is a celebration for Spaniards, or Mexicans, or any specific nationality or ethnicity. What it IS is a celebration for everyone from every country and ethnicity and culture, to learn and explore the Spanish language and ALL its beautiful cultures.
Here in New York City it is going to be a tremendous day! There will be live performances, tastings, dance workshops, Spanish workshops, raffles and more, organized around a street fair at 49th Street between Third and Second Avenues, from 11AM to 4PM. There will be authors, musicians and tons of activities for people of all ages. It will be a wonderful experience for kids and adults alike. Don’t be shy about coming out to this one, or the one nearest to you. As they say on the Día E site, it will be celebrated from Sidney, Australia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (http://www.eldiae.es/el-dia-e/) You don’t need to know Spanish to go. All you need is the desire to have fun, eat great food and become a joyful part of the world around you. Locate your local Instituto Cervantes here (http://www.eldiae.es/actividades-en-los-centros-2/) and find out what they have in store for you.
See you there!