On Monday, October 12, the Spanish Embassy in Israel celebrated Fiesta Nacional de España, the National Day of Spain. The Embassy partnered with the Spanish Tourist Office in Rome, and the Spanish Cultural Center in Montevideo, Uruguay. The celebration was held virtually. As the Zoom was soon full, the concert was also broadcast on Youtube, and Twitter, enabling guests from all over the world, including Israel, Spain, Argentina, the United Kingdom and the United States, to enjoy the music and join the festivities.
Diplomats, executives of organizations and people related to Spain or the Sephardic tradition joined this exciting event
Ms. Rocio Royo, director of a company dedicated to the management of cultural projects and events, opened the evening from Madrid and introduced Ambassador of Spain in Israel H.E. Manuel Gómez-Acebo. The ambassador welcomed the guests in Hebrew, Spanish and English:
"Shalom lekulam, welcome, welcome.
We commemorate the National Day of Spain from Tel Aviv, for all Spaniards and friends of Spain in this land and wherever you are.
Thank you for joining us on this special day in these difficult circumstances. Our thoughts are with all those who are suffering the effects of the pandemic, especially those who have lost loved ones.
I want to thank the many people and institutions who expressed their solidarity during the tough months of last spring.”
The ambassador further emphasized the importance of international cooperation to overcome global conflicts. He added that although the circumstances prevented meeting in person, the choice of a virtual music event was intended to bring people together through this important cultural medium. For that purpose the rich Sephardic musical heritage was chosen, as something that binds the Jewish and Spanish people.
The ambassador offered thanks to the Sephardic community in Uruguay and to the Spanish Cultural Center of Montevideo, for helping arrange the concert.
The guests then enjoyed the rich, moving music of two members of the Spanish music group EVOEH. EVOEH is the initiative of two outstanding musicians, Ariana Barrabés and Jesús Olivares, who perform songs and music from the Mediterranean, Spanish and Jewish traditions. Evoeh means a hymn to life, and their works revives the Sephardic oral legacy. Evoeh sang songs in Ladino using various indigenous string and percussion instruments, and the joy on the faces of participants was clear. After the concert it was possible to ask questions, and many asked questions in English or Spanish, leading to a fruitful dialogue with the artists.
In the end the very emotional audience gave EVOEH a standing ovation and thanked the duo for recalling the many songs they heard in their countries of origin, within their family and that were passed down from generation to generation.
The concert was made possible thanks to the Culture Service of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the ¨Ventana¨ program.
www.diplomacy.com staff congratulates the Embassy of Spain, the Spanish Tourism Office in Rome and the Spanish people on their national day, and wishes a year of health, success, and strong ties.
Photo of the King of Spain with the President of Israel, courtesy of the Embassy of Spain in Israel
Photos Silvia Golan