Día del Libro or World Book Day is celebrated every 23rd April to commemorate the death of legendary Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. It originated in Catalunya (one of the 17 autonomous communities in Spain, also where my favorite city Barcelona is) by Spanish booksellers back in 1923. Beginning in 1925, the day is celebrated in a more memorable way - guys give girls roses and girls give guys books in return. Sweet!
I guess in this modern era, not many guys appreciate books as much as the latest edition of FHM magazine. Similarly, though we girls adore roses, something less perishable like perfume or jewelry or even cash vouchers are more valued.
Personally, I prefer getting books than roses because I love reading and books make great keepsakes too. Anyways, modernization aside, I do think the idea of exchanging books and roses on this special day is a beautiful gesture. And yes, they still do it in Catalunya.
In Malaysia, every year Instituto Cervantes de Kuala Lumpur (where I learn Spanish) together with the Embassy of Spain celebrate the day by organizing various activities. One of the annual activities is an uninterrupted reading session of Don Quijote, a Cervates masterpiece. This year’s session will be on 25th April 2009 (Sunday) at MPH Megastore One Utama. During the session, participants will take turn to read pages of the book to the public. Guess who will be one of the participants? Yup, ME!
If you don't have much to do this Sunday, do come to MPH Megastore One Utama. The session will be held at Kids Zone at Level 2. My turn to read will be at 12:15pm. You'll be able to judge for yourself how good (or bad!) my Spanish is ;-)
So far my friends Fiza and Perrin have promised to come. Azita is still trying to get a replacement at work, so I'm not sure if she can make it (Azita if you're reading this I really hope you can come!). All the professors from Instituto Cervantes de Kuala Lumpur will be there. Hopefully some of my classmates will be there too. It will be nice to see some familiar faces around when I'm trying to show-off whatever Spanish I know to the outside world. Need all the moral support that I can get!
Also, more importantly, if nobody comes to listen to my reading, I have them as my backup audience :-D
¡Espero vernos allí! @ Hope to see you there!