Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Happy Friend's Day!

click on the photo to see large
Today is one of those days  when I would love to be back home, in Argentina: it's 20 July - Friend's Day.

Día del Amigo or Friend's Day is a very important celebration in Argentina and Uruguay.
On 20 July 1969, the whole world united while watching the images of the first Moon landing achieved by the crew of Apollo 11 and "... for one priceless moment, in the whole history of Man, all the people on this Earth [were]truly one," as American President Richard Nixon said in his phone call to astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin moments after they stepped on the Moon for the first time.

In Argentina, a teacher called Enrique Febbraro, had a brilliant idea: he proposed that this day should be remembered in the future and celebrated as Friend's Day, because at that moment in history back in 1969, the entire world had been friends of the three astronauts that had landed on the Moon.
His proposal achieved even official recognition with a government decree (number 235/79)back in the year 1979, and today, it is one of the most popular celebrations in my country as well as in Uruguay.

click on the photo to see large

Friend's Day is not a holiday in Argentina, but it is an excuse for young and old to celebrate friendship. Normally, you start the day making and receiving phone calls from friends: those that are far away, and you haven't seen in a while, as well as those that live in the same city as you do. Another popular thing is to send emails, cards, flowers or sweets to your most dear friends. During the last couple of years, mobile phone networks have even experienced temporary breakdowns during this day!
In the evening, after work, people normally get together for the real celebration. Restaurants, discos, bars - they all offer special arrangements for this day and they normally take reservations well in advance. If you are just visiting or passing by on 20 July, don't bother to show up at a restaurant, because the chances are that you will not find one that can accommodate you without a reservation.

Merijelen and I, at the turn of the century (this century, of course)

On this photo I am with my dear friend Maria Elena, or Merijelen as I like to call her, using a strong Spanish pronunciation of her anglicized name "Mary Ellen". You may ask why I bother to pronounce in Spanish an English name that was anyway Spanish to begin with. That is something Merijelen and I just do: we have developed our own language, in which we turn Spanish words and expressions into English or viceversa - just for fun.
Back in the day when we used to work together, we would share those special moments - like when we both used to make fake dates with Brad and George over the phone...

... or charge money to each other in exchange for help. I would come to her and ask if she could find some book or tape for an exam I needed to have ready, and when I thanked her, she would always say "you're welcome, it's $10!"

We have been friends for a long time and I am pretty sure I owe her millions by now - in pesos, dollars, euros, rands... and every possible currency that exists out there in the world. My debt has increased and grown out of proportion with the passing of time. A couple of  tapes for the Cambridge exams, $50; helping me to prepare the auditorium for a workshop, $150; revising the timetables for the examiners and giving them a call, $200; being there in the good times, $500,000; during the hard times, $1,000,000..... and the list goes on. But I was hoping she would forgive that huge debt with this tribute to our friendship on this very special day:


Thanks to the models for these photos: Nicole, Angela, Izan, Vero and her friends!


A Touch of Dutch said...

Happy Friends' Day! :-)

Presépio no Canal said...

WOW! I didn't know that today is de Friend's Day ;-) or about the celebrations in Argentina and Uruguay and the historical reasons of the day ;-) Leuk!

What a nice and sweet tribute to your dear friend! Very sweet, Aledys ;-)

I like this post very much! ;-)

Happy Friend's Day to you too ;-)

Beijinhos, abracinhos e muito carinho ;- D

Aledys Ver said...

Thanks, and a Happy Day to you and your friends, too!

isn't it nice? It should be a special day all over the world!
Bjs and thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Emotivo y muy educativo (en verso y todo)... como siempre, Eber!!
Un abrazo grande en este día tan especial para nosotros los argentos.


Presépio no Canal said...

I agree...I agree.. ;-)

Aledys Ver said...

Gracias y muy feliz día para vos también!!

buday said...

What a lovely idea, I wish the entire world celebrated this. Hmm, maybe we can do something to encourage everyone to do this starting next year? (I’m certainly willing to replace Valentine’s Day with Friend’s Day, haha.)

Those kids are adorable! Maria Elena sounds like a great friend, you certainly had a lot of fun together. And you my friend are gorgeous. Brad & George missed out on that one. :)
Happy Friend’s Day to you.

Aledys Ver said...

You're right, we should start a campaign to spread the tradition to the rest of the world! From our blogs, or Facebook, Twitter - we could organise something, I'm sure!
Thanks a lot for your comments!!

Anonymous said...

Oh how nice..what a wonderful holiday..Happy Friend Day:-)

aggieLap said...

Happy Friends' Day, my friend! I think that's such a great idea to have that day. I'm really pleased you've shared it with all of us! You and Maria Elena look like sisters in that picture. It is not that you look alike but it's the whole thing (posture, face, expression, closeness etc) in that photograph :)

'Cross the Pond said...

What a nice sentiment! Happy friends day to you! I've tagged you over at my site, btw.

Aledys Ver said...

It is a wonderful holiday, isn't it? Thanks very much for stopping by!

Thanks! Happy Friend's Day to you, too!

@Cross the Pond,
Oh thanks! I'll stop by and take a look.

Patricia Sgrignuoli said...

Eber... hermosa esta entrada de tu blog recordando este día tan lindo para todos nosotros, argentinos y uruguayos... Y hermoso el recordar en él a tu amiga...
Que tengas un hermoso día del amigo, aunque estés tan lejos de tu tierra, pero seguramente te podrás reencontrar con tus amistades en tu viaje anual...
Besos y fuerza para seguir adelante!!!!

Pato - Amiga cibernetica

Aledys Ver said...

Muchas gracias, Pato y un Feiz Día para vos también! Espero tengamos la suerte de conocernos pronto! Beso!

Paco Piniella said...

Día de los amigos? en España no existe pero es una buena iniciativa.

thamarai said...

happy friendship day dear blogger friend!:)

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

It sounds like your friend is priceless!

Happy Friend's day, a little belatedly... or waaay in advance for next year ;-)


May said...

A very touching post to your friend!! In India, we celebrate friendship day on the first sunday in August and I will be lucky to spend it along with my friends as I will be going to India next week..:-)
Happy friendship day to you!!!

Aledys Ver said...

Ya lo creo que es una buena iniciativa! A ver si se comienza a propagar! Saludos!

Thanks, and happy day for you too!!

:D You made me laugh!! Thanks!!

Ana O'Reilly said...

Hola Aledys!

Que casualidad que conoces a Arwa. Yo la "conozco" (entre comillas porque es algo virtual) a traves de PocketCultures, un sitio dedicado a las culturas del mundo. Arwa escribe sobre Holanda y yo, acerca de Argentina.

Me alegro de que te haya gustado mi foto. Hay mas de Bs As en unos posts mas antiguos. Tambien tengo un blog en castellano http://apuntesideasimagenes.wordpress.com por si queres leer en cristiano!

Ya me suscribo al tuyo para conocerte mas y conocer mas sobre Holanda (a Maxima no la conoces, no? jaja!)



Thelma said...

ola, como estas? Fiquei contente por me teres "visitado" e aproveitei para vir espreitar o teu blog ;D ... gostei bastante!

Um dia muito importante este ... Our friends are a really precious treasure!

Tudo de bom para ti! Beijinhos grandes

Hasta la vista :D

Aledys Ver said...

Muchas gracias por pasar! Voy a chequear ese sitio que mencionás, he leído allí un artículo de Arwa, justamente! Suena interesante.
A Máxima sí la conozco, tomamos mates con chipacas en el palacio una vez por semana :D

Muchas gracias a tí también por visitar "meu blog".

Patricia Sgrignuoli said...

Me encantó la foto del "pimentero" como lo llamas vos... Bien por MArs que es capaz de hacer cosas como estas; el mío no se lleva mucho ni con la PC y menos con Internet, nada mas allá de lo necesario... Esos son maridos!!!!
Quedó muy lindo el blog!!!
Besos :)


Llego tarde para felicitarte en ese día tan lindo, pero no llego tarde para desearte lo mejor, y que el día del amigo sea todos losdías de todos los años.

Bonita celebración

Besote guapa¡¡¡

A Salto De Mata

Friendship Day said...

Dost ka matlab...
Ek pyara sa Dil jo kabhi nafarat nahi karta
Ek pyari smaile jo juthi nahi hoti

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Heriold said...

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