Five books and one rose

cinco libros y una rosa-01

Every April 23rd, Catalonia is immersed in another world. One where the streets are flooded with the soft scent of red roses and the current carries a sea of people to stalls selling magic, unheard words: books.

The Diada de Sant Jordi teleports us to a romantic universe, where love plays the leading role, and tells us that books should be given to men and red roses to women. Although it is a tradition and not a rule, it is complacent to comply with it. And, it would be even more so if we take into account that love does not arise only between the complicity of a couple; but we can find it in our parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and in oneself.

Considering this point, the magic that is experienced would not be limited to exist only between two people, it would involve all of us. And why not? I will take the first step and share with you books that expose a non-romantic but deep love. That immerses us in the search for our identity, communicating about what is not communicated.

“Florescencia” – Kopano Matlwa

Matlwa is a South African doctor and writer, who reflects in “Florescencia” the xenophobic, sexist and violent atmosphere currently experienced in South Africa. Her main character, Masechaba, seeks to make a change in society from the field of medicine, but faces the enormous challenge of being a woman doctor in her country.

“El coronel no tiene quien le escriba” – Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez was a well-known Colombian writer, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. In his work: “El coronel no tiene quien le escriba”, he shows us a story of injustice towards human rights and the hope that there will be a change in society and its government. It highlights values such as: friendship, will, patience and solidarity. 

“Marrón” – Rocío Quillahuaman

Quillahuaman is a young Peruvian woman who captures in her book the challenges faced by a migrant person. She works on issues such as discrimination and the consequences of internalizing the racism she suffered, to the internal conflict you experience when you don’t know how to keep your roots and adapt to your new ‘home’. Marrón is an untold story of a migrant.

“Una habitación Propia” – Virginia Woolf 

Woolf, was considered a woman ahead of her time and this book proves that she was. “Una habitación Propia” is not only a critique of the role of women in society, it talks about how limitations can be changed. How fundamental it is for a woman to have both intellectual and economic independence to be completely free, and how she can achieve this from her own room.

“El caballero de la armadura oxidada” – Robert Fisher

Fisher was an American writer and screenwriter. He wrote this book in order to bring a new vision to life, seeking to dig into our fears in order to face them. “El caballero de la armadura oxidada” questions our way of acting, confronts the fear of loneliness and reminds us of the meaning of self-love, commitment and happiness.

Just like these books, there are many more that also have the power to connect us with worlds we do not know, that allow us to empathize and transform our minds. Therefore, my proposal is the following: This 23rd, let’s give each other a rose, the reddest and bravest we can find; let’s share readings that mark a before and after in our lives, that allow us to question, reflect and change.