First of all, I would like to say how glad I am for this chance to be the curator of @CatalanVoices, starting on October 9th and until October 15th.
Please allow me to introduce myself: I was born in Barcelona in 1976 (year of the fire dragon, for those keeping tabs on the Chinese horoscope), so I’m 40 years old (41 next month). My name is Oriol Ferrerons Manich, @Oferrerons in Twitter, www.ferrerons.cat if you want to check my personal website.
If my name seems long to you, it’s because traditionally, in Catalonia, we carry each of our parents’ first surnames, so everyone has two surnames. Ferrerons is my father’s, and Manich is my mother’s. In addition to that, The last 5 years I’ve been living in the island of Taiwan (Republic of China), which means I have a Chinese name as well (法男龍, pronounced Fǎnánlóng). It may seem strange from the perspective of other countries, but it’s mandatory for foreign residents here to pick a Chinese name, so locals can pronounce it with ease.
I came to the island in 2012, after getting married to my wife in a double ceremony (one in Taipei, one in Barcelona). We had already been living together for some years in Barcelona, but for several reasons, we decided to come to Taipei. 9 months later our first daughter, Laia, was born. A year ago we became parents a second time to our son Han-Kai (just Han if you want the short version). And, getting back to weird surname traditions, their surnames in Catalan are Ferrerons Wang (mine and my wife’s), but in their Chinese names they carry mine, which, as all Chinese surnames, must just a silable long (法, pronounced Fǎ) and be written in front of the name. We all live in the Songshan district of the capital of Taiwan, Taipei.
What do I do, or what do I like, you may wonder? Well, let’s start for the easy ones: I currently work as a Quality, Environmental, and Safety Manager in Symtek Automation Asia, an automation company. I am also a father to my kids, and a husband to my wife.
On what do I like to do, well… from my father, I inherited the love for books and reading, from my mother, spatial perception and artistic sensitivity. The love for comics, science-fiction, and fantasy is all mine. I enjoy any means of artistic or creative expression: I draw, paint, sculpt, watch films, listen to music, sing in the shower… I just don’t know how to stay idle. I will tweet about some of these interests, specially since I’ll be in the middle of #inktober, an artistic initiative by @mrjakeparker, where all the participants produce an ink drawing everyday during October. After attending @EscolaJoso and after many, many years of practice, I’m getting to that point where I am satisfied with what I draw (not yet with what I paint or sculpt).
I will also tweet about the lifestyle and cultural differences between Catalonia and Taiwan (which are broad and numerous, as you’ll probably see).
And I won’t be able to avoid politics-related tweets, since my homeland is in a very important moment in its history (this will be after the secession referendum that Spain wants to prevent and most people of Catalonia, as well as our government, are determined to have). In addition, Taiwan’s political status has always been a source of controversy, specially since 1971, when they lost their seat in the United Nations. In some regards, Taiwan is ahead of some of its fellow Asian countries, but still decades behind in several other aspects (and not a UN member anymore).
I welcome the chance to exchange my personal views with all of you during this week. Read you around!