The One of Shame

The One of Shame (La de la Vergüenza)

As promised [*coughJANNAcough*], here’s my post about the Spanish etiquette that had to do with the last bite of food (I love this).

In Spain, when you’re in a group setting and all are sharing from communal plates (think tapas-style), you must never ever EVER take the last piece. Not unless you’ve harassed everyone else around you (ask each person like five times) to take it instead.  It’s not that it’s considered rude or improper if you do eat it, it just gives the impression that you’re greedy and inconsiderate of others if you take it for yourself without asking everyone else first.

This dining practice and phenomenon is so common and widespread that it has earned a name for itself: La de la Vergüenza (English translation: the One of Shame). “The One of Shame” refers to that last piece of bread, or the last fruit, or last olive, or whatever, that nobody dares to take because they don’t want to be THAT GUY.

“Oh yeah, remember that guy who took the last chorrizo without even asking if I wanted it? What a jerk.” <— What caused the creation of La de la Vergüenza.

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NO8DO

This is a symbol that you see quite literally EVERYWHERE in Sevilla. On bike racks, drains, bus stops, street signs, manhole covers, taxis, monuments, Christopher Columbus’ tomb… everywhere.

When I did a bit of research on it, I found out that it’s Sevilla’s motto. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

The motto is a rebus, combining the Spanish syllables (NO and DO) and a drawing in between of the figure “8”. The figure represents a skein of yarn, or in Spanish, a “madeja.” When read aloud, “No madeja do” sounds like “No me ha dejado”, which means “It [Seville] has not abandoned me”.

The story of how NO8DO came to be the motto of the city has undoubtedly been embellished throughout the centuries, but legend has it that after the conquest of Seville from the Muslims in 1248, King Ferdinand III of Castile and León moved his court to the former Muslim palace, the Alcázar of Seville.

After Ferdinand’s death, his son, Alfonso X assumed the throne. Alfonso’s son, Sancho IV, tried to usurp the throne from his father, but the people of Seville remained loyal to Alfonso and this is where NO8DO was believed to have originated when, according to legend, Alfonso X rewarded the fidelity of the Sevillanos with the words that now appear on the official emblem of the city of Seville.

Sevilla’s flag: