NO8DO Meaning Seville Remembers

By Abi King | Spain

Jun 08

Highlights of Seville. NO8DO is the motto of Seville, but what’s it all about? The key to the puzzle lies in the central number eight. - via @insidetravellab

Five symbols squeeze together, like children trying to fit into one photograph.

NO8DO, NO8DO, NO8DO.

It’s written on unfurling flags and bullfighting programmes, embossed on drain covers and printed on parking fines.

This year’s Feria entrance, a candy pink behemoth iced with light bulbs, revealed the same five merry marks, crushed together so hard that number 8 popped out at the top

NO8DO, the motto of Seville. What’s it all about?

NO8DO, the motto of Seville. What’s it all about?

NO8DO Lightbulbs

NO8DO Drain Cover

The key to the puzzle lies in the central number eight, said to resemble a skein of yarn (and yes, I had to look up “skein” – it’s a loose coil of yarn or wool, the sort my grandmother used to buy for her knitting.)

 

The Spanish word for this is madeja, so the sentence becomes no madeja do, which makes as much sense as standing in front of a charging bull, until you realise that it sounds like no me ha dejado. She has not abandoned me.

It makes as much sense as standing in front of a charging bull

In the city that inspired Carmen, the feisty temptress who drove policemen to murderous jealousy, it’s easy to imagine NO8DO as the result of a passionate love affair. Yet, it’s more complicated than that: a family betrayal underpins the story.

NO8DO Flag

Back in the 13th century, King Alfonso X The Wise struggled to fend off an attack by his own son, Sancho. In a bitter battle for the throne, Seville stayed loyal and Alfonso rewarded Europe’s hottest city with a slogan to celebrate its fidelity.

It’s more complicated than that…

Seven hundred years later, Seville still remembers. Every day, everywhere.

NO8DO. She has not abandoned me.

NO8DO Feria Entrance

NO8DO – Town Hall Notice

UPDATE!

Last week, I wrote about NO8DO, the mysterious motto of Seville. Later that day, I received a photo from Lauren Peikoff, a young woman from the United States who spent a semester among Seville’s orange blossom. She loved her time there and vowed to return. This is her tattoo…

NO8DO Tattoo

Now that is dedication!

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