Jean Pierre Gonnord, Guiri of Sanfermin 2015
Frenchman, Jean Pierre Gonnord was today granted the XII Guiri de Sanfermin Award, an award which is given each year by the Kukuxumusu firm in recognition of the many foreign visitors who live the fiestas with passion and fervor each year during Sanfermin.
The award was handed over by Mikel Urmeneta and Koldo Aiestaran, in representation of Kukuxumusu, who were accompanied by Juan Mari Idoate, from the Europa restaurant, where the event took place. The award was given out today as it coincides with the celebration of “Guiri Day” (Day of the Foreigner), an annual date which Kukuxumusu has been organizing for the past 18 years with the objective of paying homage to all the foreign visitors who visit Sanfermin year after year.
After receiving the award, Gonnord wished to share his first impressions as Guiri de Sanfermin 2015: “What most stimulates me to come to Sanfermin year after year is the fantastic atmosphere here. The feeling that here in fiestas we are all truly equal; all dressed the same in red and white.” Jean Pierre went on to say that he felt very happy to have been chosen as the Guiri Del Año: “This year I will now be looking at the fiestas in a new way, with the eye of an expert”.
At 35 years of age, Jean Pierre speaks perfect Spanish and can even get by in the Basque language. He studied a post-graduate Master’s in the UPNA (The Public University of Navarra) and ever since then he feels very close to the city of Pamplona. However, his first connections with Sanfermin go back much further, as his grandfather has Basque origins and both he and Jean’s mother used to come to fiestas many years ago.
When asked how he would define or explain to someone what exactly Sanfermin is all about, he is very clear in his response. “It is a great big party, very free and open, with just some simple steps to follow, such as to dress in red and white. If you are going to come alone, don’t worry you will soon have many friends. It is also a good idea to remember that the nights can be cool here, even when it is hot all day.” One thing he is also clear about – he has never taken part in the Running of the Bulls. “What I enjoy is the night scene and then in the early morning to go to a bar for some Spanish omelet and a nice glass of fresh orange juice…and watch the Running of the Bulls event on the TV”.
After the award was handed over, the group was served an aperitif at the Europa before heading off to eat at an open air venue in the countryside, close to Pamplona. Here they were joined by the remainder of the Kukuxumusu staff for a full lunch.
Among those present were several winners of the Guiri del Año award from previous years such as the North Americans, Lore Monnig (2005), John Hemingway (2011) and Catherine Donnell (2012), The Suede, Lars Ingvar Jungefors (2006), German, Manfred Walloschke (2007), Englishman, Frank Taylor (2009) and the Russian, Anna Nelubova (2014).