Invasion or discovery: Day of Hispanidad

”In Latin America reconstructs its past to have a
tolerant present and future, while in Spanish State, we keep mixing 12th
October, Day of Hispanidad and Pilar´s Day, like a journey to show army
parade, to exhibit all our country´s armamentistic power with a superior
culture. We are doing it instead of using that day as a reflexion time about
what was done well and what was not”, a last year Spanish student who was
finishing his Journalism´s career in Argentina, Lucas G.

12th October is an official holiday in most Spanish
towns because of what Spain did more than 500 years ago. “To endeavour this
historical fact represent one of the most relevant moment for politic
coexistence, cultural collect and the affirmation of the same statal identity
and national singularity in this village” (trans. S. González García), Spanish
law declares. The anniversary of the arrival of Cristóbal Colón (Christopher
Columbus) in the Americas was almost by mistake. This discovery meant almost
200 ton of gold and 7.000 of silver arriving to Spain in 1492, as Cuban
economist and researcher Dionis Espinosa affirms in Faro de Vigo newspaper. But
it also means thousands of hundred of deaths, epidemics, slavery and
violations. This is why right now this festive day is called in question in
towns as Badalona, in Barcelona.

Lucas G. Sal experienced how this celebration is in
both sides of the planet: Argentina and Spain. “In some cases, this festival day
was understood as a mix of both cultures, two different way to see the world
which are not opposites, just they found to each other and started to live in
common. In the university background I moved, Day of Hispanidad is an old and
antiquated day in their nation and continen mind. So young people try to create
kind of resistence during the celebration cause they affirm that it is been
commemorating a genocide by Europeans, who killed whole communities in XVI
century. There are so many centres where you can see “wiphala” flag, native´s
proud and resistence flag, as a representation of collective meeting. This idea
is the one Spanish State got in 2010 when we change “Día de la Raza” (Day of
the Race ) for “Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural” (Day of Respect to
Cultural Diversity): it has been changed the main meaning of the celebration.
Moving from the European conqueror to community. This societies were invalidated
but thew keep resisting and surviving, and this is what they want to

Even if Span and South America share language and tried
to have one same culture, both areas have differences. And this is one of it. In
Spain, today you will see Spanish flag in Madrid and a military procession
during the whole afternoon with the King and Queen and many political members
(although some of them as Pablo Iglesias chose not to go). In some countries as
Argentina or Venezuela, you can find a colorful party with people dancing and
“wiphala” flag.

“The idea from native villages seems is growing since
2000, when many countries changed the name to “Día de la Descolonización”
(Decolonization Day), in Bolivia; “Día del Encuentro de Dos Mundos” (Day of Both
World´s Meeting), in Chile; “Día de las Culturas” (Day of Cultures), Costa Rica;
“Día de la Interculturalidad y Plurinacionalidad” (Day of Interculturality and
Multi-Nationality) Ecuador; “Día de los Pueblos Originarios y del Diálogo
Intercultural” (Day of Original Nation and Intercultural Dialogues) in Peru, or
even “Día de la Resistencia Indígena” (Day of Native Resistance) in Nicaragua
and Venezuela. I am sure it is late, but it is imporant to think about the
meaning of this day and take it as a original cultural reivindication because of
all killed and muted people, even from their own local governments; and we
support tolerance among cultures. More intercultural connected does not mean
ones are over the others”, Lucas G. Sal emphasizes.


Sabela González García

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