Spain is different: independece


If you are a foreigner and Barcelona Football Club’s
fan, you will support it. If you are not even into football, you will wonder
“what’s wrong with
Spain”.

 

Let’s try to explain why there is a nationalistic
conflict with Cataluña and how it is not focued or based only in that
region.

 

Some general information to have a first impression
about what is going on in Spain. Spain, the largest country in Southern Europe,
is located on the Iberian Peninsula, with two large archipelagoes, the Balearic
Islands (that many British and Germans know as a party paradise, and also region
of Rafael Nadal) and the Canary Islands, which are closer to Africa than to
Spain. Also two cities in North Africa are part of the country, Ceuta and
Melilla (most know because of the wall). The capital of Spain is Madrid, which
is in the middle of the country, not Barcelona. Spain is a democracy organised
in the form of a parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy. Yes,
Spain is still a Kingdom of Spain, even if the monarchy is not in really good
shape after corruption cases and hunting sessions. Ah, by the way, working hours
in Spain are 40 per week (even if there are 4,2 million
unemployed).

 

But what is this Spain we are talking about? Because
for most of the Spanish citizens, this is just an idea of a country, just that,
an idea in some people minds, mostly foreigners’. Spain is divided into 17
autonomous communities or regions. Each of them, with their own government,
rules and flag. This does not mean Spain is like Germany, a federal
parliamentary republic. But it means each region has some power, but the main
one comes from Madrid. Some regions are more autonomous or with more identity
than others. And this is the main key of the conflict. The definition of nation
is “an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same
language or cognate languages”. Similar ideas, cultures, language… and this is
not working in Spain. Each region has its own
personality.

 

And at this point the reader will say, “like Cataluña,
and for this reason they want to be independent”. Yes and no. Sure this is what
is going on in Cataluña, but it is not a feeling only from Cataluña.
Spanish (español) is the official language of the entire country. But, and
here is something not many people understand, the Spanish constitution also
establishes “all other Spanish languages”. That is, other languages of Spain,
also official in their respective autonomous communities. This means, in Spain
there are more than one language, but not only Catalan. There are 5 extra
languages: Galician, Catalan, Vasque, Asturian, Aragonese and Occitan. The
language is not the only difference you can find in the regions. Also culture,
traditions, food and even lifestyle. If you say to someone from the North that
“paella” and “toros” (a dish based on rise, typical from Valencia, bulls and
bullfighting) are the icons of Spain, they would start
laughing.

 

Coming from Celtics and not from
Iberians

Octopus and rain, lot of rain. Rural life and mystique
connexion with the sea. Are we still talking about Spain? Sure, we do. But not
the idea of Spain you may have in mind. Galicia is one of the regions that
shares this strong nationalistic feeling, as the famous Cataluña and Vasc
Country do. This feeling does not come from anything. During the Middle Ages,
Galician-Portuguess language was really important and prestigious, and Galicia
was considered a kingdom. Then something changed, and Galician was consider as
“farmers’ language”, being underestimated from outside of the kingdom. This
period is known as “Seculos Escuros” (“Dark Centuries”), when Galician was
forbidden. From this hiding, Galician icons came out, as Rosalia de Castro, a
writer and Manuel Mugía, a main pioneer and disclosing of Galician nationalism.
This independent and nationalist feeling came also from the idea that Galician
people are from Celtic, and not from Iberians, as the rest of Spanish. With this
idea, well recognised in rest of Europe, Galicia was and still is surrounded by
mysticism and magic. And this Celtic feeling was so powerful that Galician hymn
says:

 

“(…)                                               “(…)

esperta do teu
sono                          wake up from your sleep

Fogar de
Breogán
.                          Breogán’s Home. (old Celtic king of
Galicia)

 

Os bos e xenerosos                          The good and the generous.

a nosa voz entenden                         understand our voice

e con arroubo atenden                      and with enchant they heed

o noso rouco son,                             our hoarse sound,

mais só os iñorantes                         But just ignorant people

e féridos e duros,                             and wild and stubborn, (or tough)

imbéciles e escuros                          imbecils and dark people

non nos entenden, non.                    they don’t understand us, no.

 

Os tempos son chegados                  The times have come

dos bardos das idades                      of the bards of the ages

que as vosas vaguedades                 that your vague words

cumprido fin terán;                          will have a fulfilled end;

pois, onde quer, xigante                   because, where it wants, gigant

a nosa voz pregoa                           our voice hawks

a redenzón da boa                           the redemption of the good

Nazón de
Breogán
                        Nation of Breogán.”

 

 

Sabela
González

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