Today is a funny day in Spain, we are all supposed to celebrate the national holiday… It’s like a 4th of July, but in spanish. The thing is that Spain is a quite complicated country and I – as a catalan (from Barcelona) – have encountered feelings.
I travel abroad quite a lot, you know?, and I’m starting to get tired to read and listen all these opinions about the catalan nationalism and so. The last one has been an article in Le Figaro (respected Italian newspaper) saying that the basque and catalan nationalism where threatening the country (Spain,.. I guess).
Here are the cultural facts:
- Catalan is a language as different or as close to Spanish as French, Italian or Portuguese can be. Shouldn’t it have (the people that speaks catalan I mean) the same rights these other languages have?
- There are 10.000.000 people speaking catalan in three different countries: Spain, France and Andorra.
- We as catalans can fluently speak catalan and spanish (because we learn it in school, tv, etc.), but catalan is our mother tongue, the language we speak with our friends and family, the language in which our mothers and fathers put us to bed when we were children, etc.
- We as catalans CANNOT talk to OUR government in our language, because it’s FORBIDDEN.
- We as catalans CANNOT talk to the European Government in our language, because its FORBIDDEN. Even if all other official languages in Europe can do it (even the 250.000 people living in Maltha and speaking their own language), But 10.000.000 catalans have to use Spanish or French or any other language.
What do you think? Wouldn’t you be a little bit upset?
I don’t want to get too long here, but there’s a similar situation with the economy. It is generally accepted that the rich parts of the country (as Catalonia) have to contribute to the poorest parts, to help balance the situation. Nobody would disagree with that, the problem comes when the poorest parts live better and have better public services than the richest parts, even if the richest parts are the ones paying for these services… And moreover they cannot decide what has to be done with their money…
I’ll try to explain with an example: You’re living in an apartment with 4 other people. You’re the only one bringing money home. But the others are who make the decisions about where your money is gonna be spent, and after some decisions you end up sleeping in a mattress on the floor, with no tv in the room, and your flat mates they all have nice comfortable beds, and flat screen jumbo sized tvs in the room… (with your money!)… So, what do you think wouldn’t you be a little bit upset?
Alright, then my question is: which is the nationalism that threatens the country? The catalan or the spanish? Who’s the aggressive one and who’s the defensive one?
Hey and despite all this we still have the greatest of the cities (Barcelona) and the best hostels!! So come and visit!."