Friday, June 19, 2009

Africans in Granollers

There are quite a lot of African people here. It’s a strange thing, but I’ve never really seen a Spanish person talking to any of them. The African’s hang out with the Africans, and there doesn’t seem to be any integration at all.

Today we were at a high school band competition. There were many young people hanging around. There was a mixture of Spanish, South American and Catalan people sitting and watching. Also, one group of about 6 African girls. However, they never actually sat down to watch the bands. They stood, a bit apart from the group, and watched and fidgeted about like typical teenagers. A group of light coloured local girls greeted them and there was a series of hasty air kisses exchanged and then they separated.

That’s it.

I’ve spoken to a few people about it, but it seems the typical response is ‘well, we Catalans are still having trouble with the Spanish people being here.’ (If you’re not sure, Catalonia suffered a cultural repression during the Franco years where Catalan was not allowed to be spoken, there was forced immigration from other areas of Spain to Catalonia, and a general diffusing of all things Catalan.) If you're interested, take a look at the PDF The Social Structure of Catalonia.

It seems the arrivals of Africans only really started about 20 years ago, and people here are still adapting to new colours, customs and cultures.

You know, there was one time when African people mixed happily with locals. And that was when Barca was playing Madrid. Again, I didn’t see any cross cultural interaction going on, but there was total and accepted group support for Barca. I guess that’s something.

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