Sunday, September 27, 2009

Catalonia, past and present

Part One

Just touching lightly on a huge topic.

Catalonia has not yet come into her own. She is blooming after the repression of the Franco years and the introduction of Spain into the European community, but she is still shaking off the hold of Spanish rule and bucking at the new people coming to live amongst her people.

There is insistence of speaking the Catalan language, of waving the Catalan flag, of protecting the Catalan culture, and yet, it seems, she is reacting against her past and not resonating with the prosperity of her present.

When we were travelling to and from Australia, people asked Albert where he was from. He would say ‘Spain.’ They would say, ‘Madrid?’ He would say ‘No, Barcelona.’ There would be a great smile and warmth and the word ‘Catalonia?’ and, no matter how many times we had this conversation, we would be amazed that people knew the difference.

Obviously, the soccer team, Barça has helped sell the awareness of Catalonia to soccer watching nations. However, Barcelona as a city, has become a by word in cultural cool. Its sexy, its charming, its hot, it has everything a traveller is looking for. The Costa Brava is near by, the Pyrenees is over the hill, and the food is to die for.

So, the world knows about you. They know you exist. They know you are not the same as Spain. They see you as a most beautiful, charming and wonderful place. With something unique to offer the world.

Now its time for you, Catalonia, to accept your position as a jewel in the crown of the world.


K said...

You are SUCH a great writer!! I love to read your stuff - fantastic. You are so cool.

Tiffany said...

K! Me beaming from ear to ear... and drooling oil down my chin...