Thursday, February 1, 2018

Catalonia, everything tinged by history.

(Personal opinion piece, and let me state, not everyone agrees with what I'm going to write)

When I first talked about God to my Catalan partner, I was shocked by the negative and close minded reaction he displayed. As a yoga practitioner and someone who prays daily, I couldn't grasp the reason behind his derision towards God and his inability to see the Catholic church outside of its architectural worth.
                                          Donkey's represent Catalonia. You can guess why.

Time has taught me that to understand the Catalan people's beliefs, you have to read history books.
The Catholic church, to many people, even to this day, represents Franco-ism.
Now, there are many little seemingly innocent aspects of life here in Catalonia that are resonate with the history of the people. It's easy to blunder into cultural no man's land or even inadvertently to put yourself on the other's team.
Like many countries, there is a healthy dislike of nearby lands occupied by 'others'. For example, Australians are quite happy to deride New Zealanders. Swedes laugh at their Norwegian neighbours. It's something you find all over the globe in varying degrees of seriousness.

Catalan's poke fun at Spanish.
You can find lots of articles and you tube videos describing the main differences between the two.
Now, being open and friendly is associated with people outside of Catalonia. Open and friendly, at best, equals 'from the south', and at worst, means shallow.
God represents Catholic and at worst, Franco.
Dressing up and a high level of grooming is seen as pretentious, and at worse, pro traditional values of the ruling party of Spain.
Nothing simply 'is'. It's all about identity with who the Catalans are.
How they see themselves is often displayed in what they are not.
As an Australian, with no close neighbouring country, I didn't grow up with a strong sense of national pride. However, we can relate, because we were 'not' British. We had developed anti authoritarian views because of our history of British rule in a penal system. I wonder what country you are from, and what 'not' you are?

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