September 12, 2013

Lets talk abut where I come from

I think this is the first time I'll write about politics here. 

Yesterday around 1 million Catalans made a huge human chain (400 km!) to protest, support independence and many other reasons, you name it. 

It made me think about my History teacher in high school, he was a good one. 

It was a Swiss school in Barcelona, there were a lot o students with a Germanic background (and even alive relatives who took part in the big war) and I felt he though he couldn't just stand there and say "Hitler was bad". He made a big effort to get us to understand what happened in that country, what people were feeling and how it ended how we all know. 

He started with the idea of nation, a strong idea not related to geographical borders, language or even race, an idea that could or couldn't be exclusionary depending on each one. For many of us it was a familiar idea, as a kid born in Catalunya with a strong family life I had been raised in Catalan and  with that idea; you are both Catalan and Spanish its your duty to understand this and decide what it means to you. 

Catalunya was not a country, you don't get a Catalan passport anywhere, it was a nation and our teacher used this cultural background to get us to understand better how, using this idea as a basis (I know, I'm simplifying things a lot but I hope you get what I mean) and poverty Hitler was able to build a whole new country and ideology. 

About yesterday. 

Did it made me feel proud? 
Yes, to see that people has the will to move and speak out is always good news. And the coverage of the international media was impressive. 
Do I think everybody there thinks Catalunya should be independent? 
I'm quite sure not, I think many people there were just trying to say "there is a different way to do things, speaking is the first step let's put "the cojones" on the table and talk". 
Do I think its easy? 
Changes never are but I've been living for 3 years in a country where each Kanton has a huge amount of autonomy and still the population is extremely proud of their country and Swiss flags are everywhere. Spain has (still fresh in a lot of minds) an historical background that make things very difficult and I still haven't seen a person or group that has the diplomatic and leadership skills needed to lead this conversation. To many people looking and their own belly button fighting to be in the picture or having a relaxing cup of cafe con leche.  
Do I think everybody there has a real idea about why the 11 of september is special and what being independent could mean? O hell no, its one think we all have in common, being opinionated is as popular as football here. 

Maybe its time to let go the status quo and explore new things, Spain, Catalunya whatever, things are quite bad everywhere you look which is good news, nobody can look above the shoulder to anybody that's great to start a conversation. 

As we get our things ready to move to London I've realised we will need to bring more from our country to our house in the next years. As a family proud of where we come from we want to do our best to give Lluc and his future sibling a wide and deep cultural background.

We chose a Catalan name for our son (although the double L sound is quite difficult to pronounce correctly for many people) and we speak Catalan to him but we have also carefully selected a Spanish speaking daycare for him, I truly believe it is possible to get both. That's the way I feel and that's how I introduce myself wherever we live. 

 To sum up: Visca Catalunya i ole.




The song is for my mum and my grandfather.






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