So, what the hell is going on in Catalonia?
A little background information about my nationality…
My dad is Catalan and my mum is from Ibiza, but she moved to Barcelona for university and has lived here ever since. I went to a Catalan school were all the subjects were taught in Catalan. I live in a part of Barcelona where the Catalan independence movement is very strong, just by looking out my balcony right now I can see 5 independence flags.
Things to know before reading this…
Catalonia is a region in Spain. Barcelona is the capital. The Catalan language is not a dialect, it’s an official language. It comes from the Western Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin. It’s actually the official language in the country of Andorra, and a co-official language of the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia.
So, what happened in Barcelona?
On October 1st of 2017 an unofficial vote took place in Catalonia over whether or not the region should break away from Spain and become an independent country. That day was a shit show to say the least. I remember it was raining, cloudy and just a sad day. The Spanish police tried to stop what was happening but it all ended up in a violent situation.
Ever since that day many Catalan politicians have ended up in jail, some have escaped to Belgium or Switzerland, and some other are still trying to get the independence.
How did we get to this point and why the referendum?
Catalonia is a wealthy region in the north-east of Spain, with a population of about 7.5 million people. That's almost as many as the number of people who live in country of Switzerland. The region has a history which dates back almost 1,000 years.
Some people think that Catalonia still doesn't have enough freedom and power from the Spanish government and that it should be allowed to run itself completely.
And some others, which is the majority, don’t feel Spanish at all. Many people grew up speaking only Catalan in their house, school and with their friends. Some Catalans don’t really know how to speak Spanish that well, just the things taught in school.
What’s my personal take on all this?
Well, luckily in my house I was always able to make my own choices when it came to my believes. From my ancestry, I have 4 Catalan surnames (all of them from the lower region of Catalonia), 2 Aragonese, 1 French and 1 Swiss franc. I’ve never felt very Spanish. I’ve never felt very Catalan. You know why? Because I grew up in a generation where it’s difficult to be both. If I tell someone I am Spanish and Catalan they automatically say I’m a Spanish fascists, and when I tell them I love being Catalan they tell me I’m a Catalan separatist. There’s never an in-between. So I’m sorry to give you the boring answer of I’m Catalan, Spanish and European, born and raised in Barcelona, and I’m very damn happy about it.
Read more of Tere’s work
“Create your own sacred space, for me, it’s my room. I play some good old rock and roll on my record player, light some candles, open my balcony to let fresh air come in and then I take as many pillows as I can and lay on the floor and breath. Listening to music while laying on the floor relaxes my mind instantly….”