It‘s already 1 1/2 months ago that I left Germany and I pubslished my first article in the Costa Live Magazine Blog a few days after my arrival. It was a text about the Paella eating, Sangria drinking Spanish, the prude Germans and other clischees. Prompt received the editorial staff a mail, which pointed out friendly, that it wasn‘t actually Spain where I was, it was Catalonia – and it took the wind out of my sails. Of course did I know, that the country I was traveling to was called Catalonia and I also knew that it wouldn‘t be easy to talk to the people in Spanish. However, I have to admit, that I always thought of Catalonia as a part of Spain and it’s not until now, that I start realizing how complex and important the topic is.
On Wednesday, the 11th Sepetmber 2013, the Catalan national holiday will be celebrated – and this year it‘s going to be something special, because it will not only be a sign of solidarity and love for Catalonia. The people want to send out a signal for the independence of the state. It has been a long fight for this independence, but it has also been a peaceful fight. Therefore, people from all over Catalonia are going to join hands on Wednesday – the human chain is expected to be 400 km long, connecting one border with the other, and consisting of more than a million people. What is it about this event?
The requirement for the Catalan independence is not without reason. After the victory of Franco in the Spanish civil war in 1939, the dictator forbade both the Catalan language and the culture. It was not until 1977, that the country could regain a limited autonomy and a provisional government, in 1980 the first free elections were held. Nevertheless, there are still various financial and political bonds, that connect Catalonia with the Spanish government in Madrid – especially in the times of crises a quite controversial topic. The human chain on Wednesday is about the cultural identity of a nation, which was deprived again and again.
After reading a few articles about the upcoming events, it‘s easier for me to understand why some people rather communicate with hands and feet than using the Spanish language and why the Bavarian coach Pep Guadiola, known for phrases like „If we get up early and work hard, we gonna be an unstopable nation.“, is now celebrated as a hero of Catalonia. There‘s even going to be a little human chain in my hometown Berlin, at 17.00 o‘clock at the Gendarmenmarkt. Altough I dread to take position to such a complex topic, I hereby apologize for all the misunderstandings and bricks, I‘ve droped in so far – this are probably the most significant identity feature of a German person in a foreign counrty.