Let me go a little off topic here. Don’t panic, I won’t dig into politics much often in this blog, but I think recent events deserve at least some mention.
Though internationally remembered for some other events, in Catalonia September 11 is a very special date. It’s the national day, when (oddly enough) we celebrate the defeat against the spanish bourbon troops at the siege of Barcelona back in 1714. Generally it had been a relaxed, festive day, with a couple of institutional memorial events in the morning and some doubtfully worth catalan pop bands playing in the evening.
Catalan people have commonly felt diverse from Spain. An underlying independence feeling has always been present among the population, though common sense had dispelled it in the surface, —usually. Recent events (I make myself oblivious of any possible bias in the previous link’s content), which objectively can, at least, be referred as insulting, have exacerbated this mood in the society to levels never seen before, making one guess there might be no way back. Even more, spanish government has not helped in calming people down, their haughtiness only making everything worse.
The history changed its course three years ago, on July 9. A very discredited Constitutional Court ruled partially against a new Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia already approved by the Spanish Parliament. The Catalan outrage took form as the most massive rally ever held in Catalonia, —yet. More than 1 million people went out of their homes in an extraordinary and peaceful mood, something that have depicted this movement ever since.
From then, many more actions have been carried out. Particularly, last year’s September 11 became a turning point regarding this festivity’s mood; an even more crowded demonstration took place in the streets of Barcelona, this time with an unequivocally pro-independence manifesto. 1.5 million people embraced openly the secessionist claim, again in a democratic, festive spirit. Most of all, I want to stress the extraordinary hope and cohesion this movement is generating throughout the whole catalan society.
Setting aside my personal political opinion, which is indeed non of you business, —and which may not be what you are first guessing, I can only be amazed at how this outrage is being handled in such a respectful way, never loosing sight of what we most want, that is an inclusive, diverse and extremely respectful society. And the most admirable example of this is the last claim action on this year’s September 11: A complete human chain that crossed the whole catalan country from south to north, an extremely complex event, where, though only 400.000 were needed, up to 1.6 million people were organized to perfection to hold their hands at 17:14 and connect the 480 km that constitute the length of Catalonia.
Again, I just found it worth to make a “brief” mention (it took a little longer at the end) of these, I think, special events, and let you know a bit of this little, curious country that is Catalonia. I may have failed to explain you every corner of our reality, but you are, of course, most welcome to come and discover it for yourself : )
See you around.