For those of you who are lucky to be in Barcelona on Thusday the 11th of September, you should know that this day is the “Diada de Catalunya”, our National Catalan Day. It is the equivalent of the 4th of July in USA, with a small difference: Catalans do not celebrate their Independence, they remember their defeat 300 years ago, when Barcelona fell under the troops of the king of Spain; Felipe V, who had forbid Catalan language and culture.
The “Fossar de les Moreres” is a Square where those who fought and died defending Barcelona and Catalunya against the spanish were buried. Nowadays, its a recall of will and strength which are sometimes needed to keep ones’ culture and language alive. Different commemoration acts and activities are taking place in that same square tomorrow the 10th.
Throughout these 300 years Catalans have worked hard to keep their songs, their dances, their traditions and especially, their language. There have been better and worse periods, and the Catalan rights and recognition have varied depending on the diferent Spanish Goverments’ will.
Nowadays the Spanish is a young democracy in evolution with many internal communication problems. There has been a lack of comprehension during the last 30 years in what the Catalans (and their government) needed or wanted, and what Spain would allow. These past 30 years have been a time of restructuration, trying to leave behind the vices inherited from a dictatiorship that lasted for over 40 years.
New generations and society have plenty integrated democracy in our vision of the world, and claim to be listened by the Spanish Government. We also claim to be given the permission to express our minds in a referendum and be able then to find out which path is the one Catalans want to follow from now on. But the Spanish Government (unlike the British one), hides behind a sacred Constitution, which, on 1978 was written under the threat of a new “Coup d’Etat” (as actually ended up happening in 1981), that needs an update required by the majority of the Spanish (not just Catalan) population. But our government, instead, does not show the capacity to negotiate, nor to suggest attractive alternatives to find a way to stick together “for good”.
The situation is so bizarre that during these last years the Catalan population has assumed the lack of will in the Spanish Government to achieve an agreement. Many previous agreements (in economics, infrastructures, education, culture recognition,…) have been dismissed, and every attempt by the Catalan Government to find a common point to start off that would satisfy both parts has been neglected or blocked, bringing to the Catalans a negative message, and the feeling of an inability to collaborate together. Many people that were not in for the independence are nowadays supporting it, and actively participating to achieve it.
To commemorate the loss of our freedom as a country, the 11th of September a demonstration has been organized on the streets. This is also to let the world see that Catalans want to be listened and vote. It is a demonstration to ask permission for something that should not be asked for: the right to vote. Its a demonstration for the ones that want the independence, and for those who don’t want it, but that believe in Democracy. Its a demonstration to leave behind a past of imposition, to walk towards a future of dialog.
If you want to have some more info, you can also take a look at this link!
We hope you enjoy the 11th of September with as much joy and happiness as we will! Welcome home!