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Catalonia and Spain, are they one?

Many people are perplexed about the current state Catalonia and Spain. Especially with the fact that Catalonia has recently requested to be held as a nation of its own separate from Spain. Catalonia autonomous community located on the northeastern region of Spain. To be an autonomous nation means to have the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs.

The Greeks arrived in the territory that is called Catalonia today in 6 BC. Afterwards, the Romans over and, created infrastructures arranged the territory to their liking, establishing cities such as Tarraco (Tarragone) and Barcino (Barcelona). The Roman legacy has left imprints on Catalonia. Spanish in not spoken in Catalonian but the Catalan language is the main tongue. The language has latin origins. Latin was the main of many languages spoken Italy. Latin was the language of scribes and the learned. It is said that Latin was already being written from 6BC.

Nobleman Count Guifré el Pilós (Wilfred the Hairy) established the state of Catalonia at the end of the 9th century. Later in the 10th century Catalonia became independent. Fast forward about 1000 years to 1931. Here the world witnessed local elections being held which were won by the republican party. Francesc Macià, the leader of the party declared Catalonia as a republic.

The declaration was a temporary one as a mere three days later, he agreed with the new Spanish Republic, to establish an autonomous government for Catalonia. All of this has led to the Catalonia we see today.

Although within Spain, Catalonia does not speak Spanish as aforementioned. Catalan and Spanish are both romance languages. A romance language derives from vulgar Latin which is just another type of Latin. Italian and French are other examples of romance languages. One thing that differentiates the Spanish and Catalan language is the phonetics of the language in written form. Spanish is entirely phonetic Catalán on the other hand is not. To really understand this read this sentence which is phonetically structured- “Aye luuv gowing tuu thuh paark evree dai.” English is not a phonetically written language as with Catalan.

The Catalonian culture and Spanish Culture greatly differ too. Catalonia is known to have a beloved tradition involving a figure called the ‘Christmas crapper’. This involves the addition of the figurine of a man relieving himself to the nativity scene. The Christmas Crapper or El Caguane is usually a peasant who dons the traditional Catalán red cap.

A Barack Obama caganer, or ‘Christmas crapper’

The Catalonian population are synonymous to human towers. Yes, a tower of humans stacked up. No jokes and nothing gruesome here, just some brave people who trust each other. Following tradition, castells, or human towers, have acquired the UNESCO World Heritage status in 2010.  The towers are men women and children balancing on each other’s shoulders. People literally scramble over the people on the bottom of the tower just to climb onto the next persons shoulders. Now we truly understand that Catalonia and Spain are different however close they are in proximity. They are two nations are all the same but different also.