Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

1. Think Catalan separatists are identity-obsessed monolinguals? Think again!

A major feature of the Catalan pro-independence movement is its inclusiveness. Although some try to portrait it as a nationalistic lobby based on ethnicity and obsessed with chasing Spanish-speakers, the real truth is that separatist sentiment is nowadays predominant precisely because it has been able to gather individuals and groups from across the political spectrum.

Take, for instance, the following interview to representatives of two independence organisations, Independentistas en Castellano –Independentists in Spanish– and Súmate –Join us!–, two of the organisations which have been successfully gathering those in Catalonia who speak Spanish and feel nationally Spanish but want independence to achieve a fairer country:

UnPaí | Interview with Súmate, Independentistas en Castellano and Un País Normal
Is feeling both Catalan and Spanish incompatible with the will to vote which model of country we want?
Independentistas en Castellano: No, it is not. It’s like a Tarragona-born person that has lived in Barcelona for many years but still feels he or she belongs to Tarragona. People’s roots are often an important part of their personality.
Súmate: Feeling Spanish in Catalonia is something absolutely respectable, but it is usually a transient feeling often resolved by our descendants. If we all want the best for our children, it’s very clear that the interests converge on the model of country.
Un País Normal: No, it is not! Many Catalans come from different places of the Iberian Peninsula and still want a normal country. If we finally become a country, Catalan, Spanish and many other languages would be able to live together peacefully.

2. Opinion: Catalonia or Catalan Countries?

The Three Branch Pine Tree has been damaged by vandals, in a clear attack against Catalan culture and heritage. Historically, this peculiar three-branched pine has been regarded as the representation of the three territories that form the Catalan Countries: Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Vilaweb, apart from reporting on the incident, published an essay written by Valencian journalist Vicent Sanchis, which helps explain what are the Catalan Countries:

Vilaweb | Catalonia or Catalan Countries?
“It is this common [Catalan] language and this common culture which distinguish and define our different nation. A concept that, in ­present-day terms, incorporates not only “Catalonia” but also the Valencian Country, the Balearic Islands, the part of Catalonia administered by France, and a long strip of Aragonese territory that also has Catalan as its language. The concept, therefore, of a Catalan nation is even wider. There are a lot of people who reduce it to a strictly cultural environment. The “Catalan nation” is for them, a cultural phenomenon—like “Francophonie” is for the French.

There are also a lot of people who demand such a definition politically. There are many Valencians, Mallorcans, Menorcans, or Aragonese who feel nationally “Catalan”. The most brilliant defender in favor of this political option is the Valencian writer Joan Fuster (1922–1992). Joan Fuster was in favor of the old political union between Catalans, Mallorcans, and Valencians as the only viable alternative to the disappearance of the nation. As a single valid answer to the pretensions of being diluted as “Spanish”—of Spanish language and culture. A pretension that the crown and the State has spent centuries trying to achieve. Without success so far.”