Inspiration for my next next creative project was given to me in Barcelona. It will be a worldwide art installation.
There’s an ignorance to Americans that isn’t necessarily our fault. The system we are raised in, the one our parents were as well, shapes us to believe in a few things.
1. We are the best in the world
2. That’s about it, nothing else matters let’s keep it that way #AmericaTheGreatKaaaw #ThatsTheEagle
So because of this, engrained in us, America is the only place we should be worried about. Make your money, and make a lot of it. Raise that perfect family, give some of that money to charities to feel good about yourself, and give those kids the life they deserve so they too can one day do exactly as stated above. Along the way though, through school and beyond, we don’t gain insight into other cultures really. We don’t learn about their history, the only country we really hear about being England because “we left that dirty place for a better life.” Ha.
Long story short, we’re ignorant AF. Yes I just did that, welcome to 2016.
So anywho, I’m in Barcelona one night and I find myself at a dinner party with a bunch of locals in a lovely second floor flat in the heart of the city. Now, before I go any further, the only thing we did learn about Spanish people growing up was that they are passionate people-very passionate people. Warm blooded we like to say, which means they’re a little coo-coo for cocoa puffs if you feel me. That’ll happen when you have too much sun and not enough cold to flatten out your feelings once in awhile (thank you Michigan). Okay back to the dinner party with pizza, wine, and tiramisu. It didn’t take long for these guys to start comparing ways of life and laws to America and England, which honestly was pure theatre because both of our western countries are typically raised the same-respond with passive-aggressive remarks accompanied with a “Jeg er ligeglad” attitude. There were many disagreements let’s just go with that, but harmless ones, thankfully the “well I don’t think so but…” we’re all mature here, somewhat. Half hour later I get to asking the Englishman about his story and how in the world he ended up in a Catalan speaking part of Spain. Blah blah blah, teaching English doesn’t know any Spanish, definitely won’t learn Catalan, gonna move to another part of Spain, parties are great and so is watching the sunrise after a night out while skinny-dipping in the sea. Pretty standard bro for ya here (not a real sentence don’t care). Let’s go back to the not interested in learning Catalan thing, because it’s the reason for this article.
Did you know Barcelona is a Catalan province of Spain? Like with its own language and semi-separate government, etc. Yeah, me either. Thanks Mrs. Vanzandt. It’s not all your fault no worries, probably Miss Michigan State fan chick’s too.
Back to the pwinamisu party! They didn’t particularly like this comment from the English bro. So much so it set of this like…Catalonian time bomb that seemed to be ticking since the day I met my host. Now, to not sound judgmental and all and white-person-weird I would like to present some research I did on Catalonia and the people, because these five citizens were fuming for a good fifteen minutes! And to be honest, it really seemed they had a legit reason to be, so I looked into it in order to educate myself and then totally educate you! What a world we live in #Internet
The following are notes I took while reading resources of the history behind Barcelona. I encourage you to check out the resources for yourself! Thanks to the Catalan people for bearing with my ignorance and helping me understand another culture. I’d like to say I will seek to continue doing this.
Language is a little like French I could hear
“In fact, its vocabulary is generously sprinkled with words that look more French than Spanish, a reminder of the historically close political and social relationship between Cataluña and Roman Septimania (the western end of the Roman province of Narbonensis, now Languedoc in the south of France)”
What really made Cataluña itself was Guifré el Pilós (ca. 840-897) or, in English, Wilfred the Hairy.
He flew past Frankish Lords to the top although he never declared independence for the people but he was recorded as the man to establish Catalan leadership and it was him that brought Barcelona to be a super city
The Catalans had to defend their people and home for example when the Muslim people waged war on Christian lands, leaving Barcelona I’m bad shape. This was when Carolingian Kings showed their true colors (historical resentment), offering no help to the Catalan people.
So the Catalans are a fighting people, kind of like the eastern Europeans, you know the cold strong personality types. But what’s interesting about these independents isn’t their leftist mentality but their Spanish blood. They’re your assumed fun, loving, extremely loud human beings and that’s what needs to be remembered here.
They just want their heritage to live on. They want their language to live on, and they want their people to be represented and happy for the rest of time.
Is that so much to ask for?
(I didn’t spell-check this one because I’m gutsy like that)