Yesterday was September 11th. A somber day that all of us Americans will never forget. For the Catalans, September 11th is unforgettable as well, but is highly celebrated as it is the date that Catalonia was captured by Spain in 1714. Contrary to American tradition, the Catalans celebrate their defeat every year on this date while coming together to demonstrate their desire for independence.
This year there was a festival throughout the streets where Catalan people held hands with one another, forming a 400km human chain from the north point to the south point of Catalonia, Spain…perhaps a world record breaking human chain. They did this right at 5:14pm representing the year (1714) that Catalonia was seized. Next year will be the 300th anniversary, so it should be pretty crazy!
Aaron, Alex, Monique, and I are seen in this picture with some participants behind us. We went to Las Ramblas, a more populated part of town, and we could see the red and yellow colors and hear the “independencia” chants all the way up the street. It was emotional for the Catalans and I am thrilled that I was able to witness what this event meant to the participants as well as people who are not in favor of Catalunyan independence. I am already learning so much about the politics here in Spain.
You can see me wearing the Catalan flag here. The yellow and red stripes represent Count Wilfred the Hairy’s (Hairy Willy) blood (red) on King Charles the Bald’s gold coat of arms (yellow). The blue triangle and white star is the same as on the Cuban flag and is included to signify that if Cuba got its independence from Spain, then so can Catalonia.
I do not think that Spain will ever voluntarily give up Catalonia, mostly because of the financial success the region brings for the whole country. I do agree that Catalans will continue to have hope, which is a great gift that has continued to unite these people for 299+ years.
This whole experience has made me wonder if something like this would ever fly in America….thoughts?