El Voto

Today they vote.

I awoke up this morning to commotion in the streets. Sirens and signs that seemed to be warnings of chaos, then silence. I decided to venture into the streets to see what it was all about, although, I already knew. Today the people of Catalan vote for independence.

The demonstrations, the beating of pots and pans, the castellers, the signs for democracia all lead to this-- el voto.

The ultimate goal of the vote is the separation of the Catalan government from Spain. Catalonia has been a part of Spain since 1714, but Catalans have their own language and traditions.

These two cultures have grown and cultivated together for hundreds of years however, they have never reached an understanding. There are two divided cultural identities: Catalan and Spain.

Catalan has it's own legislative government that answers to the laws of Spain, however, today's vote is an illegal act against the Spanish government.

Barcelona has become a division of people, those who claim to be Catalan, others who claim to be Spain, and those who want both. Then there is me, an outsider.

I am an American girl, average height, twenty-three and abroad for the first time. I have been in Spain for twelve days I am overwhelmed with the amount of passion the people here have. It is all foreign to me, so I have been asking questions.

I went into the streets and asked people standing in line to vote, 

"Why are you here?"

The answers varied but the message was almost unanimously, "we are Catalan, not Spain."

Which lead me to my next question, 

"Do you think Spain would be better with out Catalonia, can Catalonia survive without Spain?"

The answers to the first part of my question was usually a simple, "No. Spain would not be better without Catalan."

The second part either came with a more pensive thought and an unusual answer of,

"We are here because we are already not Spain..." 

The vote will be tallied October 2nd, where will I be then, in Catalan or Spain?