"The Silent Grudge"

Catalonia will vote October 1st for independence from Spain

"Catalan would be better without Spain but Spain would not be better without Catalan," said Barcelona native of 55 years Vincent Cabedo.

For those who are unaware, there is a lot going on between Spain and a region known as Catalonia. This region has been oppressed since the dictatorship of Francisco Franco in 1936. Franco attempted to unite Spain through military action and was successful in organizing and dividing Spain into 17 regions. During this process, Franco decreed that Spain embrace one language and culture. The people of Catalonia are a part of Spain but have their own language, Catalan and their own culture. They have remained silent for many years, keeping peace and practicing their language and culture in secret.

Catalan would be better without Spain but Spain would not be better without Catalan
— Vincent Cabedo

I have been in the Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, for nine days and I have learned a lot about the culture and noticed a boarder between what is "Spanish" and what is "Catalan.

As an outsider, I have observed a difference between the mixed paella of people in Barcelona. There are those who claim their independence to Catalan, others who claim their independence to Spain and others who claim both. It is a mixed city of culture, views and ages. Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain. It is a city that has survived constant wars and oppression. A recent event that almost broke the city and the country was a Great Recession that has lasted from 2008-2016. This year, the city is speculated to be in a boom with the economy expanding at 3% however, the people of Barcelona still claim to feel the oppressive affects of the recession and the years of cultural oppression. 

"There has been silent grudge growing here for many years," Said Cabedo.

I met Cabedo at an lungia intercambio grupo and he explained to me that he grew up in Barcelona and claimed to be Catalan. Like many native Catalans he grew up speaking Catalan at home, Spanish and school and later learned English. This was also the case with Daniel Buquet, another Barcelona native.

"Growing up in Catalonia, I feel that the people are very open minded," said Buquet, "and the people of Spain are close minded."

The people of Spain have a long tradition of oppressing the people of Catalonia, however, it has not been a problem until now. 

Now the people of Catalan are not silent, they are loud. They want a referendum and the opportunity to become independent from Spain. This week in Barcelona a number of protests have been preformed by people for and against the independence of Catalonia, tomorrow they will put their words into power and vote.

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Sources:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34844939

https://www.ft.com/content/254bb8a8-1940-11e7-a53d-df09f373be87