Yesterday, September 11, was Catalonia's National Day. National Day is an important day for all Catalans, but this year was even the more special. 1.6 million Catalans took the streets from Northern Catalonia in the French border until the south of Catalonia, forming a 400km-long human chain to ask for independence from Spain. This idea was inspired by the 600km-long human chain 2 million Estonians, Lithuanians and Latvians did in 1989 to ask for independence from the Soviet Union. You all know how the story went, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are now independent countries, and I hope Catalonia's outcome will be successful as well.
I hate saying I'm from Spain, basically because I don't feel Spanish at all. Spanish people are like Italians or Portuguese to me, nice people who speak a language that is easy for us Catalans to understand because it comes from Latin, but nothing else. So when people ask me, I usually just say I'm from Barcelona, because I don't expect people to know where Catalonia is. In fact, some Asians don't even know where Barcelona is. I'm somehow astonished at the fact that Asians tend to produce math geniuses and complete losers in general culture. I think some priorities in the education system need to be revised here. Anyway, when Hong Kong people (taxi drivers, people in the market, random people) ask me in Cantonese where I'm from, I now reply from Spain, because they always expect a country as a response and they keep asking where, where? if I just say from Barcelona (Not to mention if I try to say Catalonia in Chinese). By the way, I got the same reply and dumbfounded look from some Americans when I said I was from Barcelona. Terribly pathetic. But then Americans are worldwide famous for lacking geography education. So whenever I say I'm from Spain, that's when it starts. People start talking about bull fighting, the long naps, the bad economy, and they probably picture me in their minds watching the bull parade after a good afternoon sleep. This is more than I can put up with.
I hope someday people around the world will get to know Catalonia and its culture: the castellers (human towers), the Catalan cava and wine, Gaudí, Dalí, and the Catalan language, just to name a few examples.
You can read all about the Catalan Way on the newspapers all around the world today. Did you know that Catalans who live abroad, like me, also did their own human chains? You can watch this video on Youtube with all the international Catalan chains, you'll see me in Hong Kong starting from minute 1:25 :)