Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Catalonia. Independence and immigration.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Independence and immigration

"Independence is impossible, there is too much immigration." Here we have it. The mother of all lies. How many times have heard, especially (what a coincidence) from who would want us believing that we live in a fragmented country? On one hand there are those who disgustingly discriminate between immigrants (xarnegos –from Spain-, Moors or sudaques –from South America-) and Catalans at its root, ignoring many previous waves of immigration. But others bent on maintaining economically, not just philosophically, a fictional Andalusian collective (as if everyone thought the same or belonged to the same herd) as FECAC and other mafias. Even some people want us to believe that there is a language conflict, such as the virtual Catalan vs Valencian, when the only real problem is that Spanish is still, unfortunately, official language enforced to all Catalans. Yes, Spanish is my mother tongue, but is as foreign as English in the Netherlands, Turkish in Germany or Spanish to Portugal itself. It is no coincidence that these are precisely the most manipulative of all immobilizers. What makes so much fear to change ? That instead of Andalusian collective become Catalans? That we became normal people like any other in Europe? That, without distinction as to origin or family origin, everyone wants to free the land of welcome?

Well, a Catalan writes to you , son and grandson of people from Andalusia, this Baix Llobregat massively populated by immigrant people (now or 30 years ago, the concept is the same) and their descendants. This lie about immigration is about to end it once and forever. To begin, groups such as Catalònia Acord or, in the scope language, Veu Pròpia, are causing a mental short circuit to a more than one brain of the country, because of their clarity and forcefulness. Their words can be summarized as follows: "integrated newcomers and their descendants are simply Catalans. Full-stop. We are part of one nation: the Catalan. We do not need any protection from Spanish gangs or its patrons who live installed decades within our governments”.

Non-generalizing, my particular way, I think is quite significant. In primary school I was lucky that the history teacher hit my child's brain –about 12 years of age- with the phrase: "Obviously that Catalonia is a country!". We all were spoken in Catalan (we were Catalan). Later, however, the high school I was amazed that the course of history only in the Spanish speaking (I'm afraid it still does, but that needs go change it, and quickly). Gradually, that seed planted by that teacher was germinating. Knowing Catalan history is necessary but not sufficient. Fortunately, one (only one!) of my Catalan classmates spoke the language of the Catalans to me, perhaps only because he considered me a real Catalan. It was just so I could practice it enough to become a proper speaker . And get to college, finally I could make all social life entirely in Catalan, as should be, regardless of my mother tongue or childhood surroundings. Finally after all this process of maturation and have good eyes open to everything happening around me, obviously I am Catalan, I feel like a Catalan, I suffer like a Catalan, but I also have an enormous enthusiasm in the Catalan future than any other who knows to live in a colony and not just want our country be free, sovereign, independent, mature, prosperous, but also takes action to achieve it.

Thus, in many cases the same as mine, these new Catalans, only have the name, the mother tongue and (currently) Spanish passport. Incidentally, there is a clear symptom of the disease in the country regarding immigration: each day, knowing my name, many lifetime Catalans will address to me in Spanish. I, with my Spanish name intact, answer in Catalan them voluntarily to create them a mental short circuit. It will be through mental short circuits, then, that we progress. I do not believe that I will ever translate my name, as, in fact, is not prompted to a son of Germans, Russians or Senegal, with foreign name to do so. Therefore always be a Catalan with foreign names, particularly Spanish. And what that has to do with the future I want for my country? The answer is easy: nothing. For independence is neither necessary nor wanted to change his name, nor have great-grandparents of Cerdanya, or vote ERC , or stop having friends in Spain or France, or to speak Catalan own family coming from 30 years of Andalusia, China and Ecuador. Wishing for independence just needs loving the country and want it completely free. Nothing more.

The Catalan identity is merely a way of thinking, understanding and acting in the world around us. It is purely mental and, contrary to what some would like us to believe, is not genetic. This way of thinking and living that make up the life of the party (generally called the Catalan people), eventually becomes dominant in each of the individuals who are born, grow up or spend a significant part of his life in. The daily experience, how people interact, socio-economic structure and the physical environment in which we move, end up determining the formation of this way of thinking and acting (ie, of being) make, for better or for worse, different from the rest of the world. In this sense, indeed there is more than the Catalans now have it explicitly clear. Catalan is because, simply, anyone who thinks and acts (ie, who is) the Catalan way.

Right now, hundreds of Catalans should be doing like me the whole process of integration, so spontaneous and natural. However, with a normalized environment (ie with their own State as other people have) would make virtually all descendants of immigrants, or at least thousands, or hundreds of thousands ... What is wrong then? What are we doing wrong? Well this answer is too easy: almost everything. Because we do not have our own State, nor act against the phenomenon of immigration as we should act while we have not.

Not having a State means that Catalan people do not have their own space where to work naturally, relaxed, their way of structuring society, to integrate newcomers, not to alienate their offspring, leaving them in no-mans Land to develop their culture and show it to the world with pride. Someone will respond to all this, to some extent, as is done now. Well, at least try. With the continuous interference of the invader, Spain, a lot of energy is wasted to perform all this work of integration. Just as they wasted on thousand other fronts that we address incorrectly as separate; defence of the language; protest against tax plundering suffered by all of the Catalan population (including Spaniards who live there!); demand own sporting teams, voice and vote in international organizations, labelling, judgments, software, audiovisual entertainment in Catalan ... (and will not end up ever). From all this, why not directly achieve independence? The integration of immigrants as Catalans would also be positively affected having their own state, because the methods and objectives would be decided by us instead of the Spaniards, who is now trying to turn immigrants into Spaniards.

With immigration, we are already making mistakes now. It is not possible to refuse up front as Catalans those who do not speak Catalan. Because we adopt the language as a natural consequence of considering becoming a member of that different group. It is a step but not the cause. Not necessarily speaking Catalan makes one Catalan. Instead, being conscious or feeling Catalan yes it does, sooner or later, to adopt Catalan, it is only a matter of time. Because the Catalan language is obviously the most appropriate, to best express the Catalanity, namely, the fact of thinking and acting in the Catalan way, ie, be and feel Catalan. The nuance is needed, however, that progress in any of the other two fields provided, is fed to one another. The fact that you are spoken in Catalan (and therefore that is conducive to you speaking it in the long term) facilitates the fact of beginning to feel really Catalan, acts as a throttle for the entire process. Recall again my mate in high school that spoke to me in Catalan. If I had not sensed like being considered Catalan probably would not have been speaking in Catalan now, probably would not have adopted the language that to me, then, was neither mother nor social but only the school (and a little by TV3). If we do not consider newcomers and their descendants real Catalans, and we do not speak Catalan to them, they note that they are just being refused to be Catalans. And finally, they are rejected as Catalans will become something else (for example, are Spanish).

This is, summarized, the tragedy we suffer. This whole process that should happen more naturally having their own state, because we have not, is not happening yet. And if does not happen naturally, then in theory should make it happen consciously, voluntarily and everyday, but we do not. Because, over time, is simply exhausting. You can not always blame the people not to continuously and consciously do what the rest of the world's people do naturally and effortlessly because they have a State. But we can blame all together to not focus our energies on achieving it. Because not only do, but we regret that, day in and day out, the consequences of not having this status. Do not put a start to achieve it, and also we lose ourselves in the desert wrapped in our own miseries.

And bound to the principle for the construction of this new State not only can not leave out the newcomers for their own moral dignity, but they and their descendants are absolutely essential. Especially for the enormous wealth of pure winning character off those entrepreneurs, who for ambition or need, and unlike others who remain, leave everything behind in their homeland and are able to take roots and integrate to the land of welcome, living there, having descendants and assimilating their way of thinking and acting (exactly what the Catalan identity is), and ultimately succeed in the goal with the initial fear of the unknown. And this is precisely what is needed to achieve independence, do we realize? Character winning decision, assumption of risk in exchange for the option for a better and more dignified future than that of the submissive slave, because the gains are usually proportional to the risk assumed in the bet.

To conclude, once again I will use my own example. My parents came here because they wanted to have a prosperous future, and I also had too, and every opportunity in life. Well, one of the biggest reasons why I work to achieve independence is that I do not like to find myself soon in the same situation as them 30 years ago. They came to stay, and I do not want to have to go to another country for my children if I ever have all chances. The Catalans are still able to make our country prosperous for many decades if we take the independence we have now more than ever at your fingertips and abandon forever this nightmare.

Imagine the extraordinary and overwhelming positive feedback from a moral and collective enthusiasm at the beginning of this enterprise that will become common in our society. Nobody is aware of that involved in this spiral of positive energy, so the result of a referendum will not be more than simply a logical and natural to join this national cohesion and winning character, ie the the recovery of the Catalan spirit.

Therefore, the Catalans, started on the path towards independence, towards a country, adult, responsible and better. It is not only imperative but also an indication, an announcement: we have already begun the journey. And above all, we are starting together all Catalans, old and new.

Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Councillor Catalunya Accio



Catalunya Acció - UK

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