Yesterday, was the Hispanity day. The high colonels of the army dust off their tanks and shotguns, show their medals on the chest and march firmly through La Catellana avenue of Madrid, saluting the royal family and the state chiefs. Sunny day, trumpet ballads, footsteps of boots, “Viva España!” and all that stuff… In fact, yesterday the Spanish people commemorated the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s first arrival in the Americas, so a it’s a day for exalting the bonds between the Hispanic countries. Class, noise and pride. But the March is always there.
Honestly, everybody knows that this is not the best moment for feeling proud of being Spanish. Anyway, this is not my point of discussion. I don’t have anything against this national celebration, but I have to ask myself: I care about it? Those who know me well, they know that I’m Catalan and that I feel belonging to Catalonia, not to Spain. Yesterday, I didn’t feel proud about the Kingdom of Spain, I only felt indifference (not bad thing, it’s what the humans experiment the most part of the time). I don’t have two national identities, I only feel one homeland as mine. And at the end, it’s all about feelings.
On my ID, on my passport and on my identification ‘papers’ say that I’m a Spanish citizen. How then I can have those feelings? It’s funny because right now I’m studying abroad at Finland, and I’m realizing about one thing: every time that my Catalan friends and me use to talk about Catalonia with our new foreign friends appears the matter of our national identity. “Why you want to separate from Spain? How can you feel that way?I can’t understand it, man” ask us constantly. Separatism is a political option, but you don’t have choice when it’s about feelings and that’s what I’m talking about here. I would like to have a manual in order to explain this question and make it understandable for everybody. Instead of that, every time that someone asks me that, I have to try to summarize years of situations and concepts on 5 minutes to my interlocutor (yes, 5 minutes, because anybody gonna attend you more than that).
Anyway, it’s difficult for the outsiders to understand this situation. I get that. I think that Tolstoy said once: “Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?”. But was also Confucius who asked: “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?”
I don’t like to exalt the military forces; it makes me think on a laggard society who loves his past rather than his present. I think that these marches are archaic and useless (I’m talking also about other countries, not only Spain), but yesterday there was people screaming and encouraging on La Castellana avenue. I don’t feel this national day as mine, I don’t feel anything about it, so I can’t identify with those persons of the avenue, but I always can respect their feelings.
It’s difficult to respect what we don’t understand and it’s difficult to understand what we don’t see, like feelings. At the end, it’s all about feelings.