Where are you from? CATALUNYA

Today is one of those times that I leave my short stories in Tokyo a part, and talk a bit about me, more precisely to answer the question that I hear the most everytime I meet someone new in every corner of the world.
My answer is, I’m from Barcelona, Catalonia. A nation inside a country named Spain.
And that’s it, nobody can deny it, most people still don’t know about it, and it’s completely normal, but within the last few years, with the financial crisis all over Europe, countries trying to separate, by political, economical, cultural, and historical reasons, Catalonia is one of this parts from Europe that demand what it belongs to us.

V, for Vote. Shibuya scramble crossing, Tokyo. Source: casal català Tokyo.

Today is national holiday in Catalonia, September 11th. 300 years ago, on a rainny day (like today in Tokyo) Spain and France troops invaded the city of Barcelona, and catalans lost the war, losing everything, being obliterated, and 300 years ago till now, our nation has been censored.
300 years that Spain governments, monarchy, army, had been trying to eliminate every single trace of the catalan nation. Abolishing catalan laws, prohibition of catalan festivities, prohibition of teaching catalan in schools or using catalan in public spaces. Our nation has been struggling for 300 years, suffering the consequences of Spanish dictatorships, and nowadays, encovered “democracy” but, to put it simply, Spain is still governed by the same kind of people that invaded Barcelona 300 years ago. Nothing has changed since then….

AND NOW WE SAY ¡¡ENOUGH!!
Enough of hiding,
Enough of fear of speaking in our own language in some places “just in case somebodey can be offended”
Enough of being repressed by a government that doesn’t let us express our thoughts.
Enough that the same government keeps beating us like a stray dog, and expecting to keep shut and obey.
ENOUGH!

My backpack during a 100km hike event in Japan. People kept asking me about the flag and which country it is from, and I always answer the question with a smile and tell the story.

Our nation, Catalonia, for the past years has decided that want to vote, in a referendum, to express what the catalan citizens think about a possibility of an independent country.But Spain government denies us this act of democracy, once again, feeling that the spirit of old dictatorhip and fascism is still between us, present, covered by a “fake democracy”.

Catalans want to vote.

As an example, next week Scotland will celebrate a referendum about the same question, and the UK government what did they do about it? Ok, do your voting, we will do campaign for the “NO”. That’s democracy.
When Catalonia asked for the same thing to Spain, the answer we got was a complete “NO, NEVER”
Acting like a bully that enjoys their power.

So, today, in Catalonia, there’s an act, of democracy, pacific, an act that cries for freedom, LET US VOTE!! we only ask for that, and from the answer, we’ll decide what to do.

Two times I climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan, carrying my “estelada” flag to the summit.

In Barcelona and other cities, people will assemble to create human chain with “V” for VOTE.
We did it last week in Tokyo, we were a few, because of the rain, and because some people works for Spain related companies and are affraid of expressing their opinion and fear for the consequences that could represent to them.

As I said at the beginning, this is an important date for me and other milions of catalans around the World, hoping that this act of democracy succeeds.

If you’ve read till here, thank you. I really appreciate it, and hope this helps understand a bit more about where I come from.

VISCA CATALUNYA, LLIURE!!

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