Spain, to an outsider, seems like a uniform country; everyone speaks Spanish, smokes cigarettes, and loves soccer. Through living here and listening to the people, I have found the exact opposite to be true, especially pertaining to the language. Different provinces in Spain speak the language of their province along with Spanish, most are bilingual.
For example, in Galicia, a Northwestern province of Spain near Portugal, they speak Gallego, which is a mixture of Castellaño (Spanish) and Portugese. Furthermore, in the North of Spain, called Pais Vasco, a different language exists that uses our alphabet in a completely different way, called the Basque language.[Gizon-emakume guztiak aske jaiotzen dira] <– example of the Basque language
But most importantly in current events, is the language of Catalán. Cataluña, a province in Northeastern Spain that speaks Catalán, is seeking independence from Spain. They believe that all the tax money paid to the government in Madrid is not returned fairly and that Catalán should be a language taught in their schools. Madrid wants to prevent this breaking off because Barcelona is located in Cataluña, which is an important of the Spanish economy.
Here is a link to the full story: Catalán Protest
And how does this affect me?
Mallorca speaks both Spanish and Mallorquin, but Mallorquin is a dialect of Catalán, comparing to American English versus Australian English. The Mallorcans are very active in this protest as well. Everywhere I go I see people wearing the green independence t-shirts. Some kids don’t have school because their teachers refuse to work to protest. I experienced one of these protests at my University, and have included pictures below.
I plan on attending the next protest and biggest one yet on Sunday the 29th at the Plaza near my house, decked out in green. More details to come!