Saturday, September 02, 2006

I also have Catalan blood (Jo tambe tinc sang catalana)

According to the 19/1996 law that defines the relationship between the Catalan government (Generalitat) and the members of the Catalan community overseas, Catalonia recognizes the "Catalanity" of members of the Catalan community overseas, independently from their current passport. The Catalan nationality (as per today, just wishful thinking) is also applicable to spouses and descendants. If you read the law, you will realize that it is absolutely lousy, but at least, it will allow me to introduce two people that fall in this category.

The first one is Shakira. Years ago, when I found out that her family name was Ripoll (as many of you know, the mother's maiden name is a part of the official name of Spaniards, Portuguese and most of Latinamerican nationals), I got very curious about her ancestry. The enigma was solved when she visited Barcelona last June. There she said in Catalan (jo també tinc sang calalana, I also have Catalan blood), declared that her family name was Ripoll (beautifully pronounced, unlike the Madrilians), a family name that is more Catalan than bread with tomato rubbed over and seasoned with olive oil and salt. And if you do not believe me, check the videoclip by yourself. And please do not boycott her. As Osgood said in "Some like it hot", 'well, nobody is perfect'.
The second person I want to bring to your attention that also falls in this category is Raymond Domenech, the French national soccer team coach. He is the son of Catalans who fled Spain during the Spanish Civil war.
Many in Catalonia rejoiced when the French team defeated the Spanish one in the Germany soccer World championship. Prior to the match, Raymond had declared: "I am not Spanish, I am a Catalan", what is factually correct, since he has, most probably, a French passport.

Personally, I could not care less about soccer. And if asked to choose between France and Spain, I would definitely choose Spain. I would however, gladly accept a Catalan passport, what is, once again,wishful thinking.
Anyway, we, Ripoll, Domenech, Llorens (Shakira, Raymond, Ian) can proudly exclaim, I also have Catalan blood (Jo també tinc sang catalana), even though I have to confess that I do not like tomato.


Marc Arza Nolla said...

Al proper LP en lloc de "en barranquilla se baila así" dirà "y mira que la sardana se baila así"... seria tot un que!!!!

Marc Arza

La Rosa de Sang said...

Hi Ian,

Nice blog. I will carry on reading it. I have Catalan blood too, but nowadays having whatever blood does not mean anything ... there is a lot of Catalans with Catalan blood who do not give a damn for their country, and Catalans with no Catalan blood whatsoever who are working really hard for Catalunya.

I'm amazed by the American experience, a country with people from such an incredible amount of origins and all of them feeling their country and their symbols so strongly.


Habibi said...

At last I can comment this post. I don't know why I had problems to load the comments' page (but only with your blog).

About catalanity... As I said before, between fanatism (religious, political or the nationalist) the worse of them is the last one as you can't choose. Although, Montilla isn't Catalan and hopefully he'll be the next President.
My blood isn't Catalan. My mother was born in Catalonia and she was the first one of my entire family to be born anywhere of the Catalan Countries. I am just second generation: a concept that my best friend (from the US) knows perfectly but not that usual in Spain.
I am the one who feels Catalan in my family. Although, when having to choose, we all are Catalan.
Catalanity is something you feel, not something you are granted. But, anyway, I am happy that Catalans abroad are Catalans as well.

PS There is a word in Polish to mean those Poles or descendants who live abroad: "Polonia" (pronounced something like "poloña/plolonya"). So, we shall now look for a word to mean the same about Catalans.

Ale said...

on noooo its not possible!!!!!! shakira partly catalan!? that's just wild-

and i thought tomato smeared on bread with olive oil was a purely italian thing?? dont tell me pizza and borsch are catalan too???

ian llorens said...

Rosa de Sang,
You are right, blood means little nowadays, but not for me. I still get goose bumps when I go to the village where my grandpa was born in Terra Alta (Tarragona).

Personally I think that the US rule should apply in Catalonia too. Only those born on Catalan soil could become president, even if this would disqualify my kids, born in Massachusetts (they can be US presidents, however).

Polonia, it is a program in TV3, isn't it? I watch the videoclips in

One more surprise. I told you, nobody is perfect. You spent too long in Italy and too little in Catalonia. Remember that "Sempre primavera" in Catalan is "Sempre primavera".
You should see how I shake my waist.