Quinta-feira, 29 de Julho de 2010

Catalonia: A political bullfight, as usual

By Diogo Noivo

 

The parliament of Catalonia approved a motion which bans bullfights. This decision may be interpreted – especially animal rights advocates – as a victory since it was achieved in the country seen as the motherland of bullfights.

However, the decision has little to do with animal rights, and with regard to Spain as the world center of bullfights, the ban is far from being a serious achievement. First, Catalonia does not have much tradition in what comes to bullfights. Second, nationalist Catalans have the habit of doing politics through shock and provocation – not so long ago, pictures of the Spanish Royal Family were burnt in the middle of the street – and this is what the ban really stands for.

After the enormous display of national unity that followed the World Cup – so incredibly significant that Spanish flags were waved and people sang “I am Spanish” in Basque public squares – Catalonia’s nationalists needed to find a controversial cause, able to generate commotion and stir up nationalist feelings throughout Spain. Banning bullfights fulfills those requirements.

Regardless of weather they enjoy bullfights the majority of Spanish citizens perceive it as part of their national identity, and not just as a symbol of regions such as Madrid or Andalucía. In fact, even some prominent Catalans opposed the ban. Therefore, by banning bullfights in Catalonia, nationalist Catalans are serving a two-folded purpose: they are provoking the Spanish society; and they are also symbolically demonstrating their wish to become independent from Spain.

 

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publicado por IPRIS às 12:58
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