Anti-Catalanism

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A sign in Valencia city calling for a boycott of Catalan products
Anti-Catalanism in France. Royal decree forbidding to use the Catalan language in Roussillon, Conflent and Cerdanya starting 2 April 1700

Anti-Catalanism (Catalan: anticatalanisme, IPA: [ˌantikətəɫəˈnizmə]) is the collective name given to various historical trends in Spain and in France that have been hostile to Catalan culture and traditions. In more recent times it can also refer to a reaction against Catalan nationalism or Catalan independentism.

Description[edit]

In a historical and political context, anti-Catalanism expresses itself as a xenophobic attitude towards the Catalan language, people, traditions or anything identified with Catalonia and the political implications of this attitude. In its most extreme circumstances, this may also be referred as Catalanophobia. Several political movements, known for organizing boycotts of products from Catalonia, are also actively identified with anti-Catalanism.

Anti-Catalanism in its most virulent form is mostly associated with far-right Spanish political parties. Groups such as España 2000 object strongly to the autonomy enjoyed by Catalonia, claiming that the granting of autonomy to Catalonia and other regions will lead to the breakup of Spain. A former saying amongst latter day Francoists during the Spanish Transition (late 1970s, early 1980s) illustrating this attitude was: Antes roja que rota, which roughly translates as: "(I would) Rather (see Spain) red than broken", meaning that these people would prefer to see Spain become Communist than have regions (like Catalonia or the Basque Country) seceding from it.

Criticism of Catalan nationalism and allegedly xenophobic, populist and selfish sentiments that feed it, is to be found throughout the Spanish political spectrum. Such criticism does not necessarily imply being against regional autonomy in Spain, or even the use of regional languages in the public domain.

Besides politics, anti-catalanism is often also based on widespread perceived prejudices among regions of Spain. Negative perceptions of Catalans common throughout Spain involve a sense of them being excessively individualistic, unfriendly, unwelcoming, coward, treacherous, snobbish and mean. This perception plays with political realities, Catalonia often being accused of lack of solidarity with the poorer regions of Spain, marginalization of the Spanish language and culture (e.g. ban on bullfighting or absence of Spanish-language public education) and historical discrimination and racism against economic migrants from Andalusia and Extremadura. The degree to which the latter accusation is justified is debatable, particularly since the children and grandchildren of immigrants have successfully integrated into a multicultural Catalan society. However, arguments forwarded include that whereas the 20 most common surnames names in Catalonia proper are Spanish (Garcia, Fernandez etc..), the vast majority of politicians have Catalan surnames and many of those who don't catalanize them upon embarking on a political career.

Anti-Catalanism has a local and distinctive manifestation in the Valencian Community called Blaverism, a movement rejecting Joan Fuster's concept of Països Catalans.[1] Blaverism is best reflected in debates concerning the status of Valencian versus Catalan, even though this phenomenon has diminished greatly over the last 25 years. Also in Aragon there is an anti-Catalan movement that seeks to diminish the Catalan identity of La Franja, thus the Aragonese parliament has passed laws that will make no mention of the word "Catalan" in connection with Aragon.[2][3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Xavier Coller [www.cairn.info/revue-pole-sud-2006-2-page-107.htm Collective identities and failed nationalism], in Pôle Sud 2/2006 (n° 25), p. 107-136.
  2. ^ Aragón excluye al catalán de sus lenguas oficiales, ahora se llama Lapao
  3. ^ Las Cortes de Aragón aprueban llamar ‘lapao’ al catalán y ‘lapapyp’ al aragonés

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jaume Medina, "L'anticatalanisme del diari ABC (1916-1936)", Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat | col·lecció Biblioteca Serra d'Or. ISBN 978-84-7826-606-7