Sometimes, a minority becomes so strong and prominent that everyone feels compelled to notice it. Almost every country in the world is home to multiple cultures and languages. However, in most of them, there is one culture and language that gets the most importance. It is mostly the lifestyle of the majority that becomes more crucial in shaping the look of a country as a whole. It is the beliefs of the majority that are honored by the country’s constitution. Those that don’t share these beliefs or live their life in the same way as the majority gets ignored. Sometimes, the minorities are pushed to the sidelines in the hopes that their culture won’t affect the identity of the majority.
During Medieval times, the Principality of Catalonia was thriving in the Iberian Peninsula. Today, the Catalonian region is inside Spain, where the language and culture of these people are going strong. A lot of people don’t know that there is a difference between Catalonia and Spain. They mix the cultures and languages of the two, but in truth, the differences between the two are plenty. Catalonia is a region in Spain where people speak a different tongue and practice their culture. The region shares a bond with other countries of Europe that speak the Catalan language.
What is the Catalan Culture?
The fascinating culture practiced by the people of Catalan is worth studying whether you are a student of sociology or not. Here are a few interesting facts about it:
- The culture of this region is known for absorbing outside influences frequently. When an outside custom gets accepted by this community, they give it their own touch.
- The cuisine is a huge part of the culture. The Catalonians are known for making delicious seafood and meat-based dishes. Although you can try Spanish foods in Barcelona, it is the typical dishes of the Catalonians that you shouldn’t miss out on when you are there.
- If there is one thing you can be sure of, it is that Catalonians are always ready to party. Even if there is nothing to celebrate, they make up something. If you look hard enough, you can find a party in one of the streets every day. The Catalan culture is known for its vibrant festivities, and if you don’t want to miss out on the show, catch one of the parties.
- The people of this region are known for forming Human Towers, also known as Castellers. The tradition got so famous that UNESCO gave it protection in 2010, after which it became exclusive to Catalonia. During the festival season, you can see many people trying to form the biggest human tower. Men, women, and even children participate in this game.
- Catalonia has given Spain a lot of authors, artists, and sports personalities. Salvador Dali was a Catalonian, and so is the famous tennis player Rafael Nadal.
The Catalan Language:
The language of the Catalonians is an essential part of their identity. It is what defines them and makes them different from the rest of the population. They have worked hard to make sure their vernacular does not go back into the shadows. Here are a few interesting facts about this tongue:
- It isn’t a new language and has been around since the Middle Ages when it evolved from the Vulgar Latin. However, its use declined when the Franco dictatorship banned speaking Catalan. Once the language had a revival, its speakers decided to use it more and more.
- Since both Spanish and Catalan originated from Vulgar Latin, they share a lot of similarities. However, the Catalonians are not willing to give up on their language because of that. Despite being bilingual, they prefer to talk in their vernacular whenever they are in Catalonia.
- The language is native to four European countries, which are: Spain, Italy, France, and Andorra. It has a little over four million native speakers, but the number of people who speak Catalan goes up to ten million.
- It is an easy to pick up vernacular for those who speak a Romance language. Not only it shares similarities with them, but it also has plenty of common words.
- There are plenty of dialects of this tongue, and the pronunciation changes from one to the next. However, most of these dialects are mutually intelligible despite the pronunciation differences.
- Although the Latin script was adopted to write this vernacular, there are a few symbols and digraphs that are exclusive to it.
- If you plan on learning Catalan, the most complicated thing to pick up will be the personal pronouns in it. In unstressed form, there are thirteen different pronouns in this tongue. By bringing together unstressed pronouns, you can get 65 combinations. It will be a bit challenging to wrap your head around this, but once you do, you will start enjoying the high degree of freedom that comes with the process.
Humans can be quite limiting in their thought process at times. This is why plenty of people would think of Spanish and Catalan as the same. However, the culture and language of Catalonia are worth looking up. You will notice how vital these things can be for the identity of a community. You will also learn to appreciate the freedom with which you can practice your culture and speak your language. Understanding the identity of the Catalonians can make anyone appreciative of their own culture.