Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Not only Franco… Primo de Rivera as well

The Catalan language has periodically been repressed throughout history. Usually people think that Catalan language was repressed only by the Franco’s dictatorship. Unfortunately this is only one of several Spanish repressive waves.

The language was banned by the Spanish dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1929), The only language to be used in many aspects was Castilian. For instance:
  • Town councils were not allowed to write Catalan.
  • Teachers who spoke in Catalan at the classrooms were transferred to Spanish-speaking places, fined and punished
  • Schools were highly controlled by Spanish inspectors prosecuting Catalan language.
  • Our language was also forbidden at cinema or pharmacological products.
  • Floral games, poetry contests celebrated as long as the XIV century and re-established in 1859
  • A Royal Order from 1926 punished everyone who abstain himself to use Spanish language
  • The well-known architect Antoni Gaudí (Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló…) was fined in 1924 for not speaking in Spanish. He was arrested, beaten and imprisoned for the same reason when he was 72 years old. Spain doesn’t understand for aged people, architects or languages. Spain hates all that is not Spanish.
These are some few examples but Catalonia resisted this dictatorship. Unfortunately repression of the Catalan language was picked up again by another Spanish dictatorship. General Francisco Franco, who ascended to power in 1939 after the Spanish Civil War.

Primo de Rivera with the king Alfons XIII, who was the grandparent of the present Spanish king.
Well-known archictect, Gaudí, was repressed by Spain several times

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