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Facebook me Travel

Nepal is coming


My trip to Nepal is nearly prepared. I’m leaving London on August 5 and coming back on September 6 (though I am again flying to Barcelona the next day, September 7 :S). Originally, I planned to go to Delhi and get a bus to Kathmandu from there, but because of the Indian visa I had to change these plans for a flight to Kathmandu the same day I’m landing in India. Shame. Next time. It’s entirely my fault. I didn’t think of the Indian visa on time! For it takes at least 15 days to get it in London if you are not a UK national.

I am going to stay a few days in Kathmandu Then I’ll be in an organic farm project of the RUWON organization, where I’ll do some farming and teaching for women living in rural societies. I hope I can also do some trekking in the middle. I expect to update my blog regularly with pictures while I’m there.

Categories
Emotional Revolution sports

The kiss of victory

Spain won the World Cup yesterday. I am not the kind of person that normally watches football. Not a great fan, though I enjoy it every now and then. But these matches, these events are much more than sport. They’re full of emotions and meaning. Like the kiss from one of the best players of the World Cup, Spain’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas, to his girlfriend Sara Carbonero, journalist of Telecinco, while she was interviewing him live after the victory. A very expressive way of showing his happiness that has touched many people. The video has been seen all around the world.

Categories
Europe

‘Visca España!’: the new brand for a diverse Spain?

When Spain won against Germany in the World Championship semifinals, a sports newspaper published in Madrid, As, headlined its front page with a ‘Visca España!’ in recognition of the origins of game played by ‘La Roja’. This is quite a symbolic expression of integrative definition of Spain.

Abroad, by all nationalities, I’ve been asked any times whether I wanted an independent Catalunya from Spain. I’ve always replied with a ‘it depends on how you define Spain’. If you define it as a centralized nation-state where other cultures other than the Castilian are marginalised from its identity, I definitely don’t want to be part of it. But if you define it as an integrative entity of diversity, where language, culture, actions, emotions and thoughts from its ‘pueblos’ (communities) are respected at the same level as the Castilian (for example when Catalan would be taught in Spanish schools as part of our rich patrimony, worth protecting and promoting), then yes. I want to be Spanish. Identity is not a static thing. It moves and changes with history. We contribute to its definition. For this we need leaders that pull us in one direction or the other. It’s up to us to choose these leaders.

Today, there is an interesting article in El Pais about the effects of Spain’s achievements in the World Cup, the use of ‘Visca España!’, the fact that the game style is from Barcelona and Spain’s brand.

Categories
General

Spain, Catalunya and the irony of fate

Most of the world knows. Tomorrow Spain will play against Netherlands in its first World Championship final. They will win. What you don’t know is that the day before, that is today, there will be a huge demonstration in Barcelona in protest of the use of the Constitutional Court’s decision against some important articles of the new Catalan Statute (l’Estatut) (a kind of Catalan Constitution). It is ironic that this manifestation of the problems of vertebration of a nation-state that has struggled from its beginning to integrate a dominating Castilian culture with its peripherical partners coincides with the biggest success in Spanish sport history. Furthermore, the core of the skilful Spanish football team is mostly composed by Catalans or people from Barcelona FC, one of the most important symbols of Catalan national aspirations. Irony of fate.

Categories
Emotional Revolution

Whore!

A couple of days ago, I was listening to Spanish radio while having a “clara” (beer with lemonade) in the terrace of the bar Zurich in Barcelona waiting for a friend I hadn’t seen for at least 10 years. On the radio, they were reading a chapter of the book “Los pasos (in)visibles de la prostitución“, an interesting research work on prostitution. The chapter was “Deconstrucción de un estigma” (deconstruction of a stigma). It was about the use of the stigma of “whore” (puta) used by society to control and limit the behaviour of women. Being “whore!” the worst insult for a woman, the ultimate stigma from which all “decent” women want to be dissociated, it’s continuously used to mark the limits within which women can act.