Language and Culture in Spain – What a Joke

Spain is often a world apart. Once you understand Spain, you understand the world… A little incident is striking for what is happening here sometimes. This is obviously all about Culture.

To understand what is going on, some basic information is required; Spain consists of communities of which some of these would like to be independent national states. We are not there yet. But this struggle influences the (central) political debate.

Recently Montserrat Nebrera a deputy for the PP (a political party – “el Partido Popular”) representing the Catalan community expressed that the Andalusian accent of the minister of Development Magdalena Álvarez was “a joke.”

Interesting… because what we experience here is a combination of: a national (central) political party the PP, a local community Catalunya – represented by the causer of this little incident Montserrat Nebrera – and the central government represented by the “Andalusian minister” who was being politically attacked and being a member of another political party.

What happened afterwards was that the Andalusian representative of the PP urged the dismissal of the Catalunyan member Montserrat Nebrera, in that way not only defending the Andalusian language but also someone of another and rivaling political party: Alvarez is from the PSOE. The Andalusian representative of the PP said that the Catalan deputy was “uneducated and ignorant”; she doesn’t represent neither Catalunya nor the PP uttered their general secretary Antonio Sanz.

Later the deputy said “I was referring to her tone of voice. I may have been wrong in using the right word”. The foreign reader interested in Spanish culture should understand that in Catalunya they speak a different language (Catalan), whereas the Andalucian only speak a dialect, but completely compatible with standard Spanish.

The story doesn’t stop here. In a playful comment someone from the other political party (the PSOE) also from Andalusia send the deputy of Catalunya two of the works of the famous Andalusian poet Federico García Lorca – attached with the message: “so that you may get to know us better.”

Just another day in Spain…