Sardana – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Separatist movements specialise in promoting the members’ “otherness”, making them prickly and exclusive. I tend not to support sovereignty movements, but I came out of Barcelona with plenty of Catalunyan flag stickers and pins to show my support. One of the most endearing experiences I’v ever had was witnessing a Sardana dance outside Barcelona’s Catedral Gotic. For decades, Catalunia’s language and culture was repressed by Franco, who wanted to eliminate sectionalism to create a unified Spain. Other provinces chose to protest (and still do) by planting bombs and running terror campaigns. The Catalunyans, for their part, join hands and dance. Even more impressive was the number of elderly dancers who would leave their circle to invite tourists, bystanders and passersby to join in, teaching them the basic steps to this traditional dance as they went. Other separatist groups would do well to promote their traditions, if they’re as inclusive, gentle and sweet as the Sardana dance.

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