Happy (late) Andalucía Day

Yeah, I know, el Día de Andalucía was actually February 28th. But February passed so quickly that it caught me off guard. Consider yourself way more of a Hispanophile than I am if you remembered Andalucía Day without my prompting.

The Andalusian flag

This year the celebration marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía as a geopolitical region. Never mind that for well over a thousand years the Andalusian region has been home to a vastly different culture than that of the central and northern Castilian provinces. The historically centralized nature of Spanish politics didn’t want powerful regional governments, hence no “Andalucía” as we know it today: the 8 provinces of Cádiz; Almería; Córdoba; Sevilla; Granada; Huelva; Jaén; Málaga, and its capital in the city of Sevilla.  After the death of General Franco and his fascist government in Madrid in 1975 (the reign in Spain fell on the plain), much of Spain’s regionalism was once again afforded at least nominal respect and acceptance within the framework of the country’s new-found democracy. Though even today you’d be hard-pressed to find an andaluz who speaks well of Catalonia, or a madrileño who raves about the Basque Country, one has to realize that not being liked is not the same as having your regional language and many forms of your local cultural expression outlawed.  Of course, when the word “regionalism” appears in reference to Spain, it’s almost always in respect to either Catalonia or the Basque Country. The truth of the matter is that few are the regions of Spain that don’t have some sort of independence movement, if not an autonomous community from Spain, then a province or group of provinces from their autonomous community (see: León, Eastern Andalucía).

All things considered, Andalucía has managed to find a very happy balance between its “historic nationality” (as is “andaluz” according to a recent amendment to the constitution) and its Spanish nationality. The andaluces are often just as proud to be Spanish as they are to be andaluz, which is not a common phenomenon in some parts of this country. And this holiday, whether viewed as a vindication of Andalusia’s place in modern Spain, or as an opportunity to defend a more radical independence movement, offers something everyone down south can agree on: a 4-day weekend!

Below are two versions of the Andalusian hymn, the traditional version accompanied by a professed love for Spain, and a punk-rock version by the band Reincidentes, used to support an independista viewpoint.

These people love Andalucía and Spain the same amount:

These people love Andalucía way more than Spain:

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~ by lincolnbrody on March 7, 2010.

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