After 9 awesome meetings standing out the differences between our cultures, we planned to end this course with a session where we reflected about all the things we have in common, just to clarify if the independence of Catalonia would be reasonable (from the cultural point of view). Just as a quick reminder, Catalonia (and consequently, Spain) is facing now a difficult moment because of the general discomfort with the Spanish government and the treatment Catalonia is receiving. The result is a process of independence that aims to split Spain and to create a new country for the Catalan people. So, after hours of difficult discussions, we came up with some conclusions or ideas but not with a clear answer.
Despite the language, our cultures are very similar. We both come from big European cities that are connected with the world and so are open, friendly and plural. Even though the Madrilians are known (and have proved to be) proud of their heritage and themselves (they are called “churros”, which more or less means “cocky”), almost all the celebrations and traditions are similar to the Catalan ones. At least, we both love our gastronomy, our traditions and the beer! We tried to make a list with things in common but it was hard because we both want to feel special and different. But even from the language point of view, we share a lot of elements (like words and expressions).
I expected to have a short meeting discussing about the things that we have in common and then creating a list with the outcomes. But, unexpectedly, the session turned out being a discussion about the differences not just from the cultural point of view, but from the political, economical and historical. I realized that the actual problems in Catalonia have been told in a different way in Madrid. It was a very interesting conversation and we even had some tense moments, which is always good because it means we broke some taboo topics. We didn’t expect such a deep meeting and that made us change the preliminary plan because the is experience won’t be finished here. We will continue this discussion that has been started in this amazing experience called “Each One Teach One” out of the course because we would never end posting about this topic. Because as we say in Catalonia: “parlant la gent s’entén” (which means “just speaking people understand each other”).