Spain is different: independece
If you are a foreigner and Barcelona Football Club's fan, you will support it. If you are not even into football, you will wonder “what's wrong with Spain”.
Let's try to explain why there is a nationalistic conflict with Cataluña and how it is not focued or based only in that region.
Some general information to have a first impression about what is going on in Spain. Spain, the largest country in Southern Europe, is located on the Iberian Peninsula, with two large archipelagoes, the Balearic Islands (that many British and Germans know as a party paradise, and also region of Rafael Nadal) and the Canary Islands, which are closer to Africa than to Spain. Also two cities in North Africa are part of the country, Ceuta and Melilla (most know because of the wall). The capital of Spain is Madrid, which is in the middle of the country, not Barcelona. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy. Yes, Spain is still a Kingdom of Spain, even if the monarchy is not in really good shape after corruption cases and hunting sessions. Ah, by the way, working hours in Spain are 40 per week (even if there are 4,2 million unemployed).
But what is this Spain we are talking about? Because for most of the Spanish citizens, this is just an idea of a country, just that, an idea in some people minds, mostly foreigners'. Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities or regions. Each of them, with their own government, rules and flag. This does not mean Spain is like Germany, a federal parliamentary republic. But it means each region has some power, but the main one comes from Madrid. Some regions are more autonomous or with more identity than others. And this is the main key of the conflict. The definition of nation is “an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages”. Similar ideas, cultures, language... and this is not working in Spain. Each region has its own personality.
And at this point the reader will say, “like Cataluña, and for this reason they want to be independent”. Yes and no. Sure this is what is going on in Cataluña, but it is not a feeling only from Cataluña. Spanish (español) is the official language of the entire country. But, and here is something not many people understand, the Spanish constitution also establishes "all other Spanish languages". That is, other languages of Spain, also official in their respective autonomous communities. This means, in Spain there are more than one language, but not only Catalan. There are 5 extra languages: Galician, Catalan, Vasque, Asturian, Aragonese and Occitan. The language is not the only difference you can find in the regions. Also culture, traditions, food and even lifestyle. If you say to someone from the North that “paella” and “toros” (a dish based on rise, typical from Valencia, bulls and bullfighting) are the icons of Spain, they would start laughing.
Coming from Celtics and not from Iberians
Octopus and rain, lot of rain. Rural life and mystique connexion with the sea. Are we still talking about Spain? Sure, we do. But not the idea of Spain you may have in mind. Galicia is one of the regions that shares this strong nationalistic feeling, as the famous Cataluña and Vasc Country do. This feeling does not come from anything. During the Middle Ages, Galician-Portuguess language was really important and prestigious, and Galicia was considered a kingdom. Then something changed, and Galician was consider as “farmers' language”, being underestimated from outside of the kingdom. This period is known as “Seculos Escuros” (“Dark Centuries”), when Galician was forbidden. From this hiding, Galician icons came out, as Rosalia de Castro, a writer and Manuel Mugía, a main pioneer and disclosing of Galician nationalism. This independent and nationalist feeling came also from the idea that Galician people are from Celtic, and not from Iberians, as the rest of Spanish. With this idea, well recognised in rest of Europe, Galicia was and still is surrounded by mysticism and magic. And this Celtic feeling was so powerful that Galician hymn says:
esperta do teu sono wake up from your sleep
Fogar de Breogán. Breogán's Home. (old Celtic king of Galicia)
Os bos e xenerosos The good and the generous.
a nosa voz entenden understand our voice
e con arroubo atenden and with enchant they heed
o noso rouco son, our hoarse sound,
mais só os iñorantes But just ignorant people
e féridos e duros, and wild and stubborn, (or tough)
imbéciles e escuros imbecils and dark people
non nos entenden, non. they don't understand us, no.
Os tempos son chegados The times have come
dos bardos das idades of the bards of the ages
que as vosas vaguedades that your vague words
cumprido fin terán; will have a fulfilled end;
pois, onde quer, xigante because, where it wants, gigant
a nosa voz pregoa our voice hawks
a redenzón da boa the redemption of the good
Nazón de Breogán” Nation of Breogán.”