HomeQ&A"Patriotism" a long-forgotten taboo word in Spain

"Patriotism" a long-forgotten taboo word in Spain

15
votes

This is not a football thread, but it certainly has a lot to do with footballwink

I would like to share with you what we are living here now...a newborn Patriotism, yes, with caps, which people have not dared to show or not felt for a long time!

Since the World Cup and our surprising performance, I think we are still stunned how well we did!, jeje, suddenly everybody needed a flag. One should think a Spanish flag would be easy to find here in Spain, well, it was not! In some parts of the country the Spanish flag was not only often burnt but there had to be court order (!!) so that the flag would be hoisted in official buildings in for example the Basque country, I think this also happened in Cataluña.

So to find a flag...risky business and almost impossible! Risky? yes, as any kind of "living the colours" (vivir los colores) was labelled as "facha" (fascist). Nobody would wear yellow and red together, nobody would fly a flag in the window, car, anywhere.

I have always been envious of Patriotism shown in other countries, namely in the States. When the Twin Towers were bombed, everybody stuck together as "one" and you could see the flag, the togetherness, the love for the country everywhere. We had a soldier on this forum who was always thanked for his service...unheard of here in Spain.

We don't have a memorial day, we never praise soldiers, we don't even so much as talk about them. confused When the train station Atocha was bombed here in Madrid, the left wing accused the right wing and the right wing accused Eta....everybody more apart than ever. I actually went to the memorial service of all those deaths and a member of one victim got up and pointing at the president of the country spit into his face: "Tú has matado a mi hermano"! (you killed my brother).

Patriotism has been rare and hidden...until yesterday! I came home at 2 am, but most people did not sleep at all. You could see the Spanish flag everywhere and if I say everywhere.... on police cars (!!) on an enormous rubbish lorry...the flag was all over the front, taxis, girls dressed on only the flag, everybody wearing the colours..it was a true: "Marea roja" (red wave)

Even my one and only Alvite wrote a column about this phenomena.

And yes, let's hope this will be it, a unified country where what counts is Spain.

Please share anything about patriotism in your country, if it is openly shown, what kind of things you do to celebrate, if you are united...anything at allgrin

10220 views
updated OCT 13, 2010
edited by 00494d19
posted by 00494d19
"so that the flag would be hissed" ▬► "so that the flag could be hoisted/raised/flown" - Izanoni1, JUL 12, 2010
Or were you trying to say that people would actually hiss at the flag when they saw it flying outside of a building? - Izanoni1, JUL 12, 2010
izan, you see a mistake, edit please, thanks! - 00494d19, JUL 12, 2010
I would have, but I wasn't sure if you were trying to say "hoisted" or "hissed at" - Izanoni1, JUL 12, 2010

19 Answers

3
votes

This is a very interesting discussion Heidi and I am in the unique position, I believe, of being able to understand the phenomena that is occurring in Spain right now. This because during the Winter Olympics recently that were held in Vancouver pretty well the same thing happened here. It seemed that previously in Canada 'waving the flag' was almost considered 'uncool' or maybe an 'American' thing. As Canadians we always observed the huge self-congratulatory celebrations in the U.S. as 'their way' and ours was maybe less about a real "Canadian" identity and more about assimilation and trying hard to absorb and accept the multitude of cultures we have going now. Not that we didn't admire the American way - only that we were probably way too reticent to actually go out and do it ourselves!

Then the Olympics happened and suddenly (like in Spain now) the flag was every where and every one was flying it and waving it and wearing it. I was astonished, I had never seen anything like it. The outpouring of happiness and good vibes was an excellent experience. It started with the 'torch run' where the people carrying the olympic torch would run for a short distance and pass it on to the next person with hugs and cheers and great enthusiasm. I went to watch and pretty well everyone was wearing red and white as well as big grins and I don't think I have ever seen such happiness displayed in a public place apart from at some game or other where the home team had just won.

And that brings me back to the point (congratulations to Spain) and I am sorry hitchens I do believe that you are missing the main point - it does not matter that these are millionaires or whether the fútballers are human beings with less than stellar morals. What matters here is the unifying spirit that they were and are able to bring to a country that sorely needs it. It is a true and beautiful emotion and it should be relished and cherished and enjoyed and hopefully it will continue well into the future. People need to be proud of their roots and anything unifying whether it is soccer or cricket as in Vaanz' very insightful post is good for a country. This just does not happen that often in today's world and we are not talking about nationalistic fervour that would make us go out and try to take over a neighbouring country (wouldn't work for us anyway right) and the truth is good spirits and happiness make the world a better place - I believe in the concept of karma and come on - there is no better karma than joy and happiness. Let's all be super happy and content that our lovely Spain has won some happiness and rejoice along with Heidi and Meli et al. I hope their joy spreads out in waves and engulfs the world. ¡Viva España!

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by margaretbl
Viva !! :) - 00494d19, JUL 12, 2010
I totally agree with your point Margaret. As an American in Vancouver, I definitely noticed the huge increase in patriotism and feeling of unity during the Olympics, so much fun; and afterwards it was pretty much back to normal. - schemmn, JUL 12, 2010
Hi Schemmn, true, I guess it is inevitable... - margaretbl, JUL 12, 2010
geat post marga:) - 00494d19, JUL 13, 2010
5
votes

We fly a flag outside our house everyday. We also have one on our mailbox. Even if we do not agree with war or certain political decision, we fly the flag as a symbol of our freedom. On Memorial Day , the flag is flown in memory of the men and women killed in battle, and on Independence Day, we fly it to celebrate the creation of our country. At my parent's house there is a flagpole that can fly three flags. They fly the United States flag, the Rhode Island flag, and either the U. S. Navy flag, or the U. S. Coast Guard flag. (My dad was in the Navy and I was brought up in a military family).

updated OCT 13, 2010
edited by sanlee
posted by sanlee
5
votes

I think sport play an important role in uniting people in each and every country.

With 18 official languages, its hard to rule our country. We have different culture from state to state. Also we have lots of communal riots that also depends on states. Even 'River Water' is not shared among the States.The worst was 'Babri Masjid' (Hindu - Muslim riot) it had impact all over the country. (Mostly North Indian states) Then came the Gujarat riot. Again a Hindu - Muslim riot. But in my state hindus and muslims live together. BUT, here people give lots of importance to their caste and subcastes. Even i'm not allowed to marry someone from other caste. smile

Communal riots are there throughout the year except when we have 'WAR', 'TERRORIST ATTACK', 'NATURAL CALAMITIES 'and 'CRICKET MATCH' . These things make people to think India as one. No matter what, these things really unites us (Including the politicians). wink

But we are not allowed to show our patriotism by wearing tri-color (Saffron, White with Blue wheel, Green) dresses, hats etc.

There are two celebrations that i cant forget, one is when we won the Kargil war and another is when we won the 20-20 cricket world cup. Every one had the flag pinned to their shirts, danced in roads, distributed sweets to all.

Other than this the only day we celebrate for the nation is 'Independence Day'.

As i said earlier, Sports play an important role in uniting the people and give them a chance to show their patriotism.

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by Vaanz
thanks a lot, very nice post vaan - 00494d19, JUL 12, 2010
Vanz - cricket really is amazing in its ability to bring people together. - ian-hill, JUL 12, 2010
Yes Ian, and in india, its a part of our soul(Not for all though) ;) - Vaanz, JUL 12, 2010
All the problems we have in England between the different nationalities (and even religions) disappear when a game of cricket is played. - ian-hill, JUL 12, 2010
4
votes

Hi everyone.

My comment is a short one.

In my country "Patriotism" has become a dirty word.

And along with other words such as: Valour, Chivalry, Gallantry, Heroism, Loyalty and even Honesty is rarely seen or heard.

For me to fly the flag of my country, England, is seen by some as a provocation.

Spain "Fly your flag" Enjoy your moment of triumph.

updated OCT 13, 2010
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
Which is exactly what I was trying to convey, just like in Spain, but maybe thsi has changed,,,I do hope so- - 00494d19, JUL 12, 2010
4
votes

.....after 911, it was difficult to find a house without a flag hanging from it.

True! LOTS of people even have bumper stickers on their cars with the U.S. American flag.

My car has a peace sign that is in the flag colors of red, white, and blue like this one:

alt text

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
4
votes

So to find a flag...risky business and almost impossible! Risky? yes, as any kind of "living the colours" (vivir los colores) was labelled as "facha" (fascist). Nobody would wear yellow and red together, nobody would fly a flag in the window, car, anywhere.

I am glad you shared this. This is very sad, but for some reason, I was unaware of this fact. I have always thought that most countries shared a similar patriotism in their own countries as we do in the U.S. However, I am starting to see that this is not the case.

We here in the U.S. do the same sort of back and forth bickering, the Republicans blame the Democrats and vice versa. Everything is someone else's fault. However, it is true, after 911, it was difficult to find a house without a flag hanging from it.

We were in Baltimore Harbor for the 4th last week. I have also celebrated the 4th in my hometown of Philadelphia, where the actual Declaration of Independence from England was signed on July 4th. I recently toured that site again with friends visiting from the Dominican Republic and was reminded of all of the sacrifice that went into the birth of this country.

Surprisingly, the absolute best 4th of July for me was celebrated in Mexico two years ago. I was amazed at what the hotel did for all of the Americans staying there. They threw an elaborate, all day party, complete with red, white and blue balloons everywhere. There were patriotic sand and ice sculptures, hamburgers, hot dogs and many other American holiday foods. They entertained us all day in a way that was more spectacular than even the most expensive wedding I've ever attended. It was truly amazing. The most touching part was when they played our national anthem while displaying video of gorgeous American scenery. We were truly amazed and will always be thankful to our Mexican neighbors for making this such a special day!! smile

Another thing I just thought of....at every sporting event from high school to professional level, we always stand and sing the national anthem. Depending on how important a game is (Super Bowl,etc.) there might be a military fly over or some other spectacular patriotic display.

You do have to remember though, that compared to most countries, we are mere babies. Hopefully, our youthful exuberance will last, but who knows? wink

alt text

updated OCT 13, 2010
edited by Nicole-B
posted by Nicole-B
4
votes

As you pointed out, Heidita, often it takes a great tragedy to bring a people together, so how wonderful that your country has such a happy occasion to bring you together. It is indeed a wonderful feeling, isn't it? The unity, the oneness...

My friends and I celebrate Independence Day (July 4th) with get-togethers. On Memorial Day it is heart-warming to see all of the flags being flown, and there is a special program at the Veteran's Post here. Flags are fairly prominent in our area at all times.

On a sad note, within the past two weeks we have had two young men from our city (serving in different places) killed in the line of duty to their country.

updated OCT 13, 2010
edited by Delores--Lindsey
posted by Delores--Lindsey
4
votes

I saw the videos of the crowds in Spain last night. That was awesome alone. I did not watch the game,sports are not my thing.Though I would play cards with Pulpo Paul.

A Korean War veteran and I were remarking the other day that Veteran's Day and Independance day seemed more like markers for "blow out sales" than showing respect for the veterans.

I probably need to leave this country for a while to appreciate it more.

I think it is a good thing that SPain has recovered pride after the Franco years.Patriotism is a double edged sword. One more concept that humans can take to a negative divisive extreme.

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by nizhoni1
4
votes

Well, let me start by saying that I hate war and certain presidents (I won't mention names and start a political controversy on the forum) who seem excited to start a war for no good reason.

However, I do admire, and I am very thankful for, those men and women who fight for our country.

I celebrate Memorial Day, which honors the veterans of all wars, and I certainly celebrate Independence Day, which is a celebration of our country's freedom.

Although my family and I celebrate Thanksgiving, it's simply a time to get together and give thanks for all we have. However, we don't remember the Pilgrims as good people or heroes. We are very cognizant of the fact that they murdered the Native Americans in their quest to conquer the new world, and we are very ashamed of that part of our U.S. history.

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
My country is U. S. A. - --Mariana--, JUL 12, 2010
3
votes

Somos dignos hijos de la Madre Patria Heidita... Yo siempre envidié (in a good way, obvio) el patriotismo de US. Acá tampoco se reconoce el servicio de los soldados que pelearon en Malvinas por ejemplo, y hace sólo un par de años se recuerda a los caídos por el golpe militar, pero es un feriado que sólo sirve para alargar más el fin de semana...

.

Este mundial (hasta donde llegó Argentina) ha despertado un patriotismo que yo jamás había visto antes. El día de los partidos los chicos iban a la escuela con las camisetas de Argentina, gorros y cornetas y les ponían una pantalla gigante para que puedan ver el partido!! Las banderas flameaban por todos lados y ni te cuento todas las veces que salieron a festejar... Hasta los pueblos más tranquilos eran pura fiesta!!!

.

Pero ya todo volvió a la normalidad. El 9 de Julio fue el día de la Independencia de Argentina. Nadie agitó una bandera. Hubo actos, un desfile, pero ya no hay fervor, patriotismo, orgullo nacional... Es increíble lo que hace el fútbol... será por eso que lo llaman "pasión de multitudes".

.

Gracias por compartir y felicitaciones por el triunfo... Espero que esa llama no se apague!!

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by Benz
Muy buen dicho Benz, gracias por compartir, el foro nos hace comprender nuestro mundo mejor, no es verdad. - margaretbl, JUL 12, 2010
3
votes

Here in the United States, everyone has a different view on things like whether or not to support the troops or to wave an American flag. Recently, a bill which created a universal healthcare system was passed by our legislatures. It was so controversial that there were some who talked about succeeding! I think that THAT showed a MAJOR lapse in patriotism. I certainly do not support every action my government takes, but I am Patriotic because I support the rights I am guaranteed by living here. I do criticize the actions my country takes, but I think that criticizing one's country is being patriotic. Some people would disagree, and some would rather not live here. Oh well, I know I can't change their mind

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by Perry-Bleiberg
"succeeding" ▬► "seceding" - Izanoni1, JUL 12, 2010
3
votes

We have always had our flag flying high on our property. I think of it as a symbol of what is good about our country. There will always be good and bad in this country but when I look at our flag I feel optimistic that the good will out weigh the bad. There have been many sacrifices made by those who have gone before me and I hope I will never forget that!

Canada Map & Flag Pictures, Images and Photos

I just want to add one more thing. I don't think of our flag as representing our current government. It is much more than that! Governments come and go, I think of it as representing our Nation of people and all the people who have made this country possible.

updated OCT 13, 2010
edited by Brynleigh
posted by Brynleigh
2
votes

I am ressurecting this thread because in it I made the point that "hero worshiping a bunch of millionaires out of touch with reality who kick a ball into the goal" is not what countries are built on. Real sacrifiices, real heroes, NOT fake ones. Obviously i am reffering to the thing in Chille.

I dont buy much into what the media tries to sell, but anyone who wants to look at an example in 2010 of how an event can shape a country, look at the super poor miners of Chille who risked their lives, went through hell and needed lots of guts to survive, not the luxury filled lives in South Africa who did nothing heroic.

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by El_Hitch
great comment, hitchens, these guys are real heroes, no doubt about that... - 00494d19, OCT 13, 2010
2
votes

Another thing I just thought of....at every sporting event from high school to professional level, we always stand and sing the national anthem. Depending on how important a game is (Super Bowl,etc.) there might be a military fly over or some other spectacular patriotic display.

In international matches, the Spanish hymn is played, but the people do not stand up or something as I have seen the Americans do. No flag is flown, and the picture on your photo is or I hope was impossible so far.

The footballers live lives of immense luxury and comfort, while a 5th of the country is unemployed, and many are in poverty.

I said this topic had nothing to do with football itself, even though if a sport event has united the country and people are proud to be Spanish...so be it, good enough for me.

(What has Casillas's salary got to do with the topic?)

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by 00494d19
2
votes

In international matches, the Spanish hymn is played, but the people do not stand up or something as I have seen the Americans do. No flag is flown, and the picture on your photo is or I hope was impossible so far.

This is one of the most eye opening threads for me. I have always assumed, even taken for granted, the fact that most other countries felt the same way about their flags, national anthems/hymns and patriotism in general. It never really occurred to me that a country would be embarrassed or feel uncomfortable to wave their flag or to display pride in their country.

When I think of some of the great countries mentioned, like Spain, Italy and Canada, I am totally amazed that the citizens of these (and I'm guessing many other countries) don't celebrate the beauty, heritage and amazing things produced by their countries. It just so happens that I know of people who have recently returned from all three of the above mentioned countries. They have been going on for days about the how gorgeous and wonderful these places are. We as Americans are so fascinated by other countries, especially ones with centuries of history. We celebrate the food, the culture, the languages, etc. Why do those who live in these countries not feel the same way?

This seems very sad to me. But one thing I know for sure--after following this thread, I am not going to take all of the American flags and displays of patriotism for granted. I am going to see these things in a brand new light!! Thank you for sharing this Heidi!! smile

updated OCT 13, 2010
posted by Nicole-B
Oh, and I'm so sorry for not mentioning this before, but congratulations on the World Cup!!!!!!! - Nicole-B, JUL 12, 2010
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