¿Patria o tierra?

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¿Patria o tierra?

For many Spanish people, the word “patria” (homeland), unfortunately, has a negative connotation. First, many autonomous communities (especially, Catalonia and the Basque Country) do not feel Spanish, for them being Spanish is just a matter circumstances. Second, in many people’s minds the word “patria” is connected with “actitudes racistas y patrioterismo”, i.e. giving Spain too much importance, thus undermining other nations. After 40 years of the right dictatorship, the pendulum swung to the other side, and for the last forty years the majority of the Spanish have had a negative attitude to the official symbols – coat of arms, flag, and anthem. The only thing that could unite the Spanish and make them wave their national flag is sport (especially, their football team’s s success).

Finally, the Spanish feel more connected to their place of birth than an abstract concept of a native land. According to a poll conducted among the Spanish from different regions of Spain, the Andalusians, first of all, feel themselves Andalusians, and then the Spanish, the Galicians feel themselves Galicians, etc. Besides, speaking about their homeland, they used the expressions

mi tierra, mi pueblo

So, if we want to express the notion “homeland”, we should probably use a warm expression mi tierra.

Autor/a Георгий Нуждин