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nooj
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:02 pm

The linguist Juan Carlos Morena Cabrera, with whom I am once again in complete agreement.

If a Spanish speaker can speak Spanish everywhere in Spain and be understood, there is no reason why a Galician or a Catalan or an Asturian or an Aragonese speaker cannot be either. The idea that Spanish is the only possible and natural unificatory language of Spain is false, it was the only language that was allowed to be one. All the others were purposely excluded from that role.

Even today, Catalan, Galician, Basque, Asturian, Aragonese and other such languages might as well be absent from the public sphere in Madrid. There is more English signage and music and movies in Madrid than any of the other Spanish languages.

El carácter excluyente del nacionalismo lingüístico español se ve perfectamente en la expresión del segundo de los pasajes según la cual el español es la única [lengua] en la que todos pueden comunicarse. Es posible que sea verdad que el español es la única lengua en la que todos los ciudadanos españoles se comunican de hecho, dado que la educación de muchos de estos ciudadanos, desde hace siglos, ha dado la espalda al reconocimiento de cualquier realidad lingüística del Estado español distinta de la castellana. Sin embargo es palmariamente falso que el español sea la única lengua en la que se pueden comunicar todos los ciudadanos del Estado español. Esto es así porque todas las lenguas de este Estado español menos una (el euskera) son lenguas romances y, por consiguiente, están estrechamente emparentadas. Esto significa que, mediante la vía de una educación adecuada, todo castellanohablante está capacitado para que pueda entender con poco esfuerzo el gallego, el asturiano, el catalán o valenciano o el aragonés. Sabemos que, al menos desde la Edad Media, los gallegos, los valencianos o los aragoneses, partiendo de sus lenguas propias, han sido capaces de entender a los castellanohablantes; más aún, han sido capaces de hablar castellano. ¿Por qué, entonces, los castellanohablantes no habrían de ser capaces de al menos entender –voy a dejar de lado el hablar– las demás lenguas romances peninsulares? ¿Es que acaso el castellano es más fácil de entender que otras lenguas romances? ¿Es que acaso los castellanos están menos dotados para entender otras lengua romances que los gallegos, catalanes, valencianos, asturianos y aragoneses? Las únicas respuestas no racistas a estas preguntas sólo pueden ser negativas.

Partiendo, entonces, de esa respuesta negativa a la última pregunta formulada, podemos deducir fácilmente que, por ejemplo, el gallego puede ser perfectamente una lengua de comunicación entre todos los ciudadanos españoles en el siguiente sentido. Un gallego o valenciano podría hablar en gallego o en valenciano en todo el territorio del Estado español y ser entendido sin dificultad por todos los castellanohablantes. Esto es perfectamente posible y factible y hasta socialmente razonable y, desde luego, aconsejable.


The excluding nature of Spanish linguistic nationalism can be seen clearly in the wording of the second of our passages, according to which Spanish is the only language in which everyone can communicate.

It might be true that Spanish is the only language in which all Spanish citizens communicate de facto, given that the education of many of these citizens has ignored the recognition of any other linguistic reality of the Spanish state than that of Castillian, and this has been the case for centuries.

However it is blatently false that Spanish is the only language in which all citizens of the Spanish state can communicate. It’s false because all the languages of this State, save for one (Basque), are Romance languages and consequently are closely related. This means that, by means of an adequate education, every Spanish speaker has it in them to be able to understand with little effort Galician, Asturian, Catalan or Valencian or Aragonese. We know that since the Middle Ages at least, the Galicians, Valencians or Aragonese, on the basis of their own languages have been able to understand Castillian speakers; more than that, they’ve been able to SPEAK Castillian.

Why then, shouldn’t Castillian speakers be able to at least understand - for the moment I leave out the question of speaking - the rest of the Romance languages of the Peninsula? Is it perhaps because Castillian is easier to understand than the other Romance languages? Is it perhaps because the Castillians are less gifted when it comes to understanding other Romance languages than the Galicians, Catalans, Valencians, Asturians and Aragonese? The only non-racist reply to these questions is no.

So then, moving on to the last question, we can easily deduce that Galician, for example, can very well be a language of communication between all Spanish citizens in the following sense: a Galician or Valencian could speak Galician or Valencian in the entire territory of the Spanish state and be understood without difficulty by all Castillian speakers. This is perfectly possible and feasible and even socially reasonable and of course, recommendable.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:32 am

In other news, one of my close friends, my Iranian friend who I met in Madrid, the one who taught me Persian and who I taught Korean, is getting married. She wants me to come to her wedding in Iran. I've always wanted to go. Here is a passage from the book Soraya in a coma by Esmail Fassih. Brutal. 20th century Persian prose writing has been unfairly overshadowed by its poetic counterpart.

“بیست و چهار ساعت در زندگی فاطمه خانم”

داستان کوتاه به قلم دال . الف . شفق . خلاصه اش چنین است : فاطمه خانم ، مادری که چهارده تا بچه دارد روزها می رود رختشویی و جزو کادر مستخدمین هتل انقلاب در خیابان آیت الله طالقانی است . خودش مجبور است کار کند چون شوهر و پسر اولش شهید شده اند . خانه شان در جنوب شهر ، دو تا اتاق کرایه ای ته بیست متری شهید مصطفی عبادوز است . مادر صبح قبل از وقت شرعی سحر همه را بلند می کند . همه وضو می گیرند و پس از شنیدن اذان از بلندگوی مسجد نماز می خوانند . بعد دعای روز پنجشنبه را می خوانند . مادر آخرین هفت هشت دانۀ خشک چای را در قوری می اندازد و آنها را با سه تا تافتون تازه که یکی از بچه ها گرفته است می خورند ، در حالی که به پخش برنامه های رزمندگان در جبهه که قبل از اخبار صبح پخش می شود گوش می کنند . دو تا از پسرها در جبهه اند . پسر دیگری هم که دوازده سال دارد امروز با بسیج عازم جبهه است . مادر قبل از اینکه به سر کار برود او را از زیر قرآن رد می کند و دعا می کند که شهید شود ، و به بهشت برود . دو تا از دخترهای سیزده و چهارده ساله هم که مدرسه را ترک کرده اند در کلاسهای بسیج و تجوید قرآن نام نویسی کرده اند . آنها امروز همچنین می خواهند در یک کمیتۀ مسجد محل ثبت نام کنند که نامشان جزو داوطلبین برای ازدواج با معلولین بنیاد شهید منظور شود و مادرشان نیز رضایت داده است – چون این کار هم اجرش اگر بیشتر از شهادت نباشد کمتر نیست . وسط روز فاطمه خانم مشغول ملافه شوری است که نامه ای از جبهه برایش می آید . از خوشحالی بند دلش پاره می شود . در نامه به او با تبریک و تسلیت مژده می دهند که یک پسر دیگرش در جبهه شهید شده است


Twenty four hours in the life of Mrs Fatemeh.

Mrs Fatemeh, a mother of 14, spends her days at a laundry, as a member of the cadre of employees at the Hotel Revolution. She herself has to work because her husband and oldest son were martyred. Their house in the southern part of the city is two rented rooms.

In the morning, the mother wakes everyone. They all do their ablutions, and, hearing the call to prayer from the mosque loudspeaker, they do their prayers. Then they listen to the Warriors of the Frontline programs that are broadcast before the news. Two of her sons are at the front. Another son, twelve years old, today is on his way there with the Basij. Before she goes to work, his mother has him pass under the Qur’an, praying that he will become a martyr and go to heaven.

Two of her daughters, thirteen and fourteen, have also left school and enrolled in Basijh and Qur’an recitation clases. Today they likewise want to register with the Comittee at the local mosque so that their names will be in the pool of volunteer brides for the war-wounded at the Martyr Foundation. Though the reward for this act is no more than martyrdom, it is also no less.

In the middle of the day, Fatimeh is busy washing bedding when a letter addressed to her arrives from the front. Her heart bursts with joy. In the letter, they congratulate and console her with the tidings that another son of hers has been martyred at the front.






The last words of this story reminds me of a similar, honestly soul-shattering story that the singer-songwriter and master banjo picker Abigail Washburn tells at 13:00. I come back to this video time and time again, because it's one of my most treasured ones. The entire thing. Before an audience of over 1000 Chinese language educators at the Asia Society's National Chinese Language Conference in 2014, Washburn talks about why China has made her love America and why Chinese music has made her love American folk music.
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I don't hate tourists, but I definitely hate tourism

Postby nooj » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:31 pm



Watch this documentary, Tot Inclòs. Danys i conseqüències del turisme a les nostres illes. It will have the curious effect of reducing your desire to step foot in the Balearic Islands. This documentary is the scariest movie I have seen this year, and it's all terribly real.

The environmental, social and economic effects of tourism on the Balearic Islands can only be described as destructive. The last fifty years of mass tourism has irreversibly changed the nature of these islands and of the livelihoods of the people living there, for the worse. And do they actually get richer? Do they benefit? The documentary says...no. And has data to back it up.

Thousands of residents are forced out of their homes and onto the streets as property speculation and the greedy property owners push out the working class. Up goes the tourist housing. It is up to us to stop participating in touristic practices like AirBnB that help in this process. Gentrification, predatory practices, call it what you will, it's a grave problem. In Ibiza, the problem is so grave that doctors cannot get affordable housing, and many choose to not live and work there, leaving hospitals short-handed. We can all do our part, for example never stepping foot on the polluting behemoths known as cruise ships.

None of the political parties, whether they are right, centre or left in the spectrum, question the logic of focusing the economy of the Balearic Islands solely and wholly around tourism. The idea that something has gone terribly wrong and that we are all on a train hurtling off a precipice does not seem to occur to any of them. In fact, numerous people interviewed state clearly that it is not the government who governs. It is the hotel lobby who basically makes or breaks a government.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby iguanamon » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:16 pm

Thanks for sharing the video, Nooj. I recently read a book you may like to read by Pedro Bravo that goes into great detail about this phenomenon, worldwide, and in Spain in particular. Exceso de equipaje: Por qué el turismo es un gran invento hasta que deja de serlo. Vale mucho la pena leerlo.
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!مبروك عواشركم

Postby nooj » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:02 am

Today, wine, Islamic poetry, God, and Ramadan.

It is the Fira del Llibre de Palma: a week long orgy of book related activities organised by the city's booksellers - and I don't mean those big bookshop chains either, I mean bookshop owners, llibreters, who are doing it tough in this environment but surviving. I have been coming to Palma every single day to listen to music, read books, buy books, talk to authors, listen to conferences...

Today I found a book that I did not buy, but which I read right there on the spot: Els poetes àrabs de les Illes Balears, a book published by the Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics, who publish all sorts of brilliant things about the Balearic Islands. You're interested in the sea birds of the Balearic Islands, the construction of houses, traditional dancing and clothing, the making of musical instruments, the traditional art of creating stone walls without the use of mortar etc, the toponyms of Eivissa etc? This is your publishing house.

Anyway, this book is about the Andalucian Arab poets of the Balearic Islands before the Christian conquest. The poems are presented in bilingual Arabic-Catalan format. The late Arabist Maria Jesús Rubiera Mata collected and translated these poems that bring glory and honour to a little known part of the Islamic history of these islands.

This one is by the Ibizan poet Idrīs b. al-Yaman, sometime in the 11th century:

Image

The Catalan translation:

Eren pesats es tassons, quan vengueren a noltros, però quan els omplirem de vi pur
s’ageugeraren i a punt de volar estigueren, com es cossos que s’ageugeren amb sos esperits.


My (non-literal) English translation:

The empty cups were heavy, when they were brought to us, but when we filled them with pure wine
They became light with their contents and were on the point of flying, like how bodies become light when filled with souls.


In Islamic divine love poetry, the cup is the metaphor for the lover's heart, and the person who fills this cup is God. Wine is the intoxicating love. Paradoxically, the cup is heavy when it is empty, the cup is light when it is full. Similarly, our heart is leaden when God's love is absent from it, and our heart is light when God's love fills it to the brim.

Here is poetry from the opposite side of the Islamic world, from Rumi:


در راه طلب عاقل و دیوانه یکیست
در شیوه عشق خویش و بیگانه یکیست
آنرا که شراب وصل جانان دادند
در مذهب او کعبه و بتخانه یکیست

Dar rāh-e talab aql va divāneh yekist
Dar shiveh-ye eshq khish va bigāneh yekist
Ānrā ke sharāb-e vasl-e jānān dādand
Dar mazhab-e ū ka'abeh va botkhāneh yekist



On the seeker’s path, Reason and Madness are one.
On the way of love, Self and Stranger are one.
For the one who is given the beloved's wine of union,
In his religion, the Ka'aba and the Tavern are one.

Also check out this Rumi poem, put to music by the famous Iranian musician and singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian. In the opening lines, Rumi talks to the sāqi, the cupbearer, and asks him/Him to bring him some more bādeh (wine).



After nearly eight centuries of oblivion in Mallorca, Idrīs b. al-Yamān has become more well known due to some very literal and real wine, the kind you can drink.

The winery Can Majoral owns a vineyard in what is now called Son Reus. According to the Arabist Guillem Rosselló Bordoy, before the Christian conquest, it was an Arab farm called Beneiza Alualenci. When King Jaume I conquered the island, he rewarded his followers by splitting the island amongst them. There was a certain Bernat de Tortosa who was in his service. The land that was given to him was Beneiza Alualenci, and this name was transformed progressively into 'Butibalausí'.

In a stroke of marketing genius, the winery decided to call their youngest wines by this name and on the back label, they printed the Catalan and Arabic version of this poem. The Arabic version eventually was dropped after some people complained after the September 11th terrorist attacks...

Image
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:51 am

iguanamon wrote:Thanks for sharing the video, Nooj. I recently read a book you may like to read by Pedro Bravo that goes into great detail about this phenomenon, worldwide, and in Spain in particular. Exceso de equipaje: Por qué el turismo es un gran invento hasta que deja de serlo. Vale mucho la pena leerlo.

Moltes gràcies per la recomanació el meu estimat iguanamon, el cercaré a la biblioteca.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:01 am

من بنده ی قرآنم اگر جان دارم
من خاک در محمد مختارم
گر نقل کند جز این کس از گفتارم
بیزارم از او وز این سخن بیزارم


man bandeye qor'ānam agar jān dāram
man khāk (-e rāh) dar mohammad mokhtāram
gar naghal konad joz in kas az goftāram
bizāram az u vaz in sokhan bizāram

I am the slave of the Qur'an so long as I have breath
I am the dust (on the path) of Muhammad the Chosen
If one quotes anything but this of my utterances
I am disgusted by them and I am disgusted by those words

After reading these words from Rumi, I suggest reading this article The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi. Rumi's poetry is denatured when he is taken out of the Islamic context in which he was born and lived. If Rumi is interesting at all and worthy of interest for people of many cultures and many religions, it is because he was a Muslim, and not in spite of being one.

An argument against contextualising thinkers like Rumi is that 'his thought is universal, so I don't have to care that Rumi had suckled Islam from his birth to his death, I can imagine him as a 21st century millenial living in my city and his thought would still be valid'.

To that, I would reply that there is no such thing as a universal universal. There are only local universals. Shakespeare is a universal dramaturgist because he was composing locally. If he had really tried to imagine writing for a 21st century audience for example, he would not be as great as he was for being a 17th century playwright.

Trying to imagine a non-Islamic Rumi is like trying to imagine a Jesus who wasn't a Jew.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:56 pm

Reading Seneca Epistle 41. The Romans and the Greeks liked to build their shrines in certain places in nature where divinity or a sense of awe (not to be taken in the Romantic sense) impressed upon them.

Si tibi occurrerit vetustis arboribus et solitam altitudinem egressis frequens lucus et conspectum caeli densitate ramorum aliorum alios protegentium summovens, illa proceritas silvae et secretum loci et admiratio umbrae in aperto tam densae atque continuae fidem tibi numinis faciet. Si quis specus saxis penitus exesis montem suspenderit, non manu factus, sed naturalibus causis in tantam laxitatem excavatus, animum tuum quadam religionis suspicione percutiet. Magnorum fluminum capita veneramur; subita ex abdito vasti amnis eruptio aras habet; coluntur aquarum calentium fontes, et stagna quaedam vel opacitas vel immensa altitudo sacravit.


If you run into a grove that is thick with ancient trees reaching up to an unusual height and which leaves you bereft of the sight of the heavens because of how some of its boughs overlap with others, the bearing of that forest, the solitude of the place and the wondrousness of its shade, so thick and unbroken, will engender your belief in the divine. If a cave holds up a mountain, although the rocky interior has been deeply eaten away, and not formed by hand but hollowed out by natural causes into its great spaciousness, it will impress itself upon your mind with some sort of notion of awe. We venerate the sources of the mighty rivers; the sudden eruption of a broad river from its hiding place - there you will find altars; the fonts of hot springs are worshipped, and the unplumbable depth or darkness sets some pools apart as sacred.
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby nooj » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:58 pm

Too much has happened to me over the last weeks to really report on.

For example, I was an extra on a television show and I traveled to Menorca.

Menorca is a paradise in more ways than one. I spent days mountain biking and bushwalking. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and I don't mean just the picture perfect bays with blue-green water, but the mountains, the ancient talaiots that previous civilisations built, the rural countryside (mostly untouched), the forests, the still existent Muslim irrigation systems, the camí de cavalls that loops across the entire coastline. And it is a linguistic paradise.

It is in the only place I've been in the Balearic Islands, heck anywhere, where the presence of Catalan felt near universal. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. Not only could I speak Catalan to all of the locals and not have anyone switch on me, in the streets, in the shops, everywhere I heard more Catalan than Spanish. Even or especially so in Ciutadella, the biggest city. Which is how it should be. And Menorcan dialects are beautiful.

Bit by bit, I suppose I will write some more about my experiences there. But I'll put out the word. Forget about Mallorca, Ibiza, Formentera. Go to Menorca!
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Re: Catalan, Galician, Basque

Postby Maiwenn » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:17 pm

nooj wrote:For example, I was an extra on a television show and I traveled to Menorca.


That's so cool!!! You are such an inspiration to me. :)
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