I arrived in Madrid again to find everyone draped in the Spanish flag. Now just people but buildings, cars, flower beds, pets, everything.
At first I thought it was just a reaction to the Catalonian independence brouhaha alas no, it was the National Day of Spain, Spain Day as it were. What does Spain Day commemorate? The landing of Christopher Columbus in America, his “discovery” of it, much to the chagrin of the people who were already there.
I am VERY much for “change the date” back home. I think glorifying white supremacy over Australia’s Indigenous nations is not a suitable national holiday. I would choose the day we came into our own, January 1, or May 8 for obvious reasons (May8!). My views were solely based on my values of what I believe is right, just, and fair and not of any lived experience.
Until now. Sort of.
I was SO UNCOMFORTABLE with this incredible display of Spanish supremacy over the Americas. I am a descendant of both, to be clear, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a tiny bit insulted of the Spanish celebrating their supremacy at the expense of the Indigenous populations whose blood I also carry.
All of this happened over 500 years ago, in fact there is a celebration in Latin America commemorating the same. We call it the “Día de La raza” or the day of our race, of our Hispanicamerican identity.
I am proud to have hispanicamerican roots. Very proud, but something about celebration without acknowledgement that wins were had at the great expense of others stirred emotions in me I didn’t know I had.
It felt disingenuous to not acknowledge the slavery, raped, tortures, forced conversions, displacements, plagues, wars, and thefts that came with the colonisers. It just felt disingenuous and very one sided.
History is is written by the victors, they say.