“Andalusia’s Day”

 Andalusia’s Day


In this project we have been fortunate to have three people from Andalusia, one from Granada and two from Jerez de la Frontera, and all of them in love with their land. We were talking about how to celebrate the 28th of February, Andalusia Day, here in Bulgaria. February 28th is a very special date for us, because since we were kids, at school and at home, we celebrate this day, and it reminds us of home, especially being so far away from it.

Before talking about the activity we are preparing, we believe it is necessary to explain why February 28th is important for us Andalusians. But for this it is necessary to talk about December 4, 1977, a million and a half

Andalusians took to the streets in a protest. The support of the mobilization of that 4th of December was massive and they asked for the recognition of the autonomy of Andalusia, an autonomy already enjoyed by other communities such as Catalonia, Basque Country or Galicia. This day is also very important for the history of Andalusia, because as it has been said it was an act that involved the great part of the Andalusian people, also in the protests a young man, Manuel José García Caparros was killed by the police when he tried to hang an Andalusian flag on a balcony, in the city of Málaga. Therefore, for a large part of the Andalusian people, December 4th is a day of vindication and struggle. The road to autonomy will not be easy, but it all started thanks to that 4th of December.

It would not be until February 28, 1980 that the Andalusians would be able to vote on whether or not they wanted autonomy. And, as it was obvious, the yes won in 7 of the 8 Andalusian provinces, giving way to the autonomy of Andalusia. This autonomy meant that Andalusia had its own Statute, being this the fundamental norm of Andalusia, which recognizes the community as a historical nationality and legislates on the rights and duties that all Andalusian citizens have, and consequently acts as a legal framework for the autonomous institutions and their competences. It was not until 1981 when a definitive version of this Statute would be born, which was approved on March 1 in Cordoba, in the Palacio de la Diputación.4 It was sent to the Cortes where it was revised and corrected and finally submitted to referendum on October 20, 1981, where it won its approval.

Two months later, on December 30, 1981, it was ratified by King Juan Carlos I. For all this is celebrated in every corner of Andalusia this day, we acceded to autonomy, self-government and enjoy better rights and freedoms.

In the celebration of this day it is typical to talk about the history of Andalusia, how it came to get the autonomy, and what it meant. In schools it is celebrated by singing the anthem of Andalusia in the schoolyard and then making a typical Andalusian breakfast, consisting of chocolate or coffee and bread with oil and sugar or tomato. Anyone knows this breakfast in Andalusia and every 28th of February they do it.

Between the three volunteers we decided to commemorate this day in Bulgaria by presenting to the children, parents and workers of SOS Children in the village of Tryavna, a short presentation about the most important and outstanding aspects of Andalusia. This presentation consisted of 6 slides:

  1. I was referring to where Spain is located and where Andalusia is, because it is possible that many people did not know where Andalusia was.
  2. It shows the eight Andalusian provinces, as well as their most important monuments.
  3. Mention the typical gastronomy of each Andalusian province, corresponding a typical food to each province, for example, in the province of Huelva are typical prawns, in Cordoba the Salmorejo. We will talk a little more about this one because it is a very widespread food in the rest of Andalusia and Spain.
  4. This slide mentions four great historical figures of Andalusia:
    1. Pablo Picasso, famous painter from Malaga, creator of cubism. He is considered one of the greatest painters who participated in the various artistic movements that spread throughout the world and exerted a great influence on other great artists of his time. His works are present in museums and collections throughout Europe and the world. One of his most important works is Guernica.
    2. Lola Flores, known as “La Faraona”, was born in Jerez de la Frontera, and was a multifaceted artist, singer, flamenco dancer and actress; a figure of extraordinary popularity for decades in Spain and Latin America. She was a copla singer with hundreds of recordings and songs that have remained in the popular memory. As a dancer, she has thrilled several generations from different continents. As an actress she performed in more than 35 films, many of them set in Andalusian folklore. She became a symbol and a topic of an era, because she also dared to talk about topics that were considered taboo at the time, such as violence against women or extramarital affairs.
    3. Federico García Lorca, born in Granada, was established as one of Spain’s most famous poets and playwrights of the 20th century. He belonged to the generation of 27. Adventurous to say the least, he traveled all over the world, premiering plays and writing poems. When the Francoists took power they tried to silence those influential, cultured people on the Republican side, and Lorca was one of them. On August 18, 1936 the fascist side assassinated Lorca. His body has still not been found. (It is difficult to summarize a life so passionate and alive).
    4. Blas Infante, born in a town in Seville, was one of the most representative figures of Andalusia. Thinker, politician, writer, historian and musicologist, he is the father of the Andalusian homeland. Together with members of several Andalusian Centers, in 1919 he signed the Andalusian Manifesto of Cordoba, which described Andalusia as a national reality. In addition, Blas Infante was in charge of recovering the old white and green flag, designed the coat of arms of Andalusia and composed the lyrics of the Andalusian anthem before being shot to death in 1936 by fascist troops, given the need to silence those important people.
  5. The last slide explained and detailed the lyrics of the Andalusian anthem, as well as its flag and shield.To finish with the presentation we decided to play the video made by the director Brandon Li about Andalusia, called “The Passion of Andalusia”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tc01YLHwpk&ab_channel=BrandonLi , which represents some of the things commented in the Power Point, as well as the Andalusian traditions.After the presentation, we decided to have an Andalusian breakfast for all the people who had accompanied us. This breakfast consisted of the typical Andalusian breakfast, chocolate or coffee, bread with oil and sugar or tomato.After this activity, and as a conclusion of it, we are very happy to be able to celebrate this special day for us here in Tryavna, Bulgaria. Also to be able to make together with other people who did not know much about us, which also came out very happy from the activity. So we were very happy to do this activity.