Galician Independence News

Mar 15, 2017

Galician Independence Movement

The Galician independence movement or the Galician separatist movent (Galician: independentismo galego) is a political movement, derived from Galician nationalism, which supports the independence of Galicia and Galicia estremeira (As Portelas, O Bierzo e Terra Eo-Navia) or the unification with Portugal.

The first realization was the organized political committee Comité Revoluzonareo Arredista Galego, formed by Fuco Gomez in Cuba in the 1920s, but during the Second Spanish Republic did not have much significance. In Argentina there was an association called Sociedade Nazonalista Pondal, active mostly in the 1930s.

In 1931, Galicia declared its independence. The next day, Galicia rejoined Spain.

The BNG and Anova-Nationalist Brotherhood, the two nationalist/secessionist political parties, have 15 of the 75 seats in the Galician Parliament.

Galician Nationalist Bloc

The Galician Nationalist Bloc (Galician: Bloque Nacionalista Galego, BNG) is a political coalition of left-wing Galician nationalist parties. It is self-defined as a "patriotic front".

Formed in 1982, under the guidance of historical leader Xosé Manuel Beiras, the BNG calls for further devolution of powers to the Parliament of Galicia and the official and unambiguous recognition of Galicia as a nation. The BNG also promotes affirmative action for the Galician language. The current leader – president of the National Council and national spokesperson – is Ana Pontón.

The BNG has strong ties with the Galician Trade Union Confederation (Confederación Intersindical Galega, CIG), with the student union Erguer-Estudantes da Galiza (Wake Up - Students of Galiza), the agrarian unions Galician Peasant Union (Sindicato Labrego Galego, SLG) and Galician Rural Federation (FRUGA), and with environmentalist, feminist and Galician language organizations.

From 2005 to 2009, BNG was part of a coalition government along with the Socialists' Party of Galicia, in which its leader, Anxo Quintana, served as the vice-president of the Galician regional government.
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Antóin Mac Comháin
Mar 15, 2017
Independencia Galega; A Brief History of the desire for Galician Independence

Map of the Kingdom of Galicia

Resting at the very north-western tip of the Iberian peninsula, Galiza has been an occupied nation for many hundreds of years. Spain has ruled over the country since it was only itself the Kingdom of Castile, not long after an inception of Galicia into Asturias around 740 AD. Before this was it incorporated into the Roman Empire as a province in the 3rd century.

Up until this time the people who inhabited Galiza shared it’s civilized culture with our own here in Ireland, Galicia was Celtic. Receiving it’s name from the Gallaeci people who used to inhabit the area in Celtic times. The land was called Gallaecia by Rome, and the inhabitants spoke a Q-Celtic language, or Celtiberian, the collection which local languages have been called.

Galiza knew it’s own independence several times through the Middle Ages but was later leagued with the Kingdom of Castile, though maintaining it’s own legal practices and customs. From the 16th Century on, the representation of the kingdom was in the form of an assembly of the representatives of it’s cities known as the Cortes, or the Junta del Reino de Galicia , which was forcibly dismantled in 1833 when the kingdom was divided into the four provinces of Galicia, A Coruna, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra which had their own legal administrations with no mutual links to each other, destroying Galicia as a Kingdom and making it’s four provinces, provinces of Spain.

Sentiment for national self determination first began to grow in the years after, and demand for the recognition of the personality of Galiza which resulted in the Statute of Autonomy of 1936. This statute was demolished not long after Fascism took hold of Spain.

Franco, himself a Galician from the coastal town of Ferrol, leader of the military coup which ousted the 2nd Spanish Republic which was democratically elected into Government, quickly reneged on the autonomous categorisations of Galicia, the Basque regions and Catalonia. It wasn’t until 1981 that another Statute of Autonomy was once again issued and the people of Galicia had their nationality and culture once again recognised.

During Franco’s dictatorship, the Galician language was frowned upon in public use and it was illegal to promote the language in any way. The people of Galicia feel much shame for Franco, and I for one cannot blame them. Suffering as much political, economic and cultural repression as we in Ireland have suffered, our nations share so much in our experiences of suffrage under foreign imperialism.

The Galician language emerged in written form around the 13th Century and evolved from Latin alongside Castilian Spanish & Portuguese, which explains the similarities in the languages. Many have claimed that the language derives from either Spanish or Portuguese and have also claimed it is a mixture of the two, though these claims are refuted by Galician nationalists. It is more likely that the similarities come from evolving from the same origins, in the same circumstances and around the same time.

In the 19th Century a revival of the Galician language grew through thriving literature and was called the Rexurdimento (the Resurgence). Three main authors spearheaded this revival. They were Rosalia De Castro, an intimist poetess; Eduardo Pondal, an author of nationalist ideology who advocated Celtic revival, and Curros Enriquez, a liberal author whose work was deemed scandalous during much of the 19th Century. - Independencia Galega
Antóin Mac Comháin
Mar 15, 2017
Galician (Galego)

Galician is a Romance language spoken by about 2.4 million people in Galicia, in the north-west corner of Spain. Galician is more or less mutually intelligible with Portuguese but uses Spanish spelling conventions. The question of whether Galician and Portuguese are separate languages, or are dialects of the same language, has been debated for decades. This question has political and cultural overtones, reflecting the competing views of some who see Galician as more influenced by Portuguese, and others who see a greater influence from Spanish.

Galician emerged as a standardised literary language during the 19th century when there was a revival (rexurdimento) in the language and culture of Galicia. One person who was particularly active in the revival movement was Frei Martín Sarmiento. The publication in 1863 of Rosalía de Castro's poem Cantares Gallegos, which was written entirely in Galician, marked the beginning of the revival in the fortunes of Galician.

During early 20th century, an organisation known as the Irmandades da Fala (Brotherhoods of the Language) was set up to defend, promote and dignify the Galician language and a number of Galician language journals began to appear. An attempt in the 1930s to give autonomy to Galicia and official status to Galician was never promulgated due to the Civil War (1936-1939), and speaking of Galician in public was banned during Franco's dictatorship (1939-1975).

Galician gained official status in 1978 and is recognised as one of Spain's five official languages (lenguas españolas), along with Spanish (Castilian), Catalan, Basque and Aranese. Primary and secondary schools in Galicia teach bilingually in Galician and Spanish, and Galician is the main medium of instruction in universities in Galicia.

Some one thousand or so books are published in Galician each year and there is a Galician TV channel, established in 1985, a Galician radio station (set up in 1996), and a daily Galician language newspaper, O Correo Galego.

In cities in Galicia more Spanish than Galician tends to be spoken, however Galician is widely-spoken in rural areas.
Antóin Mac Comháin
Mar 15, 2017

"Rexurdimento" is the name given to the nineteenth century revival of Galician literature, and the term implies that the revival was not alone literary, but also cultural, historical and political.

Following the French invasion in 1809 and the conflicts between the absolutists and liberals, the first texts were written in Galician, which were printed on loose sheets and in newspapers for propaganda purposes, with some texts calling on the peasants to defend their country, and others calling for the defence of the prevalent liberal ideas and views.

Throughout the nineteenth century, after the end of the absolutism and the beginning of the constitutional monarchy, various Galician movements sprung up based on the defence of the individuality and personality of Galicia. The first, in the forties, was "Provincialism" which proclaimed the social abandonment of the country and attempted to achieve social esteem for its art, customs and history. These movements were left outside political circles after their support of the failure of the Solis military uprising - the shooting of the "Carral Martyrs" - and they took refuge in the world of culture and literature. The second 'Galicianist' generation, "Regionalism", brought together culture and politics, with the language being their main concern.

A giant step towards Galician linguistic development and growth, and the consolidation and strengthening of Galician literature came through the first "Floral Games" held in A Coruña in 1861. The prize-winning compositions, with samples of contemporary poetry, appeared a year later in the Album de la Caridad, which was the first anthology of the Galician "Rexurdimento".

The publication in 1863 of the Cantares Gallegos, written entirely in Galician by the superb poetess, Rosalía de Castro, marked the beginning of the "Rexurdimiento". - The revival -
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Antóin Mac Comháin
Mar 15, 2017
Adiós ríos, adiós fontes - Amancio Prada

Adiós rios, adios fontes

Adiós, ríos; adios, fontes,
Adios, regatos pequenos,
Adios, vista dos meus ollos,
Non sei cando nos veremos.
Miña terra, miña terra,
Terra donde me eu criei,
Hortiña que quero tanto,
Figueiriñas que prantei,
Prados, ríos, arboredas,
Pinares que move o vento,
Paxariños piadores,
Casiña do meu contento,
Muíño dos castañares,
Noites craras de luar,
Campaniñas trimbadoras,
Da igrexiña do lugar,
Amoriñas das silveiras,
Que eu lle daba ó meu amor,
Caminiños antre o millo,
!Adios, para sempre adios!
¡Adios Groria! ¡Adios contento!
Deixo a casa onde nacín,
Deixo a aldea que conozo,
Por un mundo que non vin!
Deixo amigos por estraños,
Deixo a veiga polo mar,
Deixo, en fin, canto ben quero,
¡Quen pudera non deixar!
Mais son probe e, ¡mal pecado!
A miña terra n’é miña,
Que hastra lle dan de prestado,
A beira por que camiña,
Ó que naceu desdichado.
Téñovos, pois, que deixar,
Hortiña que tanto amei,
Fogueiriña do meu lar,
Arboriños que plantei,
Fontiña do Cabañar.
Adios, adios, que me vou,
Herbiñas do camposanto,
Donde meu pai se enterrou,
Herbiñas que biquei tanto,
Terriña que nos criou.
Adios Virxe da Asunción,
Branca como un serafín,
Lévovos no corazón,
Pedídelle a Dios por min,
Miña Virxe da Asunción.
Xa se oien lonxe, moi lonxe,
As campanas do Pomar,
Para min, ¡ai!, coitadiño,
Nunca máis han de tocar.
Xa se oien lonxe, máis lonxe,
Cada balada é un dolor,
Voume soio sin arrim,
¡Miña terra, ¡adios!, ¡adios!
¡Adios tamén, queridiña,
¡Adios por sempre quizais,
Dígoche este adios chorando,
Desde a beiriña do mar.
Non me olvides, queridiña,
Si morro de soidás,
Tantas légoas mar adentro,
¡Miña casiña!,¡meu lar!


Good-bye Rivers, Good-bye Fountains

Good-bye rivers, good-bye fountains,
Good-bye, little rills,
Good-bye, sight of my eyes,
Don’t know when we’ll meet again.
Sod of mine, sod of mine,
Sod where I was raised,
Small orchard I love so,
Dear fig trees that I planted,
Meadows, streams, groves,
Stands of pine waved by the wind,
Little chirping birds,
Darling cottage of my joy,
Mill in the chestnut wood,
Clear nights of brilliant moonlight,
Cherished ringing bells,
Of the tiny parish church,
Blackberries in the brambles,
That I used to give my love,
Narrow footpaths through the cornfields,
Good-bye, forever good-bye!
Good-bye, Groria! Good-bye, happiness!
I leave the house of my birth,
I leave the hamlet that I know,
For a world I have not seen!
I leave friends for strangers,
I leave the lowland for the sea,
I leave, in short, what I well love,
With no option but to go!
'Though it's a tried and trusted sin!
My sod is not my own,
For even the shoulder of the road,
Is loaned out to the wayfarer,
Who was born in sorrow.
I must, therefore, leave you,
Little orchard I loved so,
Beloved fireplace of home,
Dear trees that I planted,
Fontiña do Cabana.
Good-bye, good-bye, I’m leaving,
The sacred cemetery of Herbiñas,
Where my father lies buried,
Herbiñas I loved so much,
Terriña that raised us up.
Good-bye Virgin of the Assumption,
White as a Seraph,
I will carry you in my heart,
Plead with God on my behalf,
My own Virgin of the Assumption.
Listen from far, far away,
To the church bells of Pomar,
For hapless me, alas,
They shall never ring again.
Listen from afar, growing further,
Every sound a song of sorrow,
I part alone without a friend,
My land, Good-bye! Good-bye!
Farewell to you, little darling,
Farewell perhaps forever more,
I send this farewell in tears,
Which can be heard from the shore.
Remember me, little darling,
If I shall die from sadness,
With overwhelming grief,
For my home! For my country!

Rosalía de Castro
Antóin Mac Comháin
Mar 15, 2017
Breogán statue and the Tower of Hercules in A Coruña

Os pinos (Galician)

Que din os rumorosos
na costa verdecente,
ó raio transparente
do prácido luar?
Que din as altas copas
de escuro arume harpado
co seu ben compasado
monótono fungar?

Do teu verdor cinguido
e de benignos astros,
confín dos verdes castros
e valeroso chan,
non deas a esquecemento
da inxuria o rudo encono;
desperta do teu sono
fogar de Breogán.

Os bos e xenerosos
a nosa voz entenden,
e con arroubo atenden
o noso rouco son,
mais só os iñorantes,
e féridos e duros,
imbéciles e escuros
non os entenden, non.

Os tempos son chegados
dos bardos das idades
que as vosas vaguidades
cumprido fin terán;
pois onde quer, xigante
a nosa voz pregoa
a redenzón da boa
nazón de Breogán.

The Pines (English translation)

What do the murmurers say
On the verdant coast
Under the transparent beam
Of the calm moonlight?
What do the lofty treetops
Of dark bent pine twigs say
In their harmonious
Monotonous buzzing?

Girded by thy greenness,
And by benign stars,
Bound of the green hill forts
And worthy land,
Do not let into oblivion
The harsh rancour of insult;
Awaken from thy slumbers,
O hearth of Breoghan.

The good and generous
Our voice do understand,
And eagerly they hearken
To our rough sounds;
But only the ignorant,
And barbaric and hard,
Those foolish and dark
Do not understand us.

The times are now upon us
Sung by the ancient bards,
When all your wanderings
Shall promptly meet their end;
For everywhere, gigantic,
Our voice loudly proclaimeth
The redemption of the good
Nation of Breoghan.

Eduardo Pondal
Antóin Mac Comháin
Mar 15, 2017
Negra Sombra

Cando penso que te fuches,
negra sombra que me asombras,
ó pé dos meus cabezales
tornas facéndome mofa.
Cando maxino que es ida,
no mesmo sol te me amostras,
i eres a estrela que brila,
i eres o vento que zoa.
Si cantan, es ti que cantas,
si choran, es ti que choras,
i es o marmurio do río
i es a noite i es a aurora.
En todo estás e ti es todo,
pra min i en min mesma moras,
nin me abandonarás nunca,
sombra que sempre me asombras.

Black Shadow

When I think that you have parted,
Black shadow that overshades me,
At the foot of my head pillows
You return making fun of me.
When I fancy that you’ve gone,
From the very sun you taunt me
And you are the star that shines
And you are the wind that moans.
If there’s singing it’s you who sings,
If there’s weeping it’s you who weeps,
And you are the river’s rumour
And the night—and the dawn.
Everywhere you are in everything,
For and within me you live
Nor will you ever leave me,
Shadow that always shades me.

Rosalía de Castro
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