The Catalan footprint // letter by G. Bigs

letter by G. Bigs

This is my sincere and humble opinion about Spain and Australia.



                        I will live in Australia for ever, because it is my adopted Country and I love it. There is no Country in the world a hundred per cent perfect, but Australia has the quality that suits my aspirations. I like the great majority of the laws and the way they are respected by the people. Also the kind manner I have been treated by the government officials and the majority of the people. Of course there are a minority of narrow minded, like every where in the world, the ones that hate and insult the natives of other Countries. But this also happens every where in the world and to that kind of people, I ask God to forgive them because they forget hat if they are born in Australia, is because their foreign ancestors also came from other Countries. Definitly, if Australia is a great prosperous land, thanks to all those emigrants that came and are still coming. They are generaly people with courage, stimulus, ambition for prosperity and are looking for a land with better facilities to obtain their purpose although most of them have to struggle with the language and when they speak with the family or friends in their mothertongue, some get annoyed and really it’s not funny, it’s only natural and easy for them to do so. I knew in Spain some british, french and german families and they also did the same thing. Well, since captain Cook up to the present time, the ones that came from other lands and their descendants, are to be praised for the marvellous job in building this beautiful Country. They had the incentive of discover and make use of its natural riches that had been ignored by the predecessor inhabitants of the land.


                        In Spain we also have this type of narrow minded. I was born in the north-east, Catalonia, and there we speak the catalan language, but in the rest of Spain, (except the basques,) they speak castillian and because they are the majority of people and dominate the whole of the land, they call castillian, spanish and the official language. In Switzerland they are more advanced and tolerant and they respect equaly the four diffrent languages in that land. Hundreds of people from all the spanish provinces, come to Catalonia to work because there is more industry and they improve in wages and conditions. There are also some catalans that belong to the narrow minded lot and call them intruders and “xarnegos”. In Mexico they call the yanks “gringos”, in Argentina they call the spaniards “gallegos” etc.


                        I would like to mention the names of catalan families that came to Australia in the years eighteen hundred and early nineteen hundred, that have proved to be really wonderful and also their descendants, very good citizens, many with University degree and other fields. They are Parer, Rubira, Sanmiquel, Clota Morell, Garriga, Xipell, Codina, Sans, Power, Villa, Canals and many others.


                        My humble political opinion about Spain, is that the whole of the peninsula Iberia, composed of similar races and four different languages, castillian, basque, portuguese and catalan, they should respect each other and unite in a federal democratic Country, but of course, I am not interested in their affairs because I am a naturalized australian.


                        To conclude, I will mention that it is very natural to remember and love the land of birth where one had his environment, but is also natural to remember and love the land adopted by your own free will, if one recognises it had been an improvement and have common sense. My life is hearing its end, but I feel happy to leave behind me, my daughters, grand daughter and great grand sons, the young australians.


                                                        Reservoir September 1976