.cat and the will of existence in the net.

Thanks to Fran Hermoso for the translation.

.cat is a domain that identifies all the people, entities, associations and institutions that use or claim the Catalan language and culture.

It is a cultural domain because there is no administrative internationally recognized region that groups all Catalan speaking territories. Catalan people don’t have an state that can ask for a domain nor a territorial unity to identify us to the eyes of the world. The .cat domain has no boarders at this time.

On the other hand, it offers the advantage of being able to choose either to belong or not. Furthermore, you can ask for a .cat even if you are in Australia or Mexico, as long as you fulfil the required commitments with the Catalan culture. (http://www.fundacio.cat/)

The Catalan territory, culture and language is all over the so called “Països Catalans” (Catalan Countries). This is the biggest source of websites connected to .cat, therefore identified as a distinguished community.

In this new technology era, inside the net, there are personalities, collective wills that make a nation different from another, a social community from another one. Catalan people don’t differ from their Mediterranean neighbors. We don’t dress, think or act differently from the rest of the Southern Europe and much less considering this globalized era. However, Catalans have the will to differ themselves in front of the world. Mainly because of the language, the most important characteristic of any national identity.

The only thing that Catalonia wants, is to get the same respect as all nations of the world deserve. The recognition of their own linguistics, cultural and national reality. Usually this will of recognition has evolved into an opposition to the cultural and political oppression that it has lived during the last three centuries.

Catalonia has met many barriers and impositions from other states that, not only haven’t they recognized it, than they have tried to ignore it, to assimilate it or even to suppress it. Some important dates that reference the assimilation are: 1657 is the year when the Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed, Catalonia lost the territories of North Catalonia. Between 1707 and 1715 the Nueva Planta decrees in Valencia, Balearic Islands and the principality, and also during the XIX and XX centuries when all episodes try to annihilate any self government intentions or institutions. Here we have two other examples of cruelty and very vivid in anyone’s memory: The dictatorship of Primo de Rivera in 1923 and also the one that was started in 1939 by Francisco Franco, which lasted until 1975.

Despite the adverse historical context and despite the resignation -too frequently- of the autochthonous ruling class, Catalan people have survived all those days. We have done it thanks to our own characteristic political and economical development. And in them we recognize ourselves.

During the XIX century, the main characteristic of this development, probably the same as in different parts of Europe, was the industrialization. Thanks to that, a new social reality grew, marked by the growing working urban class who later will become the main character of the most important social changes in the country and will configure the contemporary Catalan society. It is a social class that slowly appeared and during the XIX and XX centuries fought the bourgeoisie claiming social justice, economical equality and political liberty. They became aware of their interests and welcomed workers from different places who, since the days of the industrialization until today, have understood their specific situation in the country. From then on, Catalonia became a dynamic industrial country, now trying to propagate its cultural innovations and ideological renovations of the XX Century. It has the necessity to be present and that is done in different ways.

-. Spreading and standardizing the Catalan language. CAL

-. The defense of the popular culture and the autochthonous traditions. From the spectacular castellers or the fire veneration (correfocs, falles or daemons), to the giants, the bastoners or the falcons.

-. The enormous effort of software localization and the diffusion of the language all through the net. Estudi de progressió lingüística a la xarxa.

-. The will to be recognized in sport competitions: the Catalan selection

-. The artistic creations in our own language. AELC

-. The link between culture and science in Institut Joan Lluís Vives. or Institut d’Estudis Catalans.

-. The necessity to establish a Catalan framework of labour relations or the demand of more political power- from a higher degree of self government to the independence.

It not a matter of the past, Catalan people have the will to be, their own language, their own culture and a character that has impelled obstinately all through the centuries. We are an alive reality, with an identity that claims its right to be recognized and the possibility to decide freely.

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