Pedro Almodovar exported Spanish identity abroad

What is the essence of being Spanish?

“Being Spanish is not about waving the flag or delivering rants filled with a hatred I hope you don’t feel”

This week, 1in light of events in Catalonia, Laura Moreno de Lara a student from Malaga, posted what being Spanish means to her on Facebook. The post went viral and currently has 256,202 shares

Here, as Spain’s National Day approaches, Nómadas Solidarios puts extracts of her words into English and gathers opinions from other Spaniards about what being Spanish means to them.

Laura Moreno de Lara: “Being Spanish is not about waving the 2flag or delivering 3rants filled with a hatred I hope you don’t feel. Nor is it about wearing a 4bracelet or singing Cara Al Sol. Being Spanish is something completely different or at least it should be because 5at this stage in the game I don’t know what to say.

Accepting differences

“As a Spaniard, I’m going to tell you what being Spanish means to me: Being Spanish is to 6burn when Doñana is burning or to shake when the town of Lorca is being shaken; it’s to sit and listen to stories about witches in Galicia and start to believe them; it’s to go to Valencia and instead of feeling angry that the signs are in the local dialect, it’s being pleased you’re able to understand them; and it’s to feel that the Caribbean 7has nothing on the Canary Islands…

Spanish tortilla – Spanish identity is closely associated with the food
Spanish tortilla – Spanish identity is closely associated with the food

“Having a beer at 1 pm is also Spanish, as is the Galician orujo, the siesta, calimotxo, paella, Santiago tart, your grandmother’s croquettes or tortilla. Wanting to show someone from outside the best things about your hometown and asking them about theirs; making friends with someone from the Basque Country and asking them to teach you the numbers in Euskera in case you need to ask for two or three 8snacks. It’s feeling proud to be the world leader in transplants, to be part of a land of 1,000 cultures and to be considered good humoured…

Feeling empathy

“So, ‘acho’, ‘picha’, ‘miarma’, ‘perla’, ‘tronco’, ‘tete’, ‘mi niño’ – that’s being Spanish. The other is just politics. Injecting politics into the concept of being Spanish is a mistake. Because being Spanish means not wanting to 9smash someone’s face in, it’s about feeling empathy when your neighbor loses their job or you see someone on TV losing their home. Being Spanish is not about repressing the Yes or No of an autonomous community, it’s feeling indignant when every new case of corruption means 10we’ve been taken for idiots; being a good Spaniard is wanting the country to be free of poverty and ignorance…; it’s to want to stay here to work and to give back what we have learned here.


“That’s what being Spanish means, at least I hope so.”


Other opinions

Marta López Blanco. “I confess I don’t know what being Spanish means. I don’t consider the nation or the flag or the land as mine. I was born here, I live here and work here but none of it is mine. I don’t need to fight anyone or oblige anyone to stay or to go.

“I enjoy the company of both Spaniards and foreigners and I wouldn’t know who to choose if I was put in that position. I have lived in and outside of Spain and wherever I make friends is home. One day I might eat tortilla, another a sandwich or sushi or whatever comes my way. I like to try new things. I only speak two languages, although in time I might learn another.

“I like dancing, but 11in my own way, I don’t want to be given steps or partners. If someone asked me who I am, I would say, I don’t know, I’m still trying to find out.

So I confess, I don’t know what being Spanish means, but I can live without it.”

Marie Paz Bulnes: “ I am not really in favor of nationalism, whether it’s Spanish, Catalonian, Basque – or French, or English. I don’t like nationalism… What I believe in is the union of people. Identity is fine for keeping your history and culture, but nothing more.”

Luis Arribas: “Being Spanish doesn’t really mean much to me. I feels as Spanish as I do English or French. If to say being Spanish is to say being ‘the best’, I’m not Spanish. Being Spanish is to be born in a region of the world with a particular history, language and set of beliefs that are subject to changes that affect humanity and the planet. Being Spanish is a question of origin but not of destiny.”

Gloria Fernandez “The best thing about Spain is the sun and the food.”





1in light of: ante

2flag: bandera

3rant: diatriba

4bracelet: pulserita

5at this stage in the game: a estas alturas de la historia

6to burn: arder

7to have nothing on: nada tiene que envidiarle

8snacks: pintxo

9to smash someone’s face in: partir la cara

10to be taken for: ser tomado por

11in my own way: a mi manera