3 things You Probably Didn't Know About Catalonia

Maybe you tuned in to your favorite news channel and got dumbstruck by mass protests in a principality in Southern Spain. You may think after Crimea's annexation and ISIS attacks all over the continent,Europe is facing a turmoil.But wait,this situation is much more different from what you think.

1.Catalonia has always been a controversial region in the Iberian history.

It started long ago,even before it was called Catalonia.During the early stage of its history, it was ruled by Romans(it was called Hispania).Although Romans had ruled Catalonia till the onset of medieval age,the region suffered from frequent wars with North African and  Mediterranean tribes.After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the  area was conquered by the Visigoths and was ruled as part of the Visigothic Kingdom for almost two and a half centuries and then came under Muslim rule.Arab rule lasted only for half a century as the powerful Spanish empire defeated the arabs to gain control over the region.Although,it has been  a part of Spanish kingdom since then,Catalans have always strived for an independent territory.

2.FC Barcelona is a symbol of Catalan Independence and Power.

It was during Franco's rule(1939-1975).He banned the use of Catalan language in government-run institutions and during public events, and also the Catalan institutions of self-government. The pro-Republic of Spain President of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, was taken to Spain from his exile in the German-occupied France, and was tortured and executed in the Montjuïc Castle of Barcelona for the crime of 'military rebellion'.Catalans were living under fury of the military dictator.Franco was a Castillian and supported Real Madrid.Catalans saw FC Barcelona as their heroes,who can help  them bring down the Castillan flag.This is how El Classico started.Barca has been  more than a club and El Classico is more than a game.It's about pride of Catalonia and stakes have always been high.It was never Ronaldo vs Messi,it has always been Castillans vs Catalans.

More than a club. "It's a day for democracy",Pep Guardiola, former FC Barcelona player and manager.

3.Catalans share the same cultural heritage as the other Spaniards.

Catalonia has been an integral part of Spain since the nation’s inception in 1812.Although it has been struck by various invasions from Arabs and Mediterranean and other tribes,it does have a Spanish root.They speak similar language,have similar physical features,eat the same food and share a passion for the same sport-Football.Catalonia forms an important part of the Spanish economy-about 40 percent of Catalonia’s exports go to the rest of Spain.Barcelona is the economic heartbeat of Spain and a major tourist attraction.

With Catalans and Castillans united,we witnessed the most powerful national team in Football History.

People from every single part of Spain celebrated La Tomatina on 30th August in Bunol,despite referendum the day after.