Día de Andalucía: why is it celebrated and how do Andalusians feel about the region?
28 FEBRUARY ·
It is a public holiday across all eight provinces in the region (Huelva, Cadiz, Seville, Malaga, Jaén, Cordoba, Granada and Almeria) and as such, banks, public buildings and many shops will close. There will be celebrations in villages, towns and cities across the region
February 28 is Día de Andalucía (Andalucía day) and it commemorates the 1980 referendum on the Statute of Autonomy of Andalucía, when the people of Andalucía voted for the the region to become an autonomous community. The regional referendum came just over a year after the Spanish constitution was established on 6 December 1978, after the return to democracy following 40 years of dictatorship.
It is a public holiday across all eight provinces in the region (Huelva, Cadiz, Seville, Malaga, Jaén, Cordoba, Granada and Almeria) and as such, banks, public buildings and many shops will close and there will be celebrations in villages, towns and cities across the region.
Although each province in Andalucía has its own characteristics, there are many things that bind the whole region including the Andalusian accent, the flag, the anthem and the coat of arms. However, of all of these, it is the accent and way of speaking with which most Andalusians say they identify according to an opinion poll on Andalusian identity conducted by the Andalusian Studies Centre (Centra), between 7 and 13 February this year.
Interestingly the results of the survey also showed that a large majority of Andalusians consider that the image of the community has improved over the last four years.
Centra, a body connected with the Andalusian regional government, the Junta de Andalucía, interviewed 1,200 Spanish people over 18 years of age residing in Andalucía, who were asked how they identify with Andalusian and Spanish symbols. On a scale of one to ten, 62.5% said they identified as very Spanish, compared with 55.5% who said they identified as 'very Andalusian'.
Some 64.3 percent said they feel both Andalusian and Spanish. Some 18.5 percent feel more Andalusian than Spanish and 11.1 percent feel more Spanish than Andalusian.
However, more people identified with Andalusian symbols than with Spanish ones. For example 65.8% identified with the Andalusian flag, compared 55.2% who alined with the Spanish flag.
Anthems and pride
Likewise, 57.7% identified with the Andalusian anthem, while 51.6 per cent identified more with the Spanish national anthem.
Only 4.3 per cent say they feel little or no identification with Andalusian accent compared to 20.9 percent who identified somewhat and 72.8 per cent who identified highly with the accent. 62 per cent of interviewees said they feel angry when the accent criticised, while 15.5 per cent were indifferent and 15.5 per cent feel embarrassed by the way they speak. Likewise, 75 per cent enjoy watching programmes with presenters who have an Andalusian accent.
The study also explored the feeling of pride. 59.1% responded that they feel sad when Andalucía is criticised in the media, 9.9%, embarrassed and 7.8%, shame. When it came to who is responsible for the negative feelings, 15.2% attribute it to politicians from other communities; 14.5%, to Andalusian politicians; 14.3%, to the way Andalusians are and 9.9%, to the media.
Asked about the evolution of the image of the community during the last four years, 30.6% consider that it has improved a lot and 36.3% that it has improved somewhat, compared to 5.5% who think that it has worsened somewhat and 5.5% that it has worsened a lot.
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