WITH the recent upsurge in vocal Catalonian independence advocates, and even more recently the ‘illegal’ referendum where two million votes were cast declaring the wish to separate from the rest of Spain — the voice of the Catalan people is beginning to be heard on the world stage. It was as good a time as any to take to the streets of Catalonia and ask the people who live here what makes them proud of this place.


"I have a special sense of national pride inside of me. The Catalan people have a cultural identity which has been present for a long time despite facing a lot of obstacles."


"When you live for a long time in one place you subsequently become part of that place."


"I’m not a Catalan from birth, but I am through life. I first came here 65 years ago as a 16 year old, and this place provided for me when I most needed it – I am very happy to still be here."


"I’m from San Diego, California, and studying to be a graphic designer. I feel like I’m home here; I’ve made great friends. There’s a great vibe for internationals in Catalonia."


"I am proud to be Catalan, proud to be Spanish, and proud to be European -- to be a citizen of the world."


"I am from Finland but I’ve lived here for over a year now. I am proud to say I live here because it’s been a dream of mine for years and years to move here, and now that I’ve moved and made it -- that makes me proud."


"As a Catalan I feel different from the rest of Spain. We have our own identity and our own language -- and that’s important."


"Catalonia is a unique place in the world, as is the character of the Catalan people. We are hard workers, responsible and friendly people who have continued despite facing adversity again and again. I am extremely proud to play a small role in this history."