Cantalunya ± as it is written in Catalan ± has banned bullfighting in its territory from 2012. News in Madrid talked about Catalans needing to attend corridas in France or other regions of Spain in the future. Other folkloric festivities involving toros will not be forbidden though. There is far more bull in this decision that meets the eye. Spain is one of the oldest nations in the World. Being a peninsula its borders are quite well defined by the coast and the Pyrenees. Apart from English in Gibraltar, four other official languages are spoken in Spain. While Spanish is spoken throughout the land, Catalan, Basque and Galician are also recognized as official within their Autonomous Regions. These four languages derived from Latin independently while Christian Spain was fighting Muslim Spain during eight long centuries. Different Kingdoms grew at the expense of each other and the Muslims and ended up with different languages and traditions. While this gives Spain a wide diversity and cultural richness, some take the occasion to put the stress in the differences . The first bullfight in Catalunya took place in the 1300s, when the whole region was part of the Kingdom of Aragón. It would be absurd to argue that the Fiesta was imported from Madrid (a part of the Kingdom of Castile at those times). Still, as the bull has become an icon of the Spanish culture, those focusing on what is peculiar of Catalunya and different from the rest of Spain are always prepared to use it as an excuse to distance themselves from the Nation. A few well-intentioned pro-life activists cheered outside the Catalan Parliament as the news of the ban was known. But the bull¶s-eye was not freedom and respect today. A great victory for them, had it been their victory.

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