La Voz de Galicia – May 17, 2024 →

Cristina PatoThere are days when I think that the two million seven hundred thousand inhabitants of Galicia probably have two million seven hundred thousand ways to celebrate and interpret our identity. And what is our cultural identity really? Well, I suppose there will also be two million seven hundred thousand answers to that question. As much as brands, institutions, and ourselves try to define us in a few words, I believe there is no better challenge than understanding our identity as something as complex as each of us. The definition of who we are from my mother’s perspective, from Berredo, has nothing to do with the portrait my father painted, from Armariz. The definition of Galicianness from my sister Teté, who lives in Madrid, has nothing to do with that of Yoly, in Trives, or with that of Raquel, in Ourense; and especially not with mine, in this «in-between land» that I chose to define myself.

Sometimes, when I hear the four sisters speak Galician, I think we come from four different worlds. Teté’s Galician, born in 1967 (the eldest), and mine, born in 1980 (the youngest), are two languages within the same language. And the same goes for everything that defines us. What is Galician music? For my mother, Ana Kiro, for my father, Cuco de Velle, for Teté, Golpes Bajos, for Yoly, Berrogüetto, and for Raquel and me, it is a long story, because both of us, since we played Galician bagpipes, we also performed identity. And what is Galician literature? Today we celebrate, according to the RAG, the «exaltation and promotion of our literature and our language.» We celebrate Galician literature, and with it, I want to celebrate the beauty of difference, the multiple ways we have to express ourselves in our language, and the multiple ways of being Galician.

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