Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 6 - A Coruña

Entrance to the Real Academia Galega
Sorry for the delay in the posting... I lost internet service before I finished editing the pictures last night...

Today we took a trip to A Coruña which is located along the northern coast of Galicia. The primary reason for our trip was a visit to the Real Academia Galega. Interestingly, the Academy was founded in Cuba in 1905 under the name Sociedade Protectora da Academia Gallega. It was founded in Cuba due to persecution against the Galician language on the Iberian Peninsula. In 1906 the name was changed to the current Real Academia Galega.

1st president of RAG
The idea behind the formation of the Academy was the promotion of Galician culture and language. It has decided the official grammatical and orthographic rules of Galego as well in addition to defending the language. The Academy also decides which literary figure from Galician history will be the representative for el Día de las Letras Gallegas (Day of Galician Letters) each year.

Outside of Rosalia de Castro's home
This year the Academy is celebrating it's 50th year of the Día de las Letras Gallegas. Their first representative, in 1963, was the illustrious Rosalía de Castro who lived from 1837-1885 and is arguably one of the most famous Galician writers of all time. Their current, 2012 representative is Valentín Paz Andrade - a lawyer, journalist, politician, businessman and poet who lived from 1898 until 1987.

A Coruña

As an interesting sidenote, we were told today that Francisco Franco (dictator of Spain from 1936-1975) was made an honorary president of the Academy in the 1940s. This is somewhat surprising as many Galicians, including the founders of the Academy were more supportive of the Republican government than of Franco (or of Primo de Rivera), although not completely unbelievable since at that point they were probably trying to cause fewer conflicts and difficulties with the new government.

Unfortunately we weren't left with much time for exploring around the city, but it is only an hour or so from Santiago de Compostela, so perhaps there will be another chance to go there and have a look around. I remember going there ten years ago when I was studying in Granada, but we only spent a quick day there that time as well. There is so much to see that it is difficult to decide where to go. I have each Sunday free, but Sundays many things are closed, so I'm not sure how much use a Sunday trip would be.

The following link is to an article about our visit to the Real Academia - I am in the fourth row all the way on the right side of the picture... you can see my glasses anyway!!!
Center: Current President RAG
Also.. when I look at the tapestry all I can see is the storm trooper's head!

Galego word of the day:
Trip - Viaxe
As in:
Eu quero vir nun viaxe.
(I want to go on a trip.)

(Gosh I hope I got that right!)

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