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In search of the Andalusian footprint


One of the most curious images of Andalusia of how many I keep in memory is not located in our land, paradoxically, but more than 4,000 kilometers to the south. Is a

One of the most curious images of Andalusia of how many I keep in memory is not located in our land, paradoxically, but more than 4,000 kilometers to the south. It is a photo that I saw on one occasion of the Triana Bridge that crosses the Benito River, in Equatorial Guinea. I have never been there, but I would love to meet you. It is one of the tracks that Andalusia and the Andalusians have been leaving while they opened roads around the world . When I am in Malaga and I have a time to walk on the beach at sunset, overwhelmed by the immensity of the horizon, I wonder how many thousands of those small and great memories, baptized with our names, will have spread across the sea, all over the planet, in all directions. How far will the dream of Andalusia.

Today we commemorate the 500 years of the open sea trip, from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, of the expedition that, starting from Seville, culminated the first round the world. Reached this event and determined to celebrate it, many emphasize the figure of Hernando de Magallanes; others prefer to focus on Juan Sebastián Elcano, which culminated the adventure; there are those who stop, above all, in the determining role of the Spanish Crown in this event. It is logical and fair that it be so. But it would be a dramatic mistake to forget who, along with all the above, highlight the unequivocally Andalusian role of this feat . In summer doors, when I went to the lands of Huelva to supervise in Punta Umbría the construction of a new replica of the Nao Victoria in charge of the foundation that bears his name - and that will be permanently exhibited in Seville from next date - I was amazed once again by the fragility of these eggs; a fragility apparently incompatible with the huge missions they faced. And that contrasts with the strength of those ancient sailors who, overcoming their fears, threw themselves with these boats into a sea that still had, then, much of mythological, of unknown, of uncertain. And from which many did not return.

The most numerous group of those sailors who went out with Magellan and Elcano was that of the Andalusians: 73 of the 245 crew of the expedition. When Nao Victoria returned, shattered and with just 18 survivors on board, three of them were also from this land that was the starting point and destination of the feat. The five naos that sailed in 1519 were bought in Cádiz, tuned in Seville, equipped in Sanlúcar with products from various places in Andalusia . And they all went on an adventure through the Guadalquivir; a river that was then the most important on Earth, the lobby of America, the bridge between the old and the new. To affirm that this feat had a purely Andalusian character goes beyond political discourse: it is an obviousness based on that permanent trace that the Andalusians who participated in it were leaving in their path - like many others, before and after that unparalleled feat- , giving name and personality to many of the places they reached and the things they discovered in them. And so, over the centuries, in the most diverse ways, the role of Andalusia in the description and configuration of the world has been enriching that brand . Today Andalusian place-names abound across the five continents.

It seems to me that designating a new place with the name of one of our towns or cities is not only an exercise in nostalgia, but also in faith, love and hope. Just as I think it would be too, today, start weaving networks from Andalusia with all of them , and from these to each other; to create an Andalusian intranet, so to speak, in the anonymous rumble of the global village; to establish ties that bring us together when it is feasible around cooperation, knowledge, culture, exchanges, dialogue, the way of understanding life, the challenges and projects that can be faced together. We must take the opportunity to rediscover ourselves whenever we can.

There are Málagas in Sudan, in the United States, in Papua New Guinea, in Australia. The second most important city in Argentina is Córdoba. The Granada of the Caribbean is called that because its profile reminded that of Sierra Nevada. There is a Jaén in the Peruvian jungle. Clark Gable was born in Cádiz, Ohio. Almeria is in the Philippines. And there is a spectacular Holy Week in Seville in the heart of Colombia, that prodigious country where the banana farm that inspired García Márquez his Macondo, bathed by the Seville River. And hundreds of other places everywhere, to which more unusual, picturesque and extraordinary, that show the name of one of the eight Andalusian capitals , not to mention other cities and towns in their provinces, with which the account is already lost.

I like celebrations. I try to live them with intensity, even if they only have a purely festive nature, because the festivities reinforce the internal alliances of the people and their people, remember the importance of joy and do us good. But, above all, I enjoy them when they incorporate some element of stimulus to address the requirements of the present and the future. The commemoration of the first circumnavigation of the Earth gives us that addition by proposing a reunion horizon, so that the trail of Andalusia around the world is more than a memory ; so that it does not run out in his memory, but he draws new paths as he did in his day. I have always said it: there is nothing better than what we can do together. Not even Magellan could have gone anywhere alone on a ship. I am very far from understanding those who consider it a success to put obstacles to the neighbor and those who rejoice in the setbacks of others. I preach and practice the constructive agreement: I do it with the rest of the Administrations, whatever their political sign, and I plan to continue trying in all circumstances. Those who join the public authorities to celebrate, but not to work, fall into the most grotesque and harmful hypocrisy. We, in Andalusia, from the Government of change, which is also the result of dialogue and agreement, consider this type of attitude an unfortunate loss of energy with aggravating disloyalty to the people, which is not only sovereign but also diverse.

Understanding this is key, because we have important duties to do among all. When a society conforms to its past, it moves away from prosperity and goes into decline. It has always happened. The laurels are fine for a moment, because they have some opium poppy, and if one is crowned with them too long, it usually falls into a thick drowsiness that takes a lot of time and effort to get out. It's okay to celebrate past glories, but as long as they serve for something more than to dust off the tails and stage ceremonies : the past must be observed in the rearview mirror, not make it the permanent object of our gaze.

We must and we want to turn our experiences into a challenge. Discovering, for example, that exciting and surprising Andalusian footprint that extends throughout the planet, its origins and its diversity. Working together, the more, the better. In this new challenge I would like to involve all Spaniards, because we Andalusians are also the result of the sum of many, a fact that we are proud of and that involves a vital teaching for modern societies, in the face of the suicidal melancholy of those They invent borders where there were none. The most solemn and rich example of this mixture is the Spanish language, around which this effort to retrace our own steps must revolve . I hope that this commemoration removes, in addition to the passion to discover and discover us, those words now in disuse but that then served to face and overcome the great challenges: fearlessness, astonishment, enthusiasm, courage, fascination, courage, restlessness, spirit, collaboration. Only by making good use of them will we be able to expand once again the horizons of the Andalusian dream. That dream that today takes a festive form to everyone's satisfaction and encouragement.

Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla is president of the Junta de Andalucía.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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  • Andalusia
  • Seville
  • Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla
  • Jaen
  • Huelva
  • Almeria
  • America
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Colombia
  • Cordova
  • U.S
  • LOC

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