This week I was interviewed for an NPR story on ‘America’s love affair with nationalism.’
In Barcelona, the last bullfight was held this past weekend, after a law was passed banning the practice in Catalonia. The law was introduced at the request of animal rights activists, but it was in part driven by a desire to distance Catalonia from Castillian culture. Catalonia is distinctive in at least one other respect: it has its own internet domain address: .cat According to Wikipedia there are only a handful of non-nation states in the world with their own web address, such as Antarctica, Hong Kong, and the Palestinian Territories. Catalonia won its own address in 2005 – though technically the address is for Catalonian culture and not for the specific territory of Catalonia.
At the other end of Europe, in Denmark a parliamentary election brought to an end ten years of center-right rule. Contrary to those who argue that economic crisis invariably leads to xenophobia towards immigrant groups, the immigration issue did not feature prominently in this campaign – in contrast to previous elections. Support for the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party declined 1.5%, to 12%.
Meanwhile if you want to apply for a job at a university in Sweden you should learn Swedish – English only applications are not allowed, according to a recent decision by the parliamentary ombudsman.