Over 50,000 Attend Escola Valenciana's 'Trobades' to Defend Valencian Language Education

Thousands rally in Valencia, Spain, to defend Valencian language education amid controversy over proposed conservative education law. The Trobades events showcase strong public support for preserving the region's linguistic and cultural heritage.

Safak Costu
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Over 50,000 Attend Escola Valenciana's 'Trobades' to Defend Valencian Language Education

Over 50,000 Attend Escola Valenciana's 'Trobades' to Defend Valencian Language Education

On April 21 and 22, 2024, over 50,000 people gathered in the towns of Benimodo, Burjassot, Cabanes, and Estivella in Valencia, Spain, to participate in the 'Trobades d'Escoles en Valencià' (Valencian Language School Gatherings) organized by Escola Valenciana. The events aimed to defend public education in the Valencian language amid controversy over a proposed education law by the conservative People's Party (PP) and far-right Vox party.

The gatherings, held under the slogan 'Fem poble, parlem valencià' (Let's build a community, let's speak Valencian), featured cultural and educational activities, including workshops, parades, music and dance performances, and tributes to renowned Valencian figures such as poet Vicent Andrés Estellés and journalist Didín Puig. The events were supported by various educational institutions, entities, and collectives, as well as local and regional authorities.

Escola Valenciana emphasized the need to maintain a quality, plurilingual, and multicultural educational model that reflects the linguistic and cultural diversity of the region. The organization believes this model is threatened by the new government's policies, which could diminish the use of Valencian in classrooms. The proposed 'educational freedom' law has sparked concerns among supporters of Valencian language education.

Why this matters: The Trobades serve as a powerful demonstration of the public's support for Valencian language education and the preservation of the region's cultural heritage. The controversy surrounding the proposed education law highlights the ongoing debate over language rights and the role of education in promoting linguistic diversity in Spain.

The president of the Valencia Provincial Council, Vicent Mompó, participated in the Benimodo event, while the president of the Valencian Language Academy, Verònica Cantó, attended the Burjassot gathering. The Burjassot event also included tributes to Vicent Andrés Estellés on the 100th anniversary of his birth, a celebration that the PP and Vox had previously refused to support in the regional parliament. The Vox spokesperson in the regional parliament criticized the provincial council's involvement, calling the organizers 'enemies of the Valencian land'.

The Trobades, which will continue with additional events on April 23-24 and May 2, serve as a testament to the educational communities' commitment to defending and promoting the Valencian language and culture. As Escola Valenciana stated, the gatherings took place in a context of 'great political and social hostility' towards Valencian identity, making the strong turnout and support all the more significant.

Key Takeaways

  • Over 50,000 people attended Valencian language school gatherings in Spain.
  • Events aimed to defend public education in Valencian amid proposed law changes.
  • Gatherings featured cultural and educational activities, supported by authorities.
  • Organizers emphasized need to maintain plurilingual, multicultural education model.
  • Trobades demonstrate public support for Valencian language education and heritage.