As mentioned in the previous post, El Nano Serrat in Catalonia is mostly followed by old ladies, but not by the children of those ladies, or their husbands for that matter, much less their grandchildren. Strangely enough, he or his music seems somewhat passé here. In addition to that, Joan Manuel Serrat is somewhat of a conflictive figure in Spain and Catalonia.
To Spanish people, he is Catalan; there is a dreadful rivalry between these two ethnicities, and although, politically and geographically, they are supposed to be compatriots, they do not feel that way. To Catalans, El Nano Serrat is a Catalan who sings in Castilian. This, in Catalonia, is considered a kind of sacrilege or betrayal; a sort of a business move made to try and win over the Spanish market, which is the same as being a mercantilist.
There is this singer of the same era and style as Serrat in Catalonia, called Lluís Llach, who most Argentinians have not heard about, and unlike El Nano, “never betrayed his tongue”. Here, he is more loved than Serrat. Why? Because he never sang in Castilian. Sometimes Argentines living in Catalonia want to explain to the Catalans that, in Argentina, we learned songs in Catalan phonetically, even if we had no idea what the lyrics meant, thanks to Serrat. Thanks to him, Argentinians know where Catalonia is on the map; thanks to him we look up to the city of Barcelona, that many Argentinians got goosebumps listening to him sing songs in Catalan in a full stadium, along with 100 thousand other people.
Argentinians’ obsession with Serrat can only be compared with mate. So every time people see Nano Serrat on Spanish TV, it gives them a strange feeling like watching a fellow compatriot who has been living in Barcelona for a very long time. So, people get up and start screaming “al Colón, al Colón”!