I have been following Lucie and her French language, Italian travel blog “L’occhio di Lucie, Voyages en Italie”, for several years, just as I have been reading the anecdotes of those writing for her monthly blog exchange entitled “Histoires Expatriées”, or “Expat Stories”. The exchange gives a voice to other bloggers similarly living abroad and writing in French. And now it’s my turn to take part and indulge myself in exploring the theme of this month: the colour green.
The words “Green, how I want you green” may not mean much to non-Hispanic readers, but are full of connotations in the original language form, “Verde que te quiero verde”, as they form the very first line of one of the most famous Spanish language poems of the 20th century, “Romance Sonámbulo”, Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Sleepwalking Ballad”. It is with these words that the great poet pays homage to his home region, the region that is now my home.
For Lorca, green is the colour of Andalusia.
Green is the main colour of Andalusia’s flag, and a reference to its Arab heritage, evident in its architecture and its cuisine. This region that is so rich in cultures, a true crossroads of civilizations, is also a highly cultivated landscape, dominated by vast swathes of green olive trees. It is therefore unsurprising that green is a constant throughout Lorca’s works, which often recount the beauty of the land and the peculiarity of its people.
Green, a symbol of tragedy
He drew much of his inspiration from peasants working in in the olive fields and from Andalusia’s marginalized and often persecuted gypsy population, whose lives were hard and yet extremely colourful. In reference to these populations, green, for Lorca, was not merely synonymous with hope, but with hard work and great suffering, and also something more: death.
Green, a symbol of passion
However, we are in Andalusia, and the heart of Andalusia beats to the rhythm of flamenco. Despite their difficulties, people keep smiling, and the five words “Verde que te quiero verde” permeate the whole of Andalusia with a myriad of meanings, serving, above all, as an expression of vibrant passion.
Andalusia, how I love you Andalusia
This article is a contribution to the blogging exchange entitled Histoires Expatriées, conceived by Lucie Tournebize and shared through her blog “L’Occhio di Lucie, Voyages en Italie”. Discover the other participants’ blogs and their writings on the theme of green:
• Last but not least the creator of the monthly exchange herself, Lucie in Italy