Meaning of Rooting

Rooting is the act and the consequence of taking root: settling permanently, taking hold, gaining strength or taking root. According to DigoPaul, the idea of ​​rooting can be used in different contexts.

In colloquial language, rooting is often associated with consolidating or establishing a base somewhere. For example: “I settled fifteen years ago in this city: I have a very strong roots and I don’t want to leave”, “Voodoo has a lot of roots in this town”, “The sociologist has analyzed the rooting mechanism developed by the immigrants who arrived to these lands a century ago ”.

Although in principle, rooting is a natural response by a living being to a certain territory that causes well-being and security, it is often imposed by third parties and it is then when it becomes something negative, in a kind of prison that prevents us from getting ahead. The roots should hold us to a healthy and nutritious soil, which provides us with everything we need to grow and become strong; if, on the other hand, it keeps us glued to a barren and toxic surface, our development is seriously affected.

In this context, we can say that the word uprooting represents practically the opposite, although there are many nuances that differentiate them. In the first place, the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy defines it as «separating a person from the environment or place in which he has been raised, or breaking the affective bonds that unite them». Although this meaning describes an action directed at a third party, it is normal to speak of the uprooting that we feel, or that has led us to feel a situation or a fact.

People who leave their country to look for new job opportunities abroad often use the term uprooted to express how unconnected they have come to feel because of not being able to speak their own language or not finding the degree of understanding and complicity that reached naturally in their homeland. It is worth mentioning that uprooting is something much more complex than a “wound” caused by a cut; in fact, there are those who enjoy this separation from the past and the transformation it brings about.

Although it is not so common in everyday speech, another of the meanings of the term arraigo refers to the possession of real estate. This meaning can be appreciated in expressions such as “having roots” and “person with roots”.

The concept of arraigo appears in different ways at the judicial level. In some countries, notification is called arraigo that, in the framework of a legal process, is made to an individual warning that he cannot leave his population, otherwise he will be punished. Something similar occurs with the arraigo bond, which can be required of certain litigants, especially if they are foreigners and have sued a Spanish person, so that they are not absent from the trial and can respond to their results.

Arrest or house arrest, in this sense, is a precautionary measure requested by the Prosecutor’s Office or the Attorney General’s Office and granted by a judge so that a suspect remains at their disposal while gathering sufficient evidence to certify their probable responsibility in a crime. Rooting is requested when there is a risk of the possible offender escaping.

In Spain, a status that a religious community can claim from the national authorities is called notorious arraigo. This legal status proves that a certain confession is installed in the national territory and that it has a prominent presence.

Finally, “Arraigo” is the title of a ballet composed by Jerónimo Maesso and directed by Víctor Ullate, which premiered in 1988.


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