Buenos Aires, Argentina. Basques in the Diaspora once again celebrated their pride and commitment of belonging to a community that is especially recognized in the Argentine society in Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires Celebrates the Basque Country is one of the festivals sponsored by the municipal government that has grown the most since its inception.
On Saturday noon, the Avenida de Mayo was once again painted in red, green and white and became a small Euskal Herria, small in size but immense in options and diversity. There were dance groups from 17 euskal etxeas, recitals by the Lagun Onak choir and also the groups Ixilik and Zutarriak; there were Basque clubs as well as restaurants who provided dishes for all tastes and a great quantity of commercial and institutional stands.
Among the novelties of this 6th edition of BAC, it is worth noting the presence of the Government of Navarre with a stand; the celebration of Korrika, just ahead of the official start of the race; and the presence of EuskalKultura.com with a stand, not just covering the events but also diffusing Basque culture along with what the Bulletin does, physically as well as online, uniting the Basque Diaspora all around the world.
Basque Government authorities were also present at the event, as a prelude to the dance celebrated at Laurak Bat. Touring BAC were: Bingen Zupiria, Minister of Culture and Language Policy; Marian Elorza, Secretary General of Foreign Action; Gorka Alvarez Aranburu, Director of the Basque Community Abroad; Sara Pagola, Basque Government Delegate in Argentina-Mercosur, Ander Goyoaga, Advisor to the Minister of Culture and Language Policy; and Andoni Martin Arce, Technician in the Directorate of the Basque Community abroad. EH Bildu Parliamentarian, Jasone Agirre, was also present.
Sunday also marked the closing of the 140th anniversary festivities at Laurak Bat. The week had begun on March 13th, the day that Laurak Bat turned 140, with an intimate tribute event at the clubhouse on Avenida Belgrano. Throughout the week, there were public events as well as some academic like the International Academic Congress organized on Wednesday at the UBA about “Migrants, Refugees and Exiles,” and the seminar, “American Euskal Herrias,” on Thursday. There were also pilota matches at the club’s trinkete, and an honor bestowed to Laurak Bat by the Senate, roundtables and conference on Saturday night with Bingen Zupiria Minister of Culture; plus the erromeria and public dance at the clubhouse located on Belgrano 1144.
Sunday events began at noon in front of the clubhouse, with the traffic being stopped for the occasion. There an Aurresku was performed to club president, Arantxa Anitua, on behalf of Laurak Bat, and the dantzaris performed followed by a Tamborrada. This was followed by a banquet that filled the first floor of the clubhouse with tables even in the hall. There club president, Arantxa Anitua, made an emotional speech followed by one by Bingen Zupiria, who shared in their feelings.
Lehendakari Urkullu was also present through a personal letter that was presented by the Minister of Culture to Arantxa Anitua who read it to everyone present. The week closed with organizers and guests singing “Zorionak Zuri,” and sharing the birthday cake.
Complete photo gallery in following days editions. Here’s a teaser: