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France’s Basque clubs gathered in Bordeaux invited by the local Euskaldunen Bitzarra


France's Basque clubs meet in Bordeaux (Photo Bordeaux EE)
France's Basque clubs meet in Bordeaux (Photo Bordeaux EE)


The Basque clubs of France got together on March 24, invited by Bordeaux’s Euskal Etxea. Those attending included the Basque clubs of Paris, Lagunt eta Maita from Pau, the Eskualdunak Association of Montpellier and the dance group Denak Bat from Toulouse, along with their hosts from Bordeaux. The meeting was an opportunity to strengthen ties as well as share ideas and experiences, learning from each other. On the second day attendees participated in the Odolkiaren Bazkaria hosted by the Eskualdunen Biltzarra, along with other Basque entities in the city.

Bordeaux, France.  On March 24 five Basque clubs from France got together in Bordeaux invited by the local Basque club, Eskualdunen Biltzarra: Paris’s club, Pau’s Lagunt eta Maita, Eskualdunak of Montpellier and the Denak Bat dance group from Toulouse.  The meeting began with a meal, to allow attendees to get to know each other better, as explained to EuskalKultura.ocm by David Mugica, Bordeaux’ president.

In the afternoon the attendees participated in a series of workshops in which each center was given an opportunity to introduce itself and answer questions such as: Why a Basque club?  What do the members want? Among others.  Additionally, they talked about more practical topics such as money, communication, newsletters etc.

Overview of Basque centers

A picture was drawn of the situation of the Basque clubs in France during the meeting, noting that Paris, Pau and Bordeaux have similar characteristics, and Montpellier and Toulouse, still smaller, can tap into the expertise and knowledge of the first three.

In the case of Paris’s club, one of its characteristics is that it rents rooms to around 30 students, explained Mugica.  Its structure is also special because of the associations that it consists of (dance, choirs, night school…) function autonomously.  Regarding Pau, it has approximately 1,500 members and many activities.  The club in Bordeaux has 710 members, 13 activities and its own locale.

In regards to the smaller clubs, Eskualdunak in Montpellier has 150 members and fewer activities.  Denak Bat in Toulouse has few members currently, even though 20 years ago they numbered nearly 100 dancers.  “That is what they say, and they are very happy to see where we are today and have noted the path to follow,” says Mugica.

Blood Sausage lunch

After the meeting the club representatives had dinner together.  “We went to a restaurant in front of the Basque club and we ended up singing.  We were even applauded!  We’re hoping that this will become an annual event, and for the moment, everyone is happy with this date,” Bordeaux’s president explained.

Frantziako EE bilera - Odolkiaren Bazkaria 2012 (2)

[Nearly 100 people attended the Odolki lunch at Bordeaux’s Basque club (photo Bordeaux EE)]

Frantziako EE bilera - Odolkiaren Bazkaria 2012 (4)

[Those attending the dinner had a wonderful time singing and having fun (photo Bordeaux EE)]

The next day club delegates attended the annual Odolkiaren Bazkaria (Blood Sausage Lunch) hosted by the Eskualdunen Biltzarra at the clubhouse.  Other Basque associations in Bordeaux also attended like the Bildu dance group from Pessac, the men’s choir Etxekoak, the Ongi Etorri association of Amberes (all three, members of the Basque center) and the women’s choir Eguzki Lore.  “There were also a Corsican and an archeology association in attendance,” Mugica added.  “In all, there were almost 100 guests and an unforgettable atmosphere.”

To round off the weekend, the Basque club did its monthly radio programs for the Basque radios of Iparralde along with friends from Pau’s Basque club.

-Bordeaux Basque center:


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