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NABO clubs also celebrate the International Day of Euskera from Boise to Montreal


Boise's Txantxangorriak performing at this year's International Euskera Day celebration (photo IKortazar)
Boise's Txantxangorriak performing at this year's International Euskera Day celebration (photo IKortazar)


The Basque communities in various US states and Quebec also joined in on the celebration of the International Day of Euskera, a day that gains more and more followers in the Diaspora each year. With that the number of Basque students is also increasing in North America, and they, along with other club members are committed to celebrating the Day of Euskera (the Basque language) throughout the year with their daily effort. These were at the forefront at these fun activities: Basque karaoke in Boise; a poetry reading and a Basque Christmas Carol workshop in New York; and a workshop on Bertsolaritza in Montreal.

Boise USA.  The celebration of the International Day of Euskera made its way this year to Boise, New York and Quebec as explained to by Izaskun Kortazar, Euskera Coordinator of the North American Basque Organizations (NABO).  In Boise the party took place on the Basque block, a pedestrian zone where the Basque Center is located, as well as the Basque Museum and other Basque businesses.  The party began at the Basque Center and then continued to the Leku Ona like the traditional Basque “poteo” for a drink.  All the while the kids were at the Basque Museum watching the movie Olentzero.

Next the Txantxangorriak Group entertained by playing some Basque pieces.  John Bieter, historian, then gave a talk that listed a number of reasons to learn Basque, and Nere Lete also taught a brief workshop where she taught few phrases in Basque.  The highlight of the event was a Basque karaoke contest: First prize went to Cody Beaudreau; second to Raimundo Uriarte, and third went to Amaya Berriochoa.  The award for the best duo went to Megan Otteman and Itxaso Cayero. 

Poetry in New York

On the East Coast of the US, New York’s Eusko Etxea celebrated the day with a poetry recital of the works of Lauaxeta and Lizardi.  Next there was a screening of Korrika, by AEK, in which four Basque students share their experiences. 

The second part of the celebration began with a workshop on Basque Christmas Carols at the Basque clubhouse.  Aitzol Azurtza, the club’s new Euskera teacher, taught the workshop.  Saturday members will have a chance to practice what they have learned at the club’s Christmas party. 

Bertsolaritza in Montreal

Quebec’s Euskaldunak Basque club also celebrated the day very enthusiastically by inviting the bertsolari Xuami Murua to participate in the festivities.  Murua came from the Basque Country for December 3rd and taught a workshop on traditional Basque songs, that he also helped translate and explain to the club’s Basque students. 

On Wednesday December 7th, at another activity, Murua gave a class on Bertsolaritza, where he explained the history of this oral tradition and its techniques, as well as creating a few verses.  Finally, last Sunday, the 11th, the celebration of Basque Day came to an end with a club dinner.

“We should celebrate Basque Day for more than a day…every day!” Reflection shared by Izaskun Kortazar on the heels of International Day of Euskera 2011.


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