Related links: GUREA
The singular remarkable fact about the Basques is that they
In a real sense, Basques are
“Europe’s oldest family.” They are the oldest indigenous
inhabitants of this corner of western Europe; they were there
when the Indo-European ancestors of the Spanish and French
arrived. This people—always small in number and against the
odds—found ways of keeping their traditions alive. But modern
times have presented a new set of challenges of retaining a
sense of “Basqueness”—the sense of being Basque.
“I hear nothing,
I see nothing, I say nothing.”
The temptation is to not confront the challenges
confronting our Basque club and hope for the best—that
our traditions will continue to endure. But unlike our
ancestors, being Basque today is far more of a choice
than it was before, and today we are bombarded by a wide
assortment of alternatives that call for our “time,
treasure and talent.”
The temptation is to not confront
the challenges confronting our Basque club and hope for the
best—that our traditions will continue to endure. But unlike
our ancestors, being Basque today is far more of a choice than
it was before, and today we are bombarded by a wide assortment
of alternatives that call for our “time, treasure and talent.”
of what exactly? We have to find ways of answering
this question in a positive sense if we hope that people
will continue to identify as being Basque.
People today have a plethora of choices in today's
society, so being Basque has plenty of competition.
This IS NOT primarily a money pitch (though sure money is needed
to keep things going) nor is this about asking you to put a
"Proud to be Basque" bumper-sticker on your car or wear a beret
every day. This IS ABOUT getting people to accentuate "Basqueness"
as one of their multiple identities (e.g., as a parent, spouse,
child, football fan, American, etc.). We're hoping to 1) raise
the "awareness of Basqueness" across the generations and 2) find
folks-young and older--willing and able to contribute their time
and energy to keep our culture alive.
If a culture does not possess effective means of
transmission from one generation to the next, then that
culture is doomed to perish. Somehow, someway, against
the odds, our ancestors found a way to preserve
“Basqueness” across thousands of years. Now it is our
turn. We—those of us age 30 and above—cannot be the
generation that breaks this long chain of continuity of
one of the world’s oldest cultures. OLD & YOUNG WILL
HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER TO MAINTAIN THE LINK!
To do this we have to work hard and work smart.
Please forward your ideas to
magazine for the Basque shepherds of North America, I
read an article once, signed by a priest, in which he
stated that the enormous change the world had undergone
was not a gradual one, and that rural villages like
Obaba had changed less in the twenty centuries from the
birth of Jesus to the coming of television (c. 1950)
than in the ensuing thirty years; and this, he wrote,
was the reason why he, in his childhood, had played the
same games as those depicted on the frescos in Pompeii
(the Roman city that was entombed when a volcano erupted
locking in time a moment thousands of years ago).
~From Bernardo Atxaga's The