Celebrating Basque migration at the University of Chile

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2019-08-27

The day of the Basque Diaspora will be celebrated on September 8th worldwide. Several countries with a significant Basque population will organise commemorative events. Chile is one of them: the University of Chile, in Santiago de Chile, has organised an event on Wednesday, August 28th, which will focus on the Basque migration to Chile.

The day of the Basque Diaspora will be celebrated on September 8th worldwide. Several countries with a significant Basque population will organise commemorative events. Chile is one of them: the University of Chile, in Santiago de Chile, has organised an event on Wednesday, August 28th, which will focus on the Basque migration to Chile.

The event will take place at the Juan Gómez Millas Campus, and will include a presentation talk, a documentary and a roundtable. The aim will be to discuss the history of Basque migration to Chile and to then share personal experiences in the classroom.

The Basque language and culture reader at the University, Mireia Orbegozo, will first welcome the audience and talk about the historical presence of the Basques in Chile, explaining the causes and consequences of Basque migration with the help of a short video about Basque Diaspora Day. The audience will then be shown the documentary Yo no soy de aquí (I am not from here), by filmmaker Maite Alberdi. The main character in the film is Josebe, an elderly Basque woman who has been living in Chile for many years. She lives at a retirement home, and the film shows her everyday life, including the relationship with the other residents, conversations and childhood memories. Josebe also speaks Basque sometimes. The film mostly tries to explain how a Basque person lives her identity in a foreign country.

To finish the event, there will be a roundtable with a special guest: Jon Zarrantz, Josebe’s son.  He will share the history of his family with the public, as well as the experience of being a son of Basque immigrants. After his intervention, there will be time to talk about Basque migration, and the students will be able to share their own experiences and ask questions.

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