Etxepare in Manila and Tokyo, consolidating the presence of the Basque language and culture
Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.
In its efforts to set the Basque language and culture into the world, the director of the Etxepare Basque Institute, Aizpea Goenaga, and the director for the Promotion and Dissemination of Euskera, Mari Jose Olaziregi have traveled this past week to Manila (Philippines) and Tokyo (Japan), to create and strengthen the relationship between the Institute and various organizations and agents.
In Manila they had the opportunity to meet with officials of various organizations; one of the most relevant is the Ateneo Manila University; in fact during this visit they have already started to design a new Basque Studies program, that will be hosted by this university. With this purpose they held meetings with the President of the University, Father Villarín, and the Vicepresident, Father Cruz. They also met Ricardo Abad, President of Departament of Sociology-Anthropology, as well as several faculty members such as Fernando Zialcita and Aitor Anduaga.
They also had the chance to meet the heads of several Manila institutions, such as the foundations Ortigas Foundation and Fundación Inchaustiko, or the director of the Cervantes Institute of Manila.
During their visit to Japan the Etxepare representatives did not have much rest either: there encountered teachers Nami Kaneko and Sho Hagio, who teach Basque language and Culture at the TUFS university through the Institute, Actually, the TUFS (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) was another destination for Aizpea Goenaga and Mari Jose Olaziregi, where they were received by the President, Hirotaka Tateishi, and the Rector, Junko Kume. They also made appointments with some college professors, like the Basque Txabi Alastruey, always with the aim of strengthening the readership of Euskera and Basque Studies in the university.
On another hand, they had the chance to see by themselves the relevant presence in the bookstores of the novel "Mussche" by Kirmen Uribe, which was translated into Japanese with the finantioal support of the Institute; they also met some members of the Basque community in Tokyo. And before leaving the city they still had time to held a meeting with Mr Kogi, representative of the EU JAPAN FEST festival, as the final touch for a truly fruitful trip.