The echo of Euskara and Euskaraldia will be heard around Europe and America through activities organized within the framework of the Etxepare Basque Institute readership network. In this collective exercise the Institute will encourage participation – adapted to the circumstances and environment of each place – by the more than 1,500 students who study Basque as part of this network, and in doing so, promote the use of Euskara, extending it beyond the classroom.
To invigorate the initiative abroad, in the past few months the Institute has promoted various teams of eleven. Starting November 23rd, these ‘elevens’, or ´ambassadors´, will lead dozens of activities to promote Euskara and fire students up about the Basque language and culture.
In Berlin, Germany, for example, a beginning Basque class has been organized at Freie Universität, and Etxepare reader Amaia Orbe will give a talk titled "Euskara eta generoaren arteko bidegurutzea" (The crossroads between Basque and gender). On the eve of International Euskara Day, a celebration of the city’s linguistic diversity will focus on the Basque and the Kurdish languages. Speakers of these linguistic communities will share their realities, challenges and dreams (general situation, language transmission, literacy, etc.) in a round table. And the Kurdish version of the song Martxa baten lehen notak by Joxean Arze and Mikel Laboa will be featured in a concert by Ciwan Tengezar.
On November 29th at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, there will be a reading in Basque and German of the novel Su zelaiak by the Mikel Peruarena, and the audience will hear recordings of Basque songs by WWI prisoners. Also in Germany, at Leipzig University, Professor Ingo Niebel will give a lecture on the opera Die Baskische Venus, premiered in 1928, followed by a mintzodromo (Basque language get-together) with students and alumni.
In Brno, Czech Republic, various activities have been organized both at Masaryk University and in the city off campus to raise awareness of the Basque language beyond the classroom. On Friday, November 23rd, the film Handia will be shown at the University’s cinema. The following Tuesday, the Ugarte Anaiak brothers will give a demonstration and talk on the traditional Basque percussion instrument, the txalaparta. On Wednesday there will be a conference by Ainara Maya on contemporary Basque poetry. And on Thursday, writer Hedoi Etxarte will give a talk on Basque literature. To bring the event to a close, on November 30th, current students and former Basque students will come together for a mintzodromo. An exhibition on the Basque Country made by students of Euskara will also be on display.
At Poznan University, Poland, UPV / EHU professor Ibon Manterola will hold a videoconference on November 29th focusing on Euskara and the promotion of minority languages. On the same day there will also be a videoconference session with the storyteller Amaia Elizagoin. On November 22nd, , Sukarra Asier Serrano, author and former leader of EH, will give a lecture and concert as part of the "Marcando un ritmo" conference at the University of Warsaw. Additionally, a meeting over Skype will be held among students of Basque from the universities of Warsaw and Poznan.
Euskaraldia will also have a presence in Pau, France, at L´Université de Pau et des Pays de l´Adour la (UPPA), where they have organized activities including mintzodromos and meetings via Skype with groups of teachers and students from other cities.
At the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, historian Alejandro Pulido will give a lecture on “Basque history, music and language in the 20th century”.
Mintzodromos have been organized for students of Euskara at the University of Bologna on November 27th and at the University of Venice on November 29th. On December 3rd, International Euskara Day will be celebrated in Bologna’s Piazza San Francesco.
The echo of Euskaraldia will also be heard in the USA, with several activities organized at Boise State University in the coming days. In order to create a linguistic and cultural bridge between students of Basque language and culture and Basque students from the University, the film Handia will be shown on November 30th. On December 3rd, students from "Food and Culture: The Basque Case", a course that has examined the relationship between Basque gastronomy and culture, will be at a local pintxo restaurant to use the words and phrases they’ve learned.
In order to open Euskaraldia to the entire student body, draw attention to Euskara and promote the language beyond the classroom, students who are learning different languages will read words and phrases in Basque and later use their work to create a video. Finally, Euskaraldia will be advertised on the university radio station.
In La Plata, Argentina, on Friday at the Euskal Etxea, there will be a mintzodromo for advanced students and table games for begginers. Over the course of the week, the teams will ask questions among the public about the relationship between place names in Argentina and the Basque language and later make a video using the material they’ve gathered. Finally, on December 3rd, Argentine historian Magdalena Mignaburu will give a lecture on the presence of Euskara in Argentina. There will also be music and Basque songs by the group Zutarriak to celebrate International Euskara Day.
At the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City, in addition to a Facebook contest, a multi-activity competition and a singing recital will take place on November 22nd. On November 23rd, a literature discussion will be led by the writer Juan Kruz Igerabide. In Havana, Cuba, one of the city’s popular cafés will be the venue for musical performances by Euskara students, together with local musicians.
In Santiago (Chile), the "2nd Language and Cultures Encounter" will be held at the Catholic University on November 21, organised by Euskara, Portuguese, Italian and Quechua readerships.
Finally, in Barcelona, on December 13th, there will be a film session featuring seven short films produced by Kimuak at the University of Barcelona and the Universitat Autònoma.
Collaboration with the University of the Basque Country
The Etxepare Basque Institute and the association UPV / EHUko Euskaldun Berriak have launched an 11-day initiative called "EUSKARALDIA: UPV / EHUko eta munduko euskaldun berriak 11 egunez euskaraz WhatsAppez". The aim of the initiative is for new Euskara learners, euskaldunberris, from various universities around the world and the Basque Country to get to know each other and use social media to exchange everyday phrases and brief conversations in Basque.
And, of course, the people at the Etxepare Basque Institute will also take part in Euskaraldia. During the 11 days of the initiative, the Etxepare team will take on the Ahobizi role in their day-to-day activities, tending to the public, dealing with suppliers, at meetings, and so on.
Euskaraldia, 11 days in Euskara
Euskaraldia will be up and running from November 23rd to December 3rd across hundreds of municipalities in Euskal Herria. The goal of this initiative is to promote the use of Euskara and encourage people to speak. In short, it is about using Basque more proactively for 11 days.
When signing up for the initiative, participants must choose between one of two roles: ahobizi or belarriprest. For 11 days people who choose to be ahobizis will address everyone who understands the language in Euskara. They will also initially use Basque when addressing people when they are not sure if they can speak or understand Euskara, and will pledge to continue the conversation in Basque with people who do in fact understand the language.
The people who decide to take on the belarriprest role will ask people who speak Basque to talk to them in Euskara for 11 days, even if they respond in Spanish. Belarriprests will need to be able to understand Basque even if they’re not comfortable speaking the language.
Anyone interested in taking part in Euskaraldia can register online at www.euskaraldia.eus by November 23rd. There you’ll find the registration form, where you’ll choose between belarriprest and ahobizi. You’ll also find useful information to help you make your decision.