Posts tagged: Basque
Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little wraps up a “friendship mission” to the Basque country tomorrow, which included a meeting with Basque President Patxi Lopez on Thursday. Little reported that the Basque country pledged to work with Idaho on three initiatives: Creation of a Basque economic development office in Boise; launching a joint Idaho/Basque Renewable Energy Task Force, to meet twice a year; and an agreement to explore additional exchanges in culture and education. “We have 100 years or more of history with the Basque people as a fundamental part of the Idaho fabric,” Little said. “In the global economy, we need to foster strong relationships abroad, to access markets and grow our hometown businesses. This link with the Basques is a natural one, and we found a very receptive audience this week.”
Little, who went on the trip with Idaho businessmen Mark Rivers and Ed Miller, wasn’t traveling at taxpayer expense, his office reported; the trip was entirely funded by contributions from businesses.
Boise State University and the government of the Basque Country signed a new five-year agreement today that strengthens their existing partnership in BSU’s Basque Studies Program, and includes $390,000 in funding for faculty and more. “Basques of North America know very well, over the years, through the Basque centers, through universities, programs, Jaialdi itself, that you create social bonds,” Basque President Patxi Lopez said as the agreement was signed amid the once-every-five-years Jaialdi Basque culture celebration this week in Boise. “But you do more than this: you keep the culture alive. Our culture does not belong to anyone, but is a universal wealth.” Click here to read the full announcement.
Meanwhile, a sister-state agreement is in the works between Idaho and the Basque territory of Bizkaia.
As one of the largest Basque communities in the United States prepares for the traditional Jaialdi festival in southwestern Idaho, a not-so traditional Basque president is expected to be among the visitors, the AP reports. Patxi Lopez was elected last year, ending nearly 30 years of rule by the Basque Nationalist Party, which focused on seeking independence from Spain. The visit is likely to be closely monitored for any sign of political protest, to which festival organizers respond: Don’t hold your breath. “He has nothing to do with Jaialdi, he’s coming as a visitor. This is not about him,” Dave Eiguren, who is from an old Basque family in Boise and has helped organize the festival since it started in 1987, told AP. The Basque president is customarily invited to Jaialdi, held every five years as a showcase of the culture; click below for a full report from AP reporter Jessie Bonner.
An international academic seminar on Basque immigration will be held at Boise State University July 28-30, at the height of the once-every-five-years “Jaialdi” celebration of Basque culture. The seminar, held in a different European or U.S. location each year, will include scholars from the U.S., Japan, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Spain, France, Italy, Iceland and the Madeira Islands, and presentations will cover everything from the status of the Basque language in America to the origin of Basque surnames.
The symposium is entitled “Euskal Herria Mugaz Gaindi,” or “Basque Country Beyond Borders.” “It is an honor, but quite appropriate, for Boise State to host such a gathering of the world’s leading Basque scholars,” said Alberto Santana, director of BSU’s Basque Studies Program. Boise State has the largest Basque studies program in the world outside the Basque country.
The Jaialdi festival is scheduled for July 27 to Aug. 1, and several popular downtown Boise hotels already are sold out. The event draws thousands of attendees from around the world; there’s more info here.