A Basque in Boise

Basque Culture II. International Summer School in Donostia-San Sebastian

Miramar Palace. Venue for the courses @ ehu.eus

BASQUE CULTURE! More than just a summer school

Would you like to experience a dream summer in Donostia-San Sebastián, one of the most beautiful cities in the Basque Country? The University of the Basque Country, a leader in the Basque university system, is offering you the chance to take part in the engaging course “Basque Culture II. International Summer School“, from 3 July to 14 July 2017. This course, taught by internationally prestigious instructors, offers a unique academic opportunity which will allow you to get to know Basque society first-hand while you study its language and its customs.

But that’s not all, because it will also be an unbeatable opportunity to live in the Basque Country. Try out the sports activities our beaches have to offer or get to know our gastronomy, music and dances first-hand!

General objectives:

  • To learn about Basque culture and identity under the guidance of prestigious international experts in fields like literature, linguistics, history, sociology, anthropology, economics and science.
  • To learn about Basque culture and identity both through fun immersion (visits to the surroundings, practical seminars, and so on) and Basque-language classes, prioritising a practical and cultural focus.

Specific objectives:

  • To reflect on Basque culture and identity and its particularities (whether historical, symbolic, and so forth).
  • To become familiar with the latest academic research regarding the different fields that comprise it, such as language and literature, anthropology, history, economics, etc.
  • To acquire a working knowledge of the Basque language that allows one to communicate in everyday activities.
  • To learn about Basque culture and geography, through excursions and fun activities.
  • To be educated in the contribution that the University of the Basque Country has made to the study of and scholarly reflection on Basque culture and identity.

Your summer begins here!

  • City: Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Course dates: 07/03/2017-07/14/2017
  • Language: English
  • Number of class hours: 45 hours
  • Tuition fees: 580 euros
  • Course reservation from 01/09/2017 to 04/29/2017
  • Completion of registration form 04/30/2017 to 06/01/2017
  • Limited places. For enrolments outside the time periods indicated contact basque.culture@ehu.eus
  • There is an option to reserve accommodation with the special Basque Culture rate at Olarain  Accommodation from 07/02/2017 to 07/15/2017 from 66,90 euros for a single room and 94,05 euros for a double room, both with breakfast included. More information in the Accommodation section.
  • Limited places. Reservation of accommodation is only guaranteed for those registrations carried out before 29 April.

For more information or to sign up, please visit http://www.ehu.eus/en/web/basque-culture/home.

Some movies from the Basque Film Library collection can be seen online

What a cool way to start a Monday! I’ve checked out a couple of the videos from the website, and they are so worth it! I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I did.

Basque Library Film collection | Diario Vasco

Ricardo Aldarondo | San Sebastian
17 marzo 2015

The oldest movie filmed in the Basque Country kept in the Film Library, ‘Irún 1912’; images of Plencia or Mondragón during festivities in the 20’s and 30’s; the little known story ‘Jose Antonio Aguirre in New York’ (1942); films about anchovy fishing in Donostia in the 50’s or the Urola Railway; a testimony of the first Kilometroak celebrated in 1977, or little known documentaries by directors like Pedro Olea, Jose Antonio Sistiaga and Juan Miguel Gutiérrez, are some of the key pieces in the Basque Film Library archives that already can be seen online, at www.filmotecavasca.com/es/fondos.

The website has enabled a new section called ‘Collections’ (‘Fondos’), with about twenty movies at the moment and which will grow at the rate of one movie per month.

“We want the film heritage to be accessible to citizens, Basques and people around the world, in addition to facilitating the work of some researchers, who can avoid displacement,” explained the director of the Basque Film Library, Joxean Fernández, during the initiative’s presentation that is already underway.

“For the time being, films made between the 1910’s and 1980’s have been incorporated, for their historical, artistic or cultural interest, and trying to maintain a geographical balance between the different regions”, said the director-curator of the Basque Film Library, Ion Lopez, who highlighted the uniqueness of the images contained in all these films. The archive has also incorporated two collections, one with titles made by Gotzon Elorza, and another dedicated to films about the Civil War.

This initiative has a non-commercial character, intended for the free viewing of films which are however subject to rights to use of any of the images for other purposes.

These are the films chosen in the first phase:

Irun 1912 (1912): This is the filming of Saint Martial Day on June 30, 1912. It is the oldest film shot in the Basque Country preserved in the Film Library.

Images of the opening soccer match in San Mames (Bilbao, August 21, 1913): Images of the inauguration of the San Mames soccer field in Bilbao. It was inaugurated with a game between Athletic Club de Bilbao and Real Racing de Irun.

The Day of Guipuzcoa (1924): Celebration of the Day of Guipuzcoa during Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship. A celebration designed for the exaltation of the province’s Basque-Spanish.

Festivities in Plencia (1927): Images from the eve of the of San Antolin festivities on September 1, 1927. High quality images of the town of Plencia and its festival.

Experiences of 3D cinema (1930’s): Images of the approach to 3D cinema by the Teofilo Mingueza, from Vitoria-Gazteiz.

Festivals of Mondragon (1933): Images of the festivities in Arrasate/Mondragon. In addition to the images of the population, you can see images of female tennis players of the time.

Jose Antonio Aguirre in New York (1942): A film describing the life of lehendakari Jose Antonio Aguirre and the Basque Government while exiled in New York.

Spanish charities. Caja de Ahorros and Monte de Piedad Municipal de Bilbao (1944): Promotional film produced by the Azcona brothers’ production company, commissioned by the Municipal Savings Bank of Bilbao.

25th Anniversary of the Urola Railway (Zumarraga – Zumaia). 22 of February of 1951 (1951): Commemorative film of the 25 years of the Urola railroad. In addition to the celebratory acts, you can see the train route.

Sea People (1957): Documentary about anchovy fishing at the Donostia-San Sebastian wharf. This is one of the examples of films restoration made by the Basque Film Library.

The town of Vitoria (1968): Images of the day of the blouses of July 25 and the festivities of La Blanca.

Encounters 72-Pamplona-Running of the bulls 72 (1972): Film made by Jose Antonio Sistiaga, which shows the cultural meetings organized in Pamplona-Iruñea during that year.

Kilometroak 77 (1977): Film made by Juan Jose Franco on the first edition of Kilometroak.

Xalbador Gaztain Kormutxa (1981): Movie in honor of bertsolari Xalbador made by Juan Miguel Gutierrez.

Bihotzez (1985): Film by Pedro Olea in tribute to the effort made in the reconstruction of Casco Viejo of Bilbao after the 1983 flooding.

(Original article at www.diariovasco.com/culturas/cine/201503/17/algunas-peliculas-fondos-filmoteca-20150317131320.html)

Opportunity to help with Boise’s Julia Davis Park renovation while commemorating Basque culture

Would you like to honor the Basque Community as it supports the renovation of Boise’s Julia Davis Park?

In 2005, a group formed the Julia Davis Park Second Century Coalition with the idea to plan a public celebration of the park’s first 100 years and to “give Julia a new dress.” After two years of planning, Charles Hummel led a design committee to decide how to renovate and upgrade the park. One of his plans — a new, circular meeting space — is now coming to life, and the Basque community has an opportunity to help build it and commemorate our own culture in the process.

The meeting space is located between the rose garden and the zoo, situated on the allee that bisects the park. A coalition of eight Rotary clubs has made a generous $150,000 gift for this Rotary Grand Plaza, designed by the award-winning Jensen-Belts firm.

The Basque community has the opportunity to fund a decorative pillar in this meeting space, featuring a beveled face with artwork representing the Basque Community. The Basque presence in Boise is significant and is currently represented at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial and through public art: “Laiak” on the Basque Block, the Basque Mural, and interpretive signs on buildings on the Basque Block and two buildings on Idaho Street. This will be one more way for visitors to learn of the Basque contribution to the history of Boise and is a wonderful way for the Basque community to support another location that will remain an important public space in our city.

If you would like to contribute, The Basque Museum & Cultural Center (611 Grove Street) can take your donation and answer questions. All donations should be in by April 1, 2017. The goal is to raise $10,000, and there are different ways to help reach that goal:

  • Send a donation to the Community Foundation (www.idcomfdn.org/funds/JuliaDavisParkFund)
  • Mail the donation to Julia Davis Project 3100 W Crescent Rim Suite 408 Boise, 83706 and specify “Basque”
  • Drop off your donation at the Basque Museum or the Basque Center (601 Grove Street) and specify “Basque Pillar.”

Eskerrik asko!

Acclaimed documentary ‘Las pelotaris’, free online from March 8 to the 12

‘Las pelotaris – A girls game’

‘Las pelotaris – A girls game’ is a short documentary film by Andrés Salaberri Pueyo and Daniel Burgui Iguzkiza about women who play the Basque sport of pelota. It tells the story of a group of enthusiast women who try to make, with enormous sacrifices, their way of life in a sport which they feel true passion: the Pelota or Jai Alai. Despite their achievements in the court and championships, it is hard for them to gain recognition in a narrow universe predominantly ruled by and for men.

I’ve been wanting to watch this documentary forever. What a wonderful topic! But most importantly, my great friend Esther Ciganda is in it!

In honor of International Women’s Day, you can get a FREE PASS to see the documentary online from the 8 to the 12 of March. Just follow these steps:

  1. Visit www.feelmakers.com OR www. bit.do/laspelotaris
  2. Login: Just choose a valid email and a password
  3. Choose your subtitles, play the film, and enjoy!

The 2017 program of the Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair will start in Boise this week

Iñaki Goirizelaia, BSU’s first Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair (photoBoga)

The program of the Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair that the Etxepare Basque Institute inaugurated at Boise State University will be launched on March 4 and 11. The first person to teach in the program will be Iñaki Goirizelaia, former president of the University of the Basque Country, who will impart classes to 35 students at the city with the widest Basque diaspora.

The course will explore the historical efforts that the Basques —a nation though not a nation state— have made to re-establish themselves after forty years of dictatorship in Spain. Their project to create a comprehensive political entity entails the creation of a successful and modern educational system and public media structure within Europe.

In addition, the aperture of the chair will be held on March 8. The Boise State Choir and the Boise Basque Choir will perform a selection of Basque songs followed by the opening of the photograph exhibit at the SUB titled: “Inner Strength: Portraits of Basque Immigrant Women.”

The Eloise Garmendia Bieter Chair was created through the agreement signed in July 2015. Thanks to this Chair, a visiting professor is invited to offer teaching to graduate students every year, with the aim of increasing studies and research on issues related to Basque language and culture.

This chair is named after the mother of the Mayor of Boise —David H. Bieter, the only Basque-speaking Mayor outside the Basque Country—for her commitment to Basque culture and her prominent role in the community. This Chair reinforces the teaching of Basque language and culture in Boise State University and strengthens the academic presence of Basque culture in a strategic city like Boise.


Recently, I lost two people I love very much. One felt that a relationship with someone living abroad just wasn’t practical enough, and the other was forced to stop talking to me over our long-distance friendship. You just can’t win!

Even though it sucks for me, I understand ditching a long-distance relationship with someone you only knew for a few weeks, especially if you’re not in love. I mean, really, what would be the point? What I don’t understand, on the other hand, is forcing a person to stop being friends with another, particularly when those friends are thousands of miles away, separated by the Atlantic ocean.

Even worse, giving someone an ultimatum to end a friendship after taking their phone without permission and reading their messages is disgusting. I find it gross. It’s hard enough for me to go through my children’s phones to make sure they’re behaving, so I can’t imagine how dirty I’d feel if I spied on someone else’s without their knowledge. In doing that, not only do you violate your partner’s privacy, but their friends’ too.

You know, it is possible for your boyfriend or girlfriend to have other friends that are not you. And those friends might never tell you the personal things they share with your other half. Why? Maybe because they don’t know you, they don’t like you, or, as in my case, both.

On the bright side, these types of situations are wonderful opportunities to talk with my kids about the importance of being nice, self-confident, open, and respectful people.

As someone I adore (and still talks to me) once told me, all relationships have an expiration date, whether in love or friendship. If you’re lucky, death would be the reason why the relationship ends. Unfortunately, distance, anger, jealousy, mistrust, or fear are often at fault in the demise of something good.

All you can do is your best. And when that fails, leave.

Udaleku 2017 Registration begins today, March 1

udaleku_app_buttonIf you are a member of the Basque Museum & Cultural Center (or any other NABO affiliated organization), and you would like to send your child to Udaleku, you can sign up this evening, March 1, at 7pm MST/6pm PST.

This year’s Udaleku, or Basque culture camp for kids between the ages of 10-15, will be held in Chino, California, hosted by the Chino Basque Club (June 25- July 7). The camp will include music, dance, culture, language, a trip to Disneyland, and more!

Cost of Udaleku is $450 for the two week camp.

The camp fills up quickly (usually within the first 15 minutes), so it is recommended that everyone be at their computers at, or prior to 7pm. Children must be 10 (by September 1, 2017) through 15 years of age. The link to the registration form can be found at http://www.nabasque.org/udaleku_application.html.


Mintzanet: Basque online and free


I found out about Mintzanet a few months ago, and I thought it was a great initiative. I read up on it, figured out where to take the test (it’s free and you do it on your own), but it wasn’t until last month that I decided to sign up. The process was really easy, and Cristina, Mintzanet’s coordinator, helped me every step of the way. I have my first one-on-one session on Saturday, and I’m super excited!

Mintzanet makes practicing easy for people learning Basque, especially for those of us who live outside of the Basque Country. All the information you need is below.

If you don’t feel ready for Mintzanet at the moment, you can check out other Basque resources at: Writing in Basque: Tools to get you there.

About Mintzanet

The aim of Mintzanet is to offer the possibility of practising Basque to everyone. The initiative is completely free and is based on two pillars: the bidelaris and bidelagunas. The bidelaguna is a person who is proficient in the language and helps those who are studying. The bidelari, on the other hand, wants to learn and improve.

Thus, the purpose of this initiative is to provide all Basque speakers, both those who live in the Basque Country and those living in other parts of the world, with an opportunity to practise. A minimum level will be required to ensure the possibility of basic communication (A2-B1).

Mintzanet’s goal is for this free project to continue to grow and, although the priority is to attract bidelagunas, they also need bidelaris.

Bidelaria: S/he is learning Basque and wants to improve his/her level, so s/he needs someone else’s help. To take part, a minimum level is required. They must be able to maintain a conversation. To show this, they will have to do a small test (B1 level).

Bidelaguna: someone who knows the language well offers his/her help to someone else so the latter can practise the language (no title needed). S/he is a helper.

Conversations take place in pairs.

For more information or to sign up, visit Mintzanet’s website or email  Cristina Tapia, Mintzanet coordinator.


Photojournalist Jan Boles’ exhibit opens next week at Boise’s Basque Museum

“The Time of the Lambing and Shearing”

Date: 02/23/17
Time: 6pm
Location: Basque Museum & Cultural Center

In 1976, Photojournalist Jan Boles was assigned to write a feature article about the sheep industry in Idaho for the Idaho Free Press. Jan photographed the last lambing and shearing operations at the J.D. Aldecoa and Son, Inc ranch – a year later, the company sold the sheep and focused solely on cattle and farming.  The exhibit: “The Time of the Lambing and Shearing” features photographs taken by Jan along with artifacts from J.D. Aldecoa and Son, Inc.

Visit the Basque Museum on February 23rd at 6pm for the opening reception with comments by Jan, followed by light refreshments.