A Basque in Boise

Smithsonian Folklife Festival Applications

Last August we found out some very good news regarding Basque Country exposure in the US, when the Smithsonian decided to explore Basque culture at their 2016 Folklife Festival (June 29-July 4, and July 7-10, 2016).

According to Astero, there is now application information for people interested in performing or presenting, as well as vendor information for the event. If your group is interested in performing (dancers, singers, klika, bertsolaris), you can find all the information here. If you are a vendor that would like your products sold at the “Marketplace,” then click here.

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To have Astero, NABO’s weekly bulletin, sent directly to your inbox, you only have to fill out this form.


lilcreators, an innovative idea by Basque engineer Jon Kortabarria

Jon Kortabarria, an Oñati native now residing in Boise, is the Founder of lilcreators, a company that wants to make it possible for children to design and build their own bikes. Each lilbike kit comes complete with all of the tools and items needed to create a balance bike, and it provides your child with a hands-on experience to be enjoyed together with his or her family.

I’m particularly fond of their lildonators program: Once your child outgrows the lilbike and has gained the skills to move on to a standard bike, they can donate their bike to a child who can’t afford a bike of their own.

Sounds like an amazing idea, right? Well, this young Basque engineer is determined to make it a reality, no matter how tough beginnings can be. And you can help Jon bring his idea to life by visiting lilcreators’ gofundme page and making a donation. I did this morning, and it was fast and very easy. Plus you’ll get a reward with your donation; the more you donate, the cooler the reward!

Who is behind lilcreators?

Jon KFFounder, Jon Kortabarria was born in Oñati, a small town in the Basque Country (Spain). He majored with an Industrial Design Engineering Degree and a Master’s in Service and Experience Design, learning and realizing the importance of user needs and experiences. Finishing college he moved to Boise, Idaho and has worked as a Product Designer since. He became a kids’ educational product designer where he gained experience in the field. And now with your help he wants to see his idea turn into reality.

“The idea was important, but all my friends and family that believed it was a cool idea and encouraged me to go for it is what made me get this far in the process of this new experience. Thanks a lot!”.


Euskara classes organized by Boise’s Basque Museum begin on January 25

shopping_basquemuseum_1Euskara classes will begin on Monday, January 25th.

Beginner’s class will be held from 6-8pm, taught by Megan Vondemkamp.

Intermediate/Advanced will hold class from 6:30-8:30 pm (location TBD).

Advanced will start classes from 6-8 pm with Oihana Andion.

You can sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/MjA9ow1Cea

Please sign up and pay by January 18. Class is $65 for members, $80 for non-members.

If you have any questions, please contact Darryl (darrylj@basquemuseum.com) or Annie (annieg@basquemuseum.com).

 

 


Aduriz, the Basque powerhouse of Bilbao | The Daily Mail

I came across an article today published over the weekend by the Daily Mail on Athletic’s fiercest striker, Aritz Aduriz. It’s always nice when one of our players gets recognition beyond our boundaries, so I thought I’d share with you guys, in case you missed it.

The Basque powerhouse of Bilbao: Why Barca-slayer Aduriz is my man of 2015

  • Aduriz led Bilbao to their first major trophy in 31 years
  • The striker has been in the form of his life aged 34
  • He is a hero for the fiercely-loyal Basque supporters of Athletic Bilbao 

Not Messi. Not Vardy. Not Cristiano. Not Pep. Not Neymar. No. Ladies and gentlemen, Aritz Aduriz is my man of 2015. In the football world at least.

And you can take your pick — the roots of that title either lie in the Pyrenees mountains when the future Athletic Bilbao striker was nine years old, or in the 87th minute of the Copa del Rey quarter-final in Vigo last January.

What actually wins him this hypothetical but doubtless highly prized award? Powering his Basque-only club through to the Copa final against Treble-winners Barcelona, then taking defeat in that pulsating game as nothing other than an incentive to thrash the Catalans the next time they met.

©Getty Images| Aritz Aduriz's spectacular form has whipped up the passionate Bilbao fans into a frenzy this year

©Getty Images| Aritz Aduriz’s spectacular form has whipped up the passionate Bilbao fans into a frenzy this year

©Getty Images| Aduriz led Athletic Bilbao to their first major trophy in 31 years, the Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona

©Getty Images| Aduriz led Athletic Bilbao to their first major trophy in 31 years, the Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona

That was two months later in the Spanish Super Cup in August and, even factoring in Barcelona’s horrendously taxing trip to and from winning the European Super Cup in Georgia just a couple of days earlier, the 4-0 win which Athletic inflicted on them at the San Mames was, categorically, a gubbing.

From Miki San Jose’s thrilling, brilliantly executed half-volley from the centre circle over Marc-Andre ter Stegen through Aduriz’s 15-minute hat-trick (header, right- foot shot, penalty), it was the night Hollywood wouldn’t dare script.

Three days later, Aduriz scored yet again, in the second leg, for a 5-1 aggregate win over the Spanish and European champions — 80 per cent of the goals bearing his name.

Basque-only Athletic, the club which stands against the tide of anything for a win. Thanks to Aduriz, now winning its first trophy for 31 years — think about that.

Practically every notable club around Europe’s major leagues has won something during that time. But not Spain’s oldest and most idiosyncratic club.

Not bad for a guy who grew up with parents who thought football was for nancy-boys, who climbed mountains, skied down them and were pretty disgusted when young Aduriz opted to use his talented feet to kick a ball rather than traverse a white-capped, icy mountain.

Aduriz was runner-up in the Spanish national cross-country skiing championship of 1990 and grew up in a house where football was not watched on television, so he had no reference points. No heroes.

©Bongarts/Getty Images| Aduriz escapes the attentions of Kostas Stafylidis (left) in Bilbao's Europa League match against Augsburg

©Bongarts/Getty Images| Aduriz escapes the attentions of Kostas Stafylidis (left) in Bilbao’s Europa League match against Augsburg

What makes every Aduriz goal for Athletic still sweeter for their fans is the fact that he was born in San Sebastian, home to Basque enemies Real Sociedad. It is where he honed his skills on La Concha beach alongside starlets like Mikel Arteta and Xabi Alonso.

So starved of football reference points was Aduriz that he only went once to La Real’s fearsome old stadium, Atocha, while growing up. But because he could show a mule what stubborn really is, he dug his heels in and informed his dismayed parents that he was going to fight his way up the football food chain… and here he is.

A legend, a hero, a winner — and currently scoring more frequently than ever with his 35th birthday just over a month away.

It is a fabulous story of determination, latent excellence, technique, humility and football’s wonderful ability to quietly bless those who work hardest.

©EPA| Aduriz represented the Basque Country against Catalonia on Boxing Day, here battling Marc Bartra

©EPA| Aduriz represented the Basque Country against Catalonia on Boxing Day, here battling Marc Bartra

Aduriz admits: ‘I love all sport. I was a runner-up in the Spanish national cadet skiing championships. I’ve done snowboarding, surfing, tennis. They all helped me improve my co-ordination, although nowadays I stick to golf. It’s less dangerous.

‘My mum and dad were very sporty but they were never into football. I remember I had to persuade them to let me play and even then they insisted that I prioritise surfing over soccer.’

Growing up at the Antiguoko club in San Sebastian, neither of the two big Basque teams fancied him. At least until he scored twice for Aurrerá in a 3-2 away win at Lezama, the hallowed Athletic training ground.

Signed almost immediately by Los Leones, he was given his debut in 2002 by Jupp Heynckes, the brilliant German ex-striker and serial winner as a coach who brought Bayern Munich their first ever Treble.

It was Heynckes who, in a slightly maladroit attempt to contextualise Athletic’ s Basque-only policy, described what they were trying to do as racing a ‘VW Beetle against Porsches and Rolls Royces’.

His point was that Athletic were low budget, hard working, reliable but not prone to vast expenditure.

Misinterpretation led to opprobrium for the German from the Basque media. But low budget, hard-working, reliable: that’s Aduriz.

©Getty Images| Aduriz (left), with Xabier Etxeita, has been in the form of his life at the age of 34

©Getty Images| Aduriz (left), with Xabier Etxeita, has been in the form of his life at the age of 34

He was loaned to Burgos, sold to Third Division Valladolid, bought back, sold for €5million to Mallorca — at which point the San Mames fans protested and held a grudge against the Athletic president which, in due course, cost him his mandate.

Not until 2012 was he bought back, from Valencia, and earlier this year he scored his 100th goal for Los Leones.

Remarkably, coaches often told him ‘that my biggest flaw is that I always prioritise the team. Apparently I’m just not selfish enough and am always trying to help my team-mates out.’

What do coaches know?

So, to Vigo last January. Aduriz’s high-tension penalty with three minutes left sealed a 4-2 away win.

Vital — as the second leg was lost 2-0. No penalty, no semi-final.

The San Mames semi-final first leg should have ushered Espanyol straight into a Camp Nou final against Barça.

They battered Athletic. But Aduriz scored, for an unmerited 1-1 draw, then added another in a 2-0 away win in the second leg.

That placed Athletic in the Copa final, which would qualify them for the Supercup in August. And his historic four-goal haul.

Which evokes my favourite quote from this wonderful, old-school centre-forward.

Recalling the first time he ever experienced San Mames, Aduriz reckoned: ‘With Athletic, well, once I got inside that stadium, I saw that we could compete with anyone. We could take on the whole world, like Asterix and Obelix did.’

By Toutatis, he has.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3375039/The-Basque-powerhouse-Bilbao-Barca-slayer-Aduriz-man-2015.html#ixzz3vda5OT3O
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Sharing. Not always the best choice.

use-apple-id-for-imessage-syncIsn’t it great how Apple makes it so easy to keep all your shit updated and shared across devices? Sign in with your Apple ID. Have your pics automatically uploaded from your iPhone to the Cloud. Conveniently access them at a later time from any of the other fifteen Apple devices you own.

Wait! Start an iMessage conversation on your iPhone, then finish it on your Mac at work or your iPad at Starbucks. Hell, if you’re super mega cool, you can even do it from your iWatch. BAM!

People always say sharing is good, but I respectfully disagree. Sharing is not always good. In fact, sharing can be REALLY bad.

Synchronization is awesome and groovy if all devices belong to you. But some of us are parents who – for better or for worse (in my case worse) – decided to spoil our kids with iPhones and iPads and then forgot to check the fucking settings on iMessage after upgrading to iOS 9.

Maybe I could blame my oversight on how shitty last week turned out to be (we’ll leave that for another blog that I might never write), or I could be pissed at Apple for making synchronization so damn convenient and automated. All I know is that today, my poor daughter got an unwanted peek into adulthood when she opened in her iPhone a text message intended for me. “You just got what message???”

Holy shit… I don’t think I’ve ever covered the stretch between Sockeye Brewery and the house as fast as I did today. I was afraid someone was gonna stop me and change the tires on my F-1 Jetta.

As a divorced mom with no partner and some needs, I try so hard to keep “Amatxu” and “Henar” separated based on whether I have the kids that week or not. I feel like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I struggle because I feel lonely sometimes. It’s hard to balance being alone and liking it with being alone and missing the touch of a guy. But it is what it is and ultimately, I don’t mind it. I enjoy being “Amatxu” full-time one week, then being “Henar” full-time the next. It’s when both get mixed up that my world shakes a bit.

In the end, what do you do? Parents screw up all the time despite their best efforts to shield their kids from R-rated stuff, whether it’s something they accidentally watched on TV, a conversation you didn’t think they heard, or a text message you thought was private.  You just gotta own it and explain to them, in a manner they understand, that there is a world of adults out there and that “Amatxu” and “Henar” do, sometimes, go hand in hand.


Smithsonian To Explore Basque Culture at 2016 Folklife Festival

This is really good news! Here comes my excuse to finally visit Washington D.C., and on my 20th anniversary in this country no less! See you there?

Smithsonian To Explore Basque Culture at 2016 Folklife Festival

folklife-8

Media only:        James Mayer 202.633.0644 / mayerj@si.edu
Media website: newsdesk.si.edu

Visitors to the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will explore the Basque Country’s unique language and distinct cultural heritage. The 2016 Folklife Festival will take place Wednesday, June 29, through Monday, July 4, and Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10. It will be located on the National Mall, between Fourth and Seventh streets, adjacent to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Air and Space. Admission to the Festival is free and hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with special evening events beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Festival is co-sponsored by the Regional Government of Biscay and presented in partnership with the National Park Service.

The Basque constitute one of the oldest communities in Europe, and today approximately 1 million people worldwide speak Basque, or Euskara, a language once on the brink of extinction and now an example of successful language revitalization. In addition to its language, the Basque Country is well known for its food, crafts, music and poetry. The 2016 Festival will host musicians, cooks, language experts and more from the region to explore themes of cultural sustainability, identity and migration. To that end, the program will also include significant participation of people of Basque descent living throughout the United States.

“Celebrating Basque culture at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an important opportunity to bring forth compelling stories of cultural heritage, vitality and resilience,” said Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), a Basque American who represents California’s Third District. “These are American stories, too. I’m delighted that Festival visitors will also experience Basque traditions that remain an integral part of this country’s cultural landscape.”

The program will be curated by cultural and linguistic revitalization specialist Mary Linn and folklorist and ethnomusicologist Cristina Díaz-Carrera. More information about the 2016 Festival will be released shortly.

About the Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, inaugurated in 1967, honors contemporary living cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them. Produced annually by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Festival has featured participants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Festival fans can also keep up with each day’s events through the Festival Blog.

 


The walk

For the last few months I’ve stopped going into the gym during the lunch hour and started taking long walks around the H-P campus instead. I’d been steadily decreasing the intensity of my workouts since my shoulder cannot take anymore the weight lifting routines I did with ease a few years ago. Lifting and playing pala were my favorite activities, but now I can’t do either one. Plus being the non-outdoorsy woman I am,  I wouldn’t see the light of day for months on end when I worked and worked out inside.

RedShirtI’ve come to love these daily walks so much that I’m getting a little worried about the winter. One thing is to walk in 80 or 90 degree weather wearing only a short dress or tiny tank top among the trees and the red-shirted landscaping crew, and another trying not to kill myself on the ice, bundled up from head to toe, not a toned, muscled arm working that edger in sight.

Surprisingly, walking has helped me lose weight more than I thought it would. Not that I had any expectations when I started; it has been an added bonus. However, the best is letting my mind roam free as I tread the three-mile loop around H-P. Most days I start the journey thinking about how awesome life will be when I meet Balenziaga and he finally realizes we are just perfect together. I mean, I’ve shown our picture around and everybody agrees!

Invariably though, real life worries start sipping through my fantasy pushing my boyfriend away until I’m forced to deal with reality. The fact that no matter how things are going back home I can only be present via Skype or by commenting on Facebook, really sucks. Except for two weeks out of the year, I miss the good stuff and even worse, I can’t help with the bad. Another mile and I can’t shake this guilty feeling. I knew when I left Ortuella that the time would come when I’d feel like this. But that’s the thing about decisions; you can’t make one and keep both choices.

Halfway through the walk and I’ve sort of made peace with myself, at least for the time being. “Oh, hey, how’s it going?” The blonde landscaper is taking care of the lawn in one of those monster mowers and he’s got the sleeves rolled up in such a way his T-shirt now looks more like a red wife-beater and holy shit those arms! Where was I? I try to think back to Balenziaga, how disappointed he would feel if he caught me thinking about another man’s biceps.

As I approach the starting point and I head for the bush where I hide my badge so I don’t have to deal with it bouncing for an hour, I feel good. A little sweaty, a little tired, but way more content than when I started. There are always going to be things out of my control, so I am going to focus on what I can do considering the circumstances. I’m going to work on what’s possible and forget the impossible. I can feel the energy of positive thinking making its way though my body. Everything is going to be ok.

And Balenziaga, you just wait.


Jaialdi puts Boise on the map: Check out today’s article in the New York Times

An Ancient Tongue and Paella’s Scent Fill a Boise Celebration of Basque Roots

Visitors danced at the Basque Center during the Jaialdi festival in Boise. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Visitors danced at the Basque Center during the Jaialdi festival in Boise. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

BOISE, Idaho — When the president of the Basques arrived here in Idaho’s capital from Europe late last month, the mayor stepped up to interpret for him into English from Basque, one of the world’s most ancient and difficult languages.

Boise is part of Basque country,” said the mayor, David H. Bieter, in an interview, explaining his role.

Mr. Bieter’s brother, John, a professor of history at Boise State University who was at the time running an academic conference across town about all things Basque — coordinated with the weeklong festival that had drawn the president, Iñigo Urkullu — said he couldn’t agree more.

“If you’re into Basque studies,” he said, “this is Christmas.”

Many Americans might think of Idaho as potato country, so successfully has the agriculture industry branded the place, right down to the license plates. It is also one of the least ethnically diverse states, with more than 93 percent of its population classified as white, according to the census.

But every five years, a wild and often hidden streak in the history and culture steps up to shout, “Ongi Etorri!” (That’s Basque for “Welcome!”)

A Basque street party called Jaialdi takes over downtown Boise, celebrating the roots that were sunk deep by a wave of Basque immigrants who mostly came as shepherds in the early 20th century. The Bieter brothers, (pronounced BEE-ter), the unofficial first family of the local Basque world, dust off their chops in speaking the language. The taps open to a tide of Kalimotxo, a Basque cocktail of red wine and cola. And people eat black beans and paella.

With an estimated 35,000 or more attendees — this year’s was the seventh Jaialdi (Basque for “festival time”) since the first one in 1987 — it is one of the biggest Basque festivals outside Europe.

And in much the same way that a walk down the street in Boston in mid-March can stir an impulse to wear a bit of green, Jaialdi draws in people like Anna Heathman. She and her husband, Dick, who drove here from their home in central Washington, said they felt a little bit Basque coming to Jaialdi, though in ethnic reality they are not.

“They have had to fight for identity,” said Ms. Heathman, 73, a retired massage therapist who was born in what is now Slovakia in Central Europe, which was swallowed up for decades by the former Czechoslovakia.

“Because they have no country, I can feel for them and the need to keep their history together,” she said, sitting on a bench in Basque Square. “My people had to fight too.”

Mr. Heathman, 75, a retired farmer, said he had mainly fallen in love with the food.

A century ago, Basques also came to other corners of the American West, like Bakersfield, Calif., and Elko, Nev. Thousands more went to Argentina and Chile. And in some places, those old roots withered to memory.

What happened to keep the story and heritage alive in Idaho was partly that in a state with a small population — 1.6 million now, and far smaller when the Basque wave broke — the immigrants stood out. Idaho’s Basques also mostly came from one province in Spain, Bizkaia, which created a cohesive web of interconnected families. California’s Basque community, by contrast, is much more heavily from the French side of the border.

Mayor David Bieter greeted visitors to the festival, which is one of the largest Basque festivals outside Europe. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Mayor David Bieter greeted visitors to the festival, which is one of the largest Basque festivals outside Europe. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

But it is also at least partly a family story, in how John and David Bieter’s father, Pat, fell in love with Basque life and pulled his family in with him, starting in the mid-1970s. Pat Bieter married into a Basque family (John and David’s mother, Eloise, was the daughter of Basque immigrants), and in 1974, as a professor of education at Boise State University, he led its first yearlong study-abroad foray to the Basque region in Spain, taking his family with him.

John was 12 that year, and David, now 55, was 14. Franco, who died in 1975, was still actively suppressing Basque traditions and language, which in turn led to an even deeper connection, the brothers said, as the Boise Basques and the Spanish Basques reached out to one another.

The trip became a university tradition and eventually an anchor of its Basque studies program, of which John Bieter, 53, is now associate director.

“It completely transformed our lives,” he said, describing the 1974 trip.

David Bieter, who served in the State Legislature as a Democrat before being elected mayor in 2003, said that after his parents were killed in a car accident in 1999 — Pat was 68 and Eloise 73 — their father’s Basque dream seemed more important than ever to fulfill.

“He saw something that ought to be done, and he was the one crazy enough to do it,” David Bieter said.

At the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, which boasts the onlypreschool Basque-language immersion program outside Europe, Shamilee Ybarguen-Adams was telling her two daughters one afternoon last week about the lonely lives of the immigrant sheepherders, and how once upon a time Idaho had three million sheep that needed tending.

Ms. Ybarguen-Adams, 34, who lives in Boise and is the granddaughter of a Basque herder, said that for her, Jaialdi is partly about picking up where past Idaho Basques left off and making sure the next generation does not forget.

“The second generation tried to get away from it; the third is trying to bring it back,” she said. Her girls, Joanna, 6, and Isabella, 4, will start Basque dance lessons this fall, she said.

Out in the square, Xabier Urruzola Arana, 35, and his wife, Garazi Del Rey Salsamendi, 34, were talking about wine. They had come from their town of 300 people in the Basque region of Spain looking for a market and a distributor for their white wine, Txakolina (pronounced chock-oh-LEE-nah), which they started making in the family’s 14th-century farmhouse in 2011. It was their first Boise Jaialdi, they said.

“We’re new, just getting started,” Mr. Arana said. “But this is a good place to network.”

For the original article and to view the slide show, click here.


Event list for Jaialdi 2015

Jaialdi 2015 is finally here, along with so many activities and events that it’s hard to keep them all straight. I heard from a few people that they were not sure about all the stuff going on this week, so I spend part of my weekend checking different sources and websites and compiled a list with all the events, dates and times I was able to find, including the NABO Pilota Finals and a series of Basque short films at MING Studios.

To download a PDF of this list to your computer, click here.

For the 2015 NABO Pilota Finals schedule, click here.

For the session of Basque short films presented by 39 Rooms at MING Studios from July 30 to August 1, click here.

Please make sure you check the website for the specific event you want to corroborate the information before you go:

Jaialdi 2015

Cenarrusa Foundation

Boise Basque Museum and Cultural Center

BSU Basque Studies

Preservation Idaho

Gure esku dago

 

Event list for Jaialdi 2015

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2015 NABO Pilota Finals

 

 


Agirre Center, Columbia University and Gure esku dago organize in Boise a conference on the right to choose

GURE ESKU DAGO” (It’s in our hands), a movement in favor of the right to decide in the Basque Country, will be in Boise for Jaialdi and would like to invite you to attend their conference on July 30th at the Grove Hotel. During the event, Boise’s mayor Dave Bieter will present Ibarretxe’s new book, The Basque Experience: constructing Sustainable Human Development. Juan Jose Ibarretxe is the former President of the Basque Country. Ibarretxe (Agirre Center) will be a main speaker, along with Jon Camio (GURE ESKU DAGO), and Dr. Joshua Fisher (Columbia University).

jaildi talk

The event will be hosted by Boise’s Mayor Dave Bieter. Representatives of Pete Cenarrusa Foundation and Xabier Irujo (Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada) will also take part in the conference.

During the first part of this meeting Juan Jose Ibarretxe will present his research on the extraordinary transformation of the Basque Country from the recovery of self-government in the eighties up to now, and specifically in the period 1998/2008, in three relevant but traditionally unrelated fields: economics, social balance and peacemaking.

On Saturday and Sunday, CenturyLink Arena will be hosting a variety of vendors, including one manned by the “GURE ESKU DAGO” organization. Stop by and get to know them better.

About “GURE ESKU DAGO”

The group is a citizens initiative that began on June 8, 2013. Their main goal is to achieve citizen support for the Basques’ right to decide. The movement is all-inclusive, as it extends to everybody its invitation to participate.

The group stands on three basic ideas:

1. The Basque Country is a nation
2. Basques have a right to decide
3. The future is in the hands of the citizens of the Basque Country

Last year’s big activity was the human chain. This year the organized a “patchwork”; a patchwork which was sewn together on the 21st of June into a massive ballot box.

For more information: www.gureeskudago.eus/en.