This article was translated by Aimar Arizmendi
Vince J. Juaristi is a basque-descendant born in Elko (Nevada), who has a technology company in Alexandria (Virginia). A few days age he wrote an extraordinary and unerring opinion article, really a marvellous reflexion on the significance of Basque being the culture selected for celebration at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2016.
When, this coming June of 2016 hundreds of thousands (Really millions) of Americans learn more about Basque culture, history and presence, it will be above all, an accomplishment of the Basque Diaspora (in the United States and around the world).
When a sapling from the tree of Gernika is planted on the National Mall in Washington D.C. it will close a circle that opened with John Adams’ visit to the Country of the Basques. It will also serve as an acknowledgement of the will power and work of generations of Basques in helping to build the United States.
This coming July, more accurately, this coming 4th of July when American citizens from all over the country celebrate their Independence Day as they stroll on the National Mall through the Folklife Festival, they’ll be able to learn of the (significant) contributions that the small country of the Basques has made to the United States.
Above all, as Vince J.Juaristi well explains, this extraordinary event is a victory and a recognition of Basque men and women -all with proper names- who throughout more than 200 years came to the United States looking for a better life by contributing to a society that welcomed their traditions, their work, their spirit of sacrifice, and their drive to build a just, cohesive, and organized society. To quote the author:
Few groups have lived the story as well as the Basque. Few have worked so hard and achieved so much in so short a time. Fewer still have balanced a unique culture and language with the duties and obligations of being fully American.
This, as we have said before, is a hallmark of Basques from Australia to Canada and from Patagonia to The Philippines.
Elko Daily – 23/1/2016 – USA
The Work of a Generation
Sprawled between the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian hosts the National Folklife Festival each year. It’s really something to see with all the care and detail one expects of a Smithsonian exhibit. In the July swelter, hundreds of thousands attend to study and learn about unique cultures from around the country and across the globe. From June 29-July 4 and July 7-10, this year’s festival will showcase the Basque. When I learned this news last year, I felt a bit of pride; well, not a bit, a lot. I thought about dad’s journey from Spain to America, and the journey of so many Basque like him during the 1940s. I marveled at how far the Basque had come as a people.