This article was translated by John R. Bopp
There are “organized Basques” even in the South Pacific! We were completely unaware of this, but our friend, blogger Henar Chico of can’t-miss Basque in Boise blog put us on the trail on her Facebook page. There are even a jai-alai court and Euskal Etxea in New Caledonia! As we often say, writing this blog has allowed us to learn so many things we had no idea of about our country and our people, here, in the Basque Country, and around the world.
In Noumea, the capìtal of this archipelago, there are about 100 Basques and Basque-descendants who are keeping their Basque roots alive; we almost envy how active they are about it.
It’s obvious that finding themselves literally on the opposite side of the world from their homeland has helped strengthen their feeling of belonging and their will to continue being a part of our Basque community in that part of the Basque Country known as “the rest of the world”.
They have a Facebook page that’s full of fantastic photos, some of which we’ve used for this blog entry. We’ve spent quite a bit of time checking out their site, soaking in everything we found.
As we read their stories, and saw how alive they were keeping their roots, we couldn’t help but remember other island Basques, situated on an island surrounded by a different ocean, with a rather different climate, but which we feel have a lot in common with the Basques of New Caledona (including a jai-alai court!).
Of course, we’re referring to the Basques of Saint Pierre et Miquelón, in the North Atlantic, at the entrance to Fortune Bay, just west of Newfoundland.
We’d like to congratulate our compatriots on the other side of the world for maintaining their commitment to their homeland, and to thank them for making the effort, and for having a good time while doing so!
Euskalkultura – 14/3/2011 – Euskadi
Un frontón entre las palmeras del Pacífico: los vascos de Nueva Caledonia convocan su fiesta anual
En Noumea, la capital de Nueva Caledonia, llama la atención al visitante la presencia de un frontón de una sola pared, al estilo de Iparralde. Construido en 1990, es la imagen de la ‘Amicale du Pays Basque et du Sud-Ouest’, que reúne a un centenar de vascos de esta isla del Pacífico. Hasta 2004 en la isla se jugaba una liga en la que competían tres clubs de pelota. La liga desapareció, pero el grupo vasco sigue activo, y su fiesta anual, la ‘Feria des Furieux’, ha llegado a reunir a 400 personas. La de este año será el 9 de abril.