This article was translated by John R. Bopp
The largest English-language newspaper in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post, which we’ve referenced on other occasions, has surprised us today with an article about Basque rural sports, or herri kirolak, in the Post Magazine section of their website.
The article was written by Zigor Aldama, a Basque journalist living in Shanghai, where he regularly works for several Basque newspapers, as well as El País.
On this occasion, he’s “switched roles” and written about Basques for a Chinese newspaper. His chosen topic allowed him to present an ancient culture, the Basque one, to the readers of another ancient culture, the Chinese one. It’s an article that is therefore full of one of the elements that most attracts visitors, the traditions and ability to maintain them even while becoming one of the high tech centers of western Europe.
Throughout the article, the many different sports that make up Basques’ kirolak are presented, but, more importantly, the people and the way they see their country, traditions, and the integration of these sports in an ever more globalized world, are also presented.
Una foto que refleja el “momento” que vive el País Vasco: tradición e integración
Today’s Land of the Basques is a reflection of centuries of integration. It’s a miracle that such a small society, with a culture so different from the surrounding ones, has been able to maintain its identity, adapting it to each moment and reality, and turning the news ones that arrive into part of itself.
In Mr. Aldama’s article, and we don’t believe this is a coincidence, we find an example of this new challenge of integration we Basques face: taking in and integrating the new immigrants who, with very different cultures and traditions, are moving into our country. Let’s make the most of the new arrivals, integrating the best new parts, and preserving the core of what makes us Basque.
South China Morning Post – 26/5/2017 – China
Weighty pursuits at the ‘Basque Olympics’, where stone lifters, wood choppers and cart spinners vie for honours
Inhar Urruzuno leads a double life. Or, rather, two parallel lives. During the day he earns a living in what, as a humble man, he calls a “taller”, the Spanish term for “mechanical workshop”. “We make parts for Airbus aeroplanes and for missiles,” he explains. His is one of the many advanced manufacturing plants that make the Basque Country, in northern Spain, one of Western Europe’s top hi-tech centres.