This article was translated by John R. Bopp

To celebrate the new year, the Argentine National General Archive has shared, on Facebook and Twitter, a small bit of a newsreel like those that used to be shown in the cinema, regarding the Basque Festival in Mar del Plata.

In this coastal city in Buenos Aires province, as we’re told by the Auñamendi Encyclopedia, the Denak Bat Basque Center was founded in 1943.  It was a community center not only for the Baques who were already living in the province, but also for those who were fleeing the gruesome dictatorship back home.

It’s amazing to see the ability to organize that these tens of thousands of Basques had when reaching those New World shores in those years, led by the Basque Government in exile.  This can be seen in how they helped the centers that already existed, or, as in Mar del Plata, helped create new ones to organize and attend to those Basques.

In the film shared by the Argentine Archives, we can see a summary of a Basque festival that also shows their ability to organize and will to maintain their deeply-rooted connections to their homeland.  What we see is the 6th Basque Week in Mar del Plata, with hundreds of Basques of all ages, from all over our country, displaying and enjoying Basque folklore parading down Argentine streets with an ikurriña.

We can’t help mentioning a few things:

One, our deep conviction, tirelessly repeated, that the Land of the Basques is wherever there are Basques, examples of which can be found all around the world, but for which Argentina is a role model.  

The other is the need to remember and value the importance that those Basques around the world, throughout history, who have worked hard, and continue to do so, to guarantee the future of our nation.  Euskaletxeak.net gives us a wonderful digital archive, with more than 30,000 scanned and organized images that can help us understand the magnitude, the importance, and the value of this effort made by Basque abroad

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