This article was translated by John R. Bopp
The second edition of the Day of the Basque Diaspora was held on September 8th in Ispaster. It was a moving event, very moving, especially since it was held in one of those Basque towns that has suffered first-hand the hardship of so many of its residents leaving to find a better life, or on their way to exile.
We didn’t know what to expect of this day, but we did know that it was going to be something special. And it was. The main event was a performance in which the different reasons that have made the Basque diaspora grow were acted out; growth that has spread all over the world with the children of our nation.
In the absolutely marvelous performance, which can be seen in the video summary, there were two things that really called out to us in a special way.
On the one hand, there was the leading role of the candles, and their light, throughout the performance. We couldn’t help but remember the campaign launched by the Limako Arantzazu Euzko Etxea on their social networks in the days leading up to the event, asking for Basques around the world to light candles to remember those Basques who have had to leave their homeland over the centuries.
Limako Arantzazu Euzko Etxea. To all Basques in the Americas and to all those around the world who would like to join in A Light for Those Who Came Before. 2019
On the other hand, there was also the leading role given to a group of Basques in the world who are especially invisible. As we commented on a few days ago, the Basques from within and from without need to know and recognize each other as part of the same reality. This doesn’t happen nowadays, especially within the Country, where the diaspora is almost completely unknown. But only almost: occasionally, shepherds in the American West, jai alai players in Cuba, or the huge Basque community in South America is remembered.
But what is never discussed as a fundamental part of the global Basque community are the missionaries who have reached the farthest corners of the planet. We’ve collected some articles on Basque missionaries and discussed them, given special recognition to the Basque Passionists in Peru and their epic work for more than a century in the Amazonian jungle.
It was quite satisfying to find these two references on the Day of the Diaspora. It makes us feel as if the many agents orbiting around the Basque Community abroad are coming into sync, which we’re sure will be the catalyst to even bigger things in the coming years. We’re sure that this is will lead to a greater cohesion between the Basques at home and abroad, more work together, and an assumption by all of the principle that:
“Wherever this is a Basque, there is the Basque Country”
And, as Lehendakari Aguirre stated:
“The Basque centers of the world are the representation of our Country”
We’ll leave you with a summary of the event. We must apologize for the delay. We had a long series of technical issues with the recordings we made, and it took us a lot of time and effort to recover the majority of it (unfortunately, some of it was well and truly lost). That’s why it took so long, and we thank you for your understanding.