(Basque Country Dancers’ Day 2020: #FromtheCountrytotheWorld, or #FromtheWorldtotheWorld ?)
On Saturday, October 3, the 2020 Euskal Herriko Dantzari Eguna (EHDE2020 (Basque Country Dance Day)) was held. It was marked, like everything, but the COVID-19 situation. But that didn’t stop our groups of traditional Basque dancers, those from the Homeland and those of the Diaspora, from celebrating as best they knew how: by dancing, on this day of being together to celebrate Basque culture.
This year, 56 groups participated, including 46 from the Basque Country itself and ten from the diaspora all over the world. This meant that from western Biscay to Soule, and from Labourd to the Navarrese Ribera, our whole country danced to the rhythm or our history and our traditions.
But, as we’ve said, this day was not limited to celebrations “at home”. Our “homes” all over the world also took part. The Americas are full of Basque centers that work as meeting points, connecting the Basques of the diaspora to the land of their origins. From Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, the small islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, just off the Newfoundland coast, where the Ikurriña is a part of their flag, to Argentina, Basque culture is felt strongly throughout the New World. It’s reflected in the enormous cultural, social, economic, political, and academic influence that the sons and daughters of our small land have had “across the pond”.
This cultural event was organized by the Euskal Dantzarien Biltzarrak, the body that brings together all the Basque dancing troupes in our country and the ones in the diaspora. It was founded in the Northern Basque Country, as Francoist legislation did not allow for it to exist in the Southern Basque Country, on March 11, 1965 with the name Eskual Dantzarien BLATZARA, and its first event was the Dantzari Eguna, or Dancers’ Day, on May 11, 1966, at the Agilera Stadium in Biarritz, at which people from all the Basque territories were present.
And we’d like to join in on their celebration. Over the years, we’ve spoken about the presence of our traditional dances throughout the world, and we couldn’t let this occasion slip by.
So we’re sharing the introductory video to this year’sEuskal Herriko Dantzari Eguna 2020 as well as a link to the videos shared by all the participating groups on Facebook under the hashtag ehde2020.
As an aside, a question: in this field, as in so many others working to preserve our cultural heritage, are women the backbone? Watching these videos, the answer becomes obvious.
Videos shared on Facebook by groups participating in this year’s Euskal Herriko Dantzari Eguna 2020.