Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu closed out 2019 with a New Year’s Message in which the Basque Community abroad was given special attention. And it was quite appropriate, as the 8th World Congress of Basque Communities and the Day of the Diáspora had been especially important that year, giving it even more warmth.
At the end of a very complicated 2020, the Lehendakari is again sending out a message to the Basque Community all over the world, and while it is aimed at our brethren in the rest of the world, it should also be of interest to those of us who live within our country’s borders, because, as we have said on innumerable occasions, the Basque Country is wherever there is a Basque person, so we should not forget that there are more of us outside our country than within it. Given their interests, needs, and concerns, they should be a priority for our society as a whole.
After all, their presence in the world gives our country a worldwide presence, and their organizations, the eusko etxeak, must be seen as authentic representations of the Basques abroad.
That’s how our forebears understood it, such that the netwrok of brotherhoods and guilds, almost all of them under the patronage of Andra Mari of Aránzazu, became not only a base of support and a way for the Basques in an area to be organized, but also an authentic collaborative network among the Basques around the world.
As the Lehendakari says in his letter, if there has been any good out of this complicated year, it is the confirmation that the Basques around the world are still active in solidarity, and are full of drive. The need has become a virtue, and it has driven us, all of us, to find news ways and new tools to communicate, and especially to collaborate.
The message, sent in the four languages that most Basques in the world speak, is a message that highlights the commitment and the hard work of our Basque brethren abroad. But above all, at least in our view, it is a call to a common commitment to continue working to create the networks that unite us and strengthen this Basque Community that reaches every corner of the globe.
That is a task for all of us.
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