Our regular readers will recall how the Basque people and culture were the star attraction at the 2016 Folklife Festival, which has been organized annually for the past 50 years by the Smithsonian Institute on the National Mall in Washington, DC, at the heart of the USA.

And for the past six years, this same institution has organized the Mother Tongue Film Festival to celebrate the International Day of the Mother Tongue (February 21), established by UNESCO.

The goal of this event is to the world’s cultural and linguistic diversity by showing a wide range of films and film makers, highlighting the crucial role languages play in our daily lives.

This year, one of the works being presented in a documentary dedicated to the work of the Basques immigrants to Bakersfield, California to keep their language alive and to pass down their musical traditions.

The documentary is titled “The Eighth Province”, and was directed by Kyle Baker.  The title, of course, refers to the Basque Diaspora around the world as the next in line after the seven in the Homeland.

This is undoubtedly yet another consequence of that extraordinary event in 2016 when all the Basque institutions, including those from the Basque Autonomous Community, Navarre, and the Northern Basque Country, joined forces for a common goal, to share the reality of Basque society and culture to the visitors to the Folklife Festival.

In this documentary’s presentation, they state “the perceptions of cultural identity and tradition vary among generations; a society’s cultural identity and traditions are not static, but rather dynamic and evolve over time.”

We’ll leave you with the documentary’s trailer and the festival’s website.

The Eighth Province Trailer from Kyle Baker on Vimeo.

Smithsonian  – 2/2021 – USA

Mother Tongue Film Festival

The Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world, highlighting the crucial role languages play in our daily lives. This year, the festival will be hosted entirely online.

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